Cleveland Cavaliers decide to pass on Kyrie Irving tribute video
NBA.com staff reports
A large part of the buzz leading into last night’s Celtics-Cavs game in Cleveland was centered on the return of Kyrie Irving to his old city. The Cavs were prepared to honor the player who was the Rookie of the Year, a four-time All-Star and key cog in their run to the 2016 NBA title with a tribute video during the game.
However, those plans changed, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, and the Cavs ultimately nixed the video:
The Cavaliers decided not to show a tribute video of former point guard Kyrie Irving during his first game at The Q playing for the opposition.
According to team spokesman Tad Carper, multiple Cavs officials, including majority owner Dan Gilbert, chose not to show the video because “we were expecting to run it at a floating opportunity based on the right moment, and we felt that moment never presented itself.”
Carper spoke to cleveland.com and two other reporters at halftime of the Cavaliers’ season opener against the Boston Celtics. Irving was traded to the Celtics in the offseason after requesting to be dealt out of Cleveland, which upset several Cavs players.
Carper said the decision to cancel the video was not “directly” tied to the gruesome ankle injury to Celtics guard Gordon Hayward with 6:50 left in the first quarter, either.
A source with direct knowledge of Cavs’ players thinking told cleveland.com that several inside the Cleveland locker room were upset Monday upon hearing that a video was planned.