Former Cavaliers Guard Kyrie Irving Tweets Out Message on Cleveland

Kyrie Irving

Getty Images Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets.

Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving still has fond memories of his former home and tweeted out a message reminiscing on his time in the city ahead of Monday’s matchup.

Irving’s Nets take on the Cavaliers on Monday in a battle of two of the Eastern Conference’s hottest teams. The Nets have won eight straight and 12 of their last 13 games. The Cavs are coming off a loss to the Raptors but had won five straight prior.

Irving was the top overall pick of the Cavs in 2011 and spent six seasons in Cleveland. Alongside LeBron James, he helped Cleveland to the title in 2016, which is something he holds close to his heart, despite the tumultuous route his career has taken since.

Prior to the matchup against the Cavs, Irving tweeted out a message for Cleveland.

“Nothing like landing in Believeland, OH,” Irving tweeted, with the ring and infinity emoji attached.

Irving Regretted How Exit From Cleveland Played Out

Irving has been fairly quiet about his exit from the Cavs played out but admitted he wasn’t mature enough at the time to deal with being a key part of a contender.

“If I was in the same maturity line and understanding of who I am, and I look back, we definitely, definitely would’ve won more championships, because there would’ve been a better man-to-man understanding about what I’m going through,” Irving said during an appearance on the “I AM ATHLETE” in May. “I didn’t know how to share my emotions. I didn’t know how to do that. So instead of sharing, I isolated myself.”

The seven-time All-Star guard said his relationships with his teammates — particularly LeBron James — were not as strong the year after winning the title, which played a role in Golden State dominating the next Finals.

“I just started pouring myself more into the game — I had one of my better seasons but I wasn’t connecting with everybody as much during the championship year,” Irving said. “So 2017, it was a different year for us. We went against Golden State, we went against a great team. When you’re not a great team and not clicking on all cylinders and together, you’re easily defeated. You’re defeated before you can get to the arena.”

Cleveland went through some lean years once Irving and then LeBron James left. But the franchise has climbed back, establishing themselves as a title contender behind Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and others.

Cavs Looking to Bounce Back From Physical Loss

The Cavaliers have lost just 12 times this season but are 0-3 against the sub-.500 Raptors, who handed Cleveland their latest loss.

“They kicked our ass, to be honest with you,” Mitchell said following the loss, per “You can say you have nights like that, but after a win like we had against Milwaukee, it was kind of upsetting to come out the way we did as a group, especially the starters. I put it on the starting five. We’ll be better, we’ll learn from it, and we’ll move on, but it’s definitely tough to come out the way we came out as a group.”

The Cavs have been great this season and have notched some big wins. However, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff felt a jolt back to reality wasn’t the worst thing for his squad to experience.

“I think when you have success, you tend to get comfortable and the great thing about the NBA is as soon as you get comfortable somebody kicks you in your face and Toronto is just the team to do it,” Bickerstaff said. “The style that they play, the physicality that they play with, if you are high on your horse, they’ll knock you down pretty quickly and I think they showed us that tonight.”

The Cavs are a 2-point favorite at home against Irving, Kevin Durant and the Nets.

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