On Friday night, Kyrie Irving put the finishing touches on a 43-point performance to pace the Boston Celtics to a home win over the Toronto Raptors. LeBron James, probably enjoying a nice glass of red wine, tweeted out his approval of the performance.
For Cavs fans, LeBron’s public praise of his former running mate struck a sentimental chord. As the Cavs slog through a necessary but nonetheless depressing rebuilding year in the wake of LeBron’s departure for the west coast, there are constant reminders of what was, and what could have been. If it’s not LeBron bringing up his hometown of Akron after passing Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list, it’s listening to one of Irving’s hundreds of interviews on why he felt the need to leave Cleveland.
It’s all a stark reminder that just two short seasons ago, LeBron and Irving were playing in their third straight NBA Finals together. And, despite Irving’s looming trade request that summer, the organization reportedly assured LeBron there would be many more Finals appearances for the two to come.