In recognition of his contribution to their success, including their championship run in 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers will honor former point guard Kyrie Irving during their season-opening game against the Boston Celtics on October 17. Joe Vardon of reported that the Cavaliers will show a video tribute for Irving at some point during the game. It was a surprise considering the way things transpired in the offseason where Irving demanded a trade from the Cavaliers.

In July, Irving met with team owner Dan Gilbert and asked that he be traded to a team where he would be the focal point of the offense.

Also, Irving expressed that he’s tired of playing under LeBron James’ enormous shadow in Cleveland. The Cavaliers granted Irving’s request one month later, trading him to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick.

Irving was the No. 1 overall pick by the Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA Draft. He played six years in Cleveland, becoming its biggest star before James returned to the team in 2014. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2012 after averaging 18.5 points in 51 games. He was selected as an All-Star four times, from 2013 to 2015 -- and in 2017 -- and made it to the All-NBA Third Team in 2015. In his six years with the Cavaliers, Irving averaged 21.6 points, 3.4 board and 5.6 dimes in 381 games.

How will fans react to Irving?

However, it’s interesting to see how Cavaliers fans will react to Irving, who recently angered Cleveland in his latest interview about his new city. In an interview with Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Irving said his move to Boston gave him a chance to play "in a real, live sports city.” Comparing Cleveland to Boston, Irving said his former city has a different culture while his new town is “real, alive and ongoing, thriving city no matter what hour throughout the night.” Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue and new acquisition Dwyane Wade defended Cleveland, calling the city a great sports town.

Irving expects a rowdy welcome

In an interview with Jay King of, Irving downplayed his return to Cleveland, saying “"it's just hoops, man.” However, Irving expects a rowdy welcome from Cavaliers fans, especially now that he’s coming in as an opponent. Irving said he will not concentrate on the noise of the crowd, but will instead concentrate on giving his new team a victory at the expense of his former squad.