Kyrie Irving has his first game back in Cleveland on Tuesday. If you can believe it, there’s going to be #peakdrama for the opener. There will be ample moments for body language Twitter to take a deep dive and hyper analyze, and we’re here to get you ready for every single one of them.
Here are five prospective moments in Kyrie’s return you’re going to need to keep your eyes on:
1) Starting lineup introductions
This will be our first real taste at what kind of treatment Cavs fans are going to give Irving during his first game as a Celtic. If we get mixed results, then we might be in for a light night. If it goes the other way...welp.
Official prediction: Kyrie gets mostly boos, but it won’t be overwhelmingly loud.
2) The LeBron-Kyrie pre-game dap-up (or lack thereof)
Man, oh man, will the cameras be locked in on this one. Will they exchange pleasantries? Will they wordlessly slap hands? A major upset would be for them to go through their entire convoluted handshake routine that LeBron has to spend 30 percent of his free time.
Official prediction: A short, but civil exchange. LeBron has mostly played polite during this saga publicly. He isn’t going off-message for something this obvious.
3) The first time LeBron gets switched onto Kyrie
This is going to be sneaky amazing. You know Derrick Rose is gonna die on some screens, so this had better happen at least once or twice. Kyrie’s whole performance is incredibly hard to predict. Is he gonna try to score 50 and stick it to the Cavs? Or will he have one of those weird Kobe games where he tries to rack up 47 assists to prove how unselfish he is in his new environment?
Official prediction: Kyrie is going to dribble the ball so damn hard he’ll put a dent in it.
4) The first time Kyrie gets switched onto LeBron
I don’t even have to do a write-up on this one. LeBron is going to plow over Kyrie and get called for charging.
Official prediction: LeBron is going to plow over Kyrie and get called for charging.
5) The tribute video
Ah, the Pièce De Résistance; the tribute video. The Cavaliers reportedly haven’t yet decided when to play the tribute video, but if I may suggest, I’d recommend they get it out of the way early. You don’t want to let a crowd get drunk and irritated, especially if things don’t go well. For the love of God, it will be so awkward if he gets booed through the whole damn thing.
On the other side of things, remembering the good times can be cathartic for all involved. It might dissolve some tension to see him dot Steph Curry’s eye to win a championship. Only time will tell.
Official prediction: A smattering of boos before, but an emotionally confused crowd won’t really know what to do with itself in the aftermath.