Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James says Kyrie Irving's return to Cleveland won't compare to his

Ty Anderson
October 17, 2017 - 2:50 am

Kyrie Irving’s return to Cleveland will not hold a candle to the volatile return to The Land that LeBron James experienced back in 2010 as a member of the Miami Heat.

This, of course (and as expected), is according to James himself.

"Everybody's good. Everybody's good," James told Rachel Nichols of ESPN’s The Jump as part of a joint interview with teammate Dwyane Wade that aired during Monday Night Football. "[Kevin Durant] last year in Oklahoma City, Paul George going to go back to Indiana, you know, D-Wade's going to go to Chicago, Kyrie's coming back to Cleveland. No [it will not compare to James’ return to Cleveland with the Heat].

"[Irving and the Celtics] will be fine,” James said. “People were throwing batteries at us."

Irving, who will actually be honored with a video tribute prior to the game, also downplayed hostility from the city he demanded a trade from when speaking on Sunday.

"It's just hoops, man," Irving said following Sunday’s practice in Waltham. "Just hoops.”

And the 25-year-old Irving went even deeper than that, too.

"The excitement and the energy is there, but I think everything extra has been created by outside influence,” Irving, who has been upfront and unrelenting with his refusal to talk about his falling out with LeBron and the Cavaliers organization, be it to local media or national media, said. “That's neither here nor there. I don't know what that reality is.

"I don't necessarily concern myself with that because if I do I'd really be doing myself a disservice and my teammates a disservice of trying to figure out whether or not I want to give some distractions or specific people energy in terms of what they're saying or what they think about what's going on. Everyone's entitled to an opinion. I respect it. But it's my job to go out there and be the best I can be for my teammates and ultimately try to win every single game and put myself and my teammates in a great position to win.”

It may be just hoops, and Irving’s reception may pale in comparison to that of LeBron’s one with his Cleveland return seven years ago, but it’ll still be a surely rocking arena, and with Irving undoubtedly feeling unwelcomed. 

Just with batteries (probably) not included. 

Comments ()