LeBron James knows how fans can react negatively to a star player leaving town, having experienced it firsthand as he left Cleveland in 2010 then Miami in 2014. So when Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, the four-time MVP piggybacked on one fan’s positive message to share some kind words and urge Cleveland Cavaliers fans to do the same.
Ok Cavs fans you know what to do.. pic.twitter.com/pZMI6SX8Hb
— tony hartman (@tony_hartman) August 22, 2017
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 23, 2017
In the aftermath of James’s departure from Cleveland after “The Decision” in 2010, images of fans burning his jersey circulated on social media, and the same happened — to a much lesser extent — when he left Miami to return to Cleveland four years later.
Irving, whose trade request became public last month, spent six years with the Cavaliers, playing the past three alongside James, with the team reaching the NBA Finals each of those three seasons. Irving famously made the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals to lead the Cavaliers to their first NBA title, ending a 52-year championship drought in Cleveland.
Irving will return to Cleveland as a member of the Celtics on the first night of the NBA season, Oct. 17.