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Kyrie Irving reflects on time with the Cavaliers: “You know, 2016 is forever”

Kyrie Irving returned to Cleveland after more than a year and shared a heartfelt message with the fans as the Dallas Mavericks fell to the Cavs 119-121 on Tuesday night. Irving scored 30 points on 50% shooting, but it was not enough for the Dallas to overcome the scorching-hot Max Strus.

Kyrie expressed his gratitude to the people of Ohio and referred to the “Believeland” era expressing also the wish to see the current Cavaliers’ team have success. Irving had a huge part in the team’s 2016 championship title run against the almighty 73–9 Warriors.

“Oh man, it’s beautiful,” Irving said, via Grant Afseth of DallasBasketball.com. “Shout out to all the Cavs fans, and I don’t want to just say Cavs fans, but all of Ohio. You know, 2016 is forever. I don’t think anyone’s touching that historical moment, but if someone does, God bless them.” 

Kyrie Irving struggled to shoot the ball in the first half but he quickly recovered with 22 points in the last 24 minutes of the game. That said, Max Strus 21-point performance and his half-court winning heave that capped a 15-point explosion in the 4th made Kyrie Irving and co. to drop to 33-25 in the Western Conference.

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Kyrie Irving’s stats against Cleveland since he left the Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving hasn’t appeared in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers since December 2022. The Dallas Mavericks star played his first game against his former team this season and had a strong 30-point game. Irving left Cleveland in the summer of 2017 for the Boston Celtics.

He moved from Boston in 2019 to join Kevin Durant in the Brooklyn Nets. After trials and tribulation (many of them self-inflicted), Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks last season and he hopes that he can help the organization alongside Luka Doncic win an NBA championship.

Irving has only appeared in 11 games against the Cavaliers since he departed from Cleveland in the summer of 2017. He averages 25.4 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds through those 11 games.

“Every time I come into this building, I look up at that banner, and it just brings me back to all those emotions,” Irving admitted. “And I’m just grateful for my time here, and I really want to get that across to the Cavs fans, Cavs organization.”

The Mavs suffered their second consecutive loss during this week as they’re starting a short 2-game road trip in which they will face the Raptors (Feb.29) and the Celtics (Mar.2). That said, Kyrie Irving is set to play in a hostile environment in Boston as the fans still hold a grudge against him after leaving the organization for Brooklyn in 2019.

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