Irving at center of rivalry as Celtics, Cavs kick off season


According to a team source, the video is a "thank you" to Irving meant to show appreciation for all he accomplished in six seasons here. However, the dynamic between Irving and LeBron James reportedly took a turn for the worst after the team got drubbed by Golden State Warriors in June's Finals.

Kyrie Irving's trade request this summer shook the Cavaliers, and the rest of the National Basketball Association but the 4-time All Star still won't say why he wanted out of Cleveland.

Meanwhile, there is a cloud of uncertainty over LeBron James' participation in Tuesday's game.

Like many athletes returning to a city they purposely left, Irving may be in for a hostile greeting from the Cleveland crowd, but James and Wade don't think it will be anything close to what they received during James' return to Cleveland after he signed with the Miami Heat. During the preseason, James aggravated an ankle injury he initially suffered in training camp [VIDEO].

"He's still the same player, just with a different team", Lue said. Yes, the obvious draw is Kyrie Irving now in a Celtics uniform, but several other new pieces on both teams, including Gordon Hayward and Jae Crowder, offer plenty of additional intrigue. "So excited to have one of the greatest guys on and off the court with us". And they're running some similar things.

"Um (long pause). No, not really, honestly", said Cavs guard J.R. Smith, as he ran through the major changes the Celtics made over the offseason. So that right there is a different framework than what I saw a year ago.

"It doesn't matter who's out there or in what uniform", said Love told as the discussion about former Cavs start guard and now Celtics playmaker Irving continued. "So we've just got to get used to it", added Irving.