Rookie coach David Blatt may be happy about LeBron James trading Miami glitz for Cleveland grit. But Blatt’s joy is nothing compared to that of Cavaliers point guard sensation Kyrie Irving. Irving has got plenty to be happy about–he just signed a five-year, $90M “max” contract. One day later, James announced he was headed home. When Irving tweeted about being “ecstatic, super excited and blessed” to be in Cleveland, one fan’s 5-word response pretty much summed up the feeling around Cleveland basketball right now. “Isabella” tweeted simply I love you so much. Which is the emotion Irving feels for James, and what James apparently feels for All-Star Kevin Love, who may also end up in Cleveland.
Owner Dan Gilbert is feeling the love big time, too. His major mea culpa to James (“my bad, LeBron, calling you all those names when you left four years ago, didn’t mean it, really”) has put Kyrie Irving and LeBron James on the same court for the foreseeable future. Basketball people looking through history for a good comparative duo tend to come up blank–James is sui generis and Irving is one of the best talents in the league. Maybe Kevin Johnson when Charles Barkley went to Phoenix? But Irving is stronger than Johnson was. If Kevin Love ends up in a Cavaliers uniform, they may start renaming streets for Dan Gilbert.