LeBron: Kyrie won't face same hostility I did in Cleveland return
LeBron James remembers the hostile environment he entered into on Dec. 2, 2010 when he returned to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time after choosing to sign with the Miami Heat over his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kyrie Irving likely won't be well-received either Tuesday when the Cavaliers host the visiting Boston Celtics to open the 2017-18 season. Will it be on par with the venomous reaction James got seven years ago, though?
"No," James said emphatically during a joint interview with Dwyane Wade conducted by ESPN's Rachel Nichols.
"Everybody's good. Everybody's good. "KD (Kevin Durant) last year in Oklahoma City, Paul George going to go back to Indiana, you know, D-Wade's going to go to Chicago, Kyrie's coming back to Cleveland. No (it won't compare)."
With Irving, the Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals in each of the past three seasons, ending the city's championship drought in 2016 by overcoming a 3-1 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors. He then asked management for a trade this summer so he could be afforded the opportunity to lead his own team, something he expected to do in Cleveland prior to James making his way back.
His departure was messy once reports circulated that he wanted out, but compared to what James endured, Irving's return Tuesday should be tame.
"They will be fine," James said of Irving and his new squad. "People were throwing batteries at us."
The Cavaliers are reportedly planning on airing a tribute video for Irving at some point during the night, which may go a long way in soothing the souls of disgruntled supporters.
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