The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 102-99 on Tuesday in the NBA season-opener, although the game was overshadowed by Gordon Hayward’s devastating ankle injury.
After the game, however, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James at least gave us something to smile about.
After Irving missed the game-tying three-pointer in James’ face as time expired, the two exchanged a big hug before Irving went on to hug several other Cavs players.
Here was the hug:
Irving even continued former, more elaborate handshakes with old teammates:
The interaction between James and Irving was surprising as Irving had requested a trade from Cleveland in the offseason, reportedly to get out from under James’ shadow. James was reportedly “devastated” by the news, with some reports saying he was mad.
Irving, for his part, seemed unapologetic for the move. When asked if he told James of the request, he simply asked, “Why would I have to?” On Tuesday, when asked about the request by media, Irving said he wouldn’t divulge his reasons and wanted to move past it.
James also never took any public shots at Irving. In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, James said “we’re all good,” about Irving’s return to Cleveland, saying he would not face an overly hostile crowd.