Morning Shootaround

Cleveland Cavaliers to honor Kyrie Irving with video tribute

NBA.com staff reports

> Tonight on TNT: Celtics vs. Cavaliers (8 ET)

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics are just hours away from the first game of the 2017-18 season (8 ET, TNT). That showdown will mark Kyrie Irving’s first game back in Cleveland as a member of the Celtics, but according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, his contributions to the Cavs won’t soon be forgotten.

The Cavs plan to play a video tribute to Irving’s career during tonight’s game that will touch on some of Irving’s highest achievements with Cleveland:

Irving, the No. 1 overall pick by the Cavs in 2011 who made the game-winning 3-point shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, will play his first NBA game in another team’s uniform when the Celtics take the court at The Q.

According to a team source, the video is a “thank you” to Irving intended to show appreciation for all he accomplished in six seasons here. The team has not decided when during the game to show the video.

Irving requested a trade from the Cavs in July and received it in August, when he was shipped to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and two draft picks.

Irving has thanked Cleveland fans for their support during his six seasons here, but has also made less-than-flattering comparisons to the city, the Cavs’ organization, and to LeBron James.

Irving’s latest last week was he said Boston was a “real, live sports city.” The context of his comments made them seem to most like he was suggesting Cleveland was not those things.

Asked how Irving should be received on Tuesday, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said: “We’ve got the best fans in the world and they’re going to do whatever the see best.

“Whatever decision they make, that’s the right one,” Lue said. “Because they’ve been behind us for three straight years, since I’ve been here, they’ve always made the right decisions. So whatever they decide to do, I embrace whatever they do.”

J.R. Smith said Irving “was a great player when he was here.

“In my eyes he was a good teammate and he helped us win a championship, so I think it will be good,” Smith said.

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