I’m not going to lie, I wanted a petty battle. I picked Kyrie Irving on every one of my daily fantasy line-ups because I wanted to celebrate every point as he drops 40 on his former team and lets LeBron and a booing Cleveland crowd know about it with mean-muggin’ looks. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in wanting to see this and for Irving to break an ankle of one of his former teammates. All of those wishes turned to guilt and went out the window six minutes into the game, when Gordon Hayward broke his ankle.
After minutes of delay and sights of fans and players on both sides in tears and disbelief, I just hoped for a good game with good performances from two good people who gave us so many great memories and highlights and the city of Cleveland a championship. I got what I wished for.
In his impressive Celtics debut, Irving scored 22 points and dished out a game-high 10 assists to go with 3 steals and 4 threes. LeBron, who was questionable hours before the game, scored a game-high 29 to go with 16 boards and 9 assists in a 102-99 win for the Cavs. When the final buzzer ended, the two embraced with a hug, which really is a much better image than the two ignoring each other or exchanging dirty looks.
After the hug, Irving and former teammates Kevin Love, JR Smith and Channing Frye brought out their personalized handshakes and showed they still have love for each other.