Kyrie Irving and LeBron James won a championship together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they were briefly reunited on Sunday night at the NBA All-Star Game.
Irving expressed his appreciation for being selected by James postgame, and the respect he has for the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.
“I was happy to get picked to his team,” Irving said, according to Mavericks’ reporter Grant Afseth. “Wish we could have gotten the win. I’ve been a firsthand witness to a lot of his great accomplishments. I was there when he was passing a lot of guys on Cleveland and then us being competitors, it only made the game a lot better. I think we’ve learned a lot from one another and just wishing him nothing but the best.”
Mavericks' Kyrie Irving being picked by LeBron James for the NBA All-Star Game:
"I was happy to get picked to his team. Wish we could have gotten the win. I've been a firsthand witness to a lot of his great accomplishments. I was there when he was passing a lot of guys on… https://t.co/uMIB7AIeCI pic.twitter.com/TBcQyIaRSh
— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) February 20, 2023
Irving and James helped propel one of the most improbable finals comebacks in recent memory in 2016, erasing a 3-1 series lead to the dominant Golden State Warriors to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win their first NBA Championship.
The Cavs could have been a dynasty if not for Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the Warriors, who defeated them in the final in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were an electric duo while teammates in Cleveland, but it ended after Irving requested a trade in 2017, eventually being dealt to the Boston Celtics.
“It’s always good to see him. I’m very proud of him,” LeBron James said about his former teammate, per Kyle Goon. “Very proud of the man that he has become in his life right now.”
Team Giannis beat Team LeBron 184-175 behind an NBA All-Star Game record 55 points from Jayson Tatum, the game’s Most Valuable Player.
James left the game due to a hand injury in the second quarter, but it was still great to see Irving and James wearing the same jersey for the first time in six years.