Ever since he was traded to the Celtics a few months ago, people have hyped up Kyrie Irving's "return" to Cleveland—which makes sense, given the dramatic way the whole offseason trade saga played out. Still, it's kind of bizarre to hype his comeback when his first game of the season was on the Cavs' home floor. He hasn't even played a game that counts in Boston yet.
What I'm saying is there wasn't as much of an opportunity to build it up as there would have been if, say, they played on Christmas Day. Or even if they had played on December 2 (like LeBron did when he returned for the first time wearing a Heat jersey). But still, Kyrie's an opposing player now. And Cleveland was (correctly) going to air a video tribute to him celebrating his six seasons with the organization that took him with the first overall pick back in 2011.
However, that tribute never actually played, and team spokesman Tad Carper talked to Cleveland.com at halftime about the decision not to run it. "We were expecting to run it at a floating opportunity based on the right moment," he said. "And we felt that moment never presented itself."
It kind of sucks that that statement is so non-specific, but Carper also added that the decision for the audible was not "directly" related to the gruesome injury Gordon Hayward suffered in the first quarter, which pretty much overshadowed the rest of the game's events.
Additionally, Cleveland.com adds that a source who would know what they're talking about said "several inside the Cleveland locker room were upset Monday upon hearing that a video was planned." Carper said this was also not the reason for the cancelation, and further stated that nobody voiced their objections to him.
Guess we're not going to get a straight answer. Though, as you may have saw if you followed the game, Irving faced a heavy chorus of boos when he was introduced for Boston (which was a theme that continued throughout the night).
If Boston's going to play another game in Cleveland this season, it will have to wait until the playoffs.