Kyrie Irving shows major love to Cavs and city of Cleveland after latest return

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cleveland Cavaliers and current Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving shared multiple heartfelt messages towards Cleveland and the Cavs organization after facing the team on Tuesday night.

While Irving and the Mavericks were on the wrong side of a heartbreaking loss after Max Strus sunk a half-court shot at the buzzer, the former No. 1 overall pick still had nothing but good things to say about the organization that drafted him.

After the game, Irving shared a post on social media thanking the city for his time there and displaying how much the Cavs’ title from the 2015-16 season meant to him.

The eight-time All-Star shared that the elusive title makes him emotional and that he is “just grateful for my time here.”

Irving also appreciated Cleveland for loving him despite the mistakes that he made.

Even though Irving left the organization through a trade to the Boston Celtics after the 2016-17 season, it truly seems like Cleveland will always hold a special place in his heart.

The Cavs took Irving with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and he eventually became the perfect running mate next to LeBron James when the four-time champion returned to Cleveland ahead of the 2014-15 season.

James and Irving went to three NBA Finals together, erasing a 3-1 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals to deliver the first title in Cavs franchise history.

Irving was magnificent in the NBA Finals that season, averaging 27.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game in the seven-game series. He also hit arguably the most clutch shot in Cavs history in Game 7 to seal the win – and the title – for the franchise.

Since leaving Cleveland, Irving has played for the Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Mavericks.

He blossomed as a scorer later in his NBA career, averaging over 25 points per game in every season since he joined the Nets ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. Irving had just one season in Cleveland where he averaged over 25 points per game, putting up 25.2 points per game in the 2016-17 campaign.

Irving’s contributions to the Cavs’ title in 2016 and success in James’ second stint with the franchise will never be forgotten. It’s nice to see that the former Cavs guard still holds the franchise in high regard at this stage in his career.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.