Cavaliers Decide Not To Show Kyrie Irving Tribute Video During Season Opener
The Cavaliers last night during the season opener against the Celtics "decided not to show a tribute video" for former G Kyrie Irving in his return to Cleveland after being traded in the offseason, according to Joe Vardon of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Cavs Exec VP/Communications Tad Carper said that multiple execs, including 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 said that the decision to cancel the video was "not 'directly' tied to the gruesome ankle injury" that Celtics F Gordon Hayward suffered in the first quarter. A source said that several Cavs players were "upset Monday upon hearing that a video was planned" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/18). THE ATHLETIC's Jason Lloyd writes opposition from Cavs players, coupled with "boos directed at Irving" throughout the night, "perhaps made the decision a bit easier" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/18). ESPN.com's Chris Forsberg noted Irving "heard hearty boos in pregame introductions and each time he touched the ball." He was the "first player announced during introductions, and boos overwhelmed any cheers." Irving also "heard a smattering of boos from the arriving crowd" as he "hit the floor for his pregame shooting routine." Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before the game that he "expected Irving to get a mixed reaction throughout the game but hoped fans would show appreciation for his six years in Cleveland" (ESPN.com, 10/17). In Akron, Marla Ridenour writes the boos directed at Irving during the intros "weren’t overtly angry." The reception also "could have been uglier" after Irving in a recent interview "called Boston a 'real, live sports city'" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/18).