LeBron on: Cavs star playing in opener vs. Irving, Celtics

Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum right drives past Cleveland Cavaliers Le Bron James in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday Oct. 17 2017 in Cleveland

LeBron on: Cavs star playing in opener vs. Irving, Celtics

The Celtics should still be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this year, but with so many new parts it might take a while to gel.

Less than six minutes into the first game of the season, National Basketball Association player Gordon Hayward suffered a traumatic looking injury during a fall. James and Irving had a sometimes rocky relationship during three seasons together, but they made it to three straight NBA Finals and won the title in 2016. The context of his comments made them seem to most like he was suggesting Cleveland was not those things.

Motivation should be high for Irving, as he got what he wanted when he requested a trade. "Cleveland fans want the home team to win". The Cavaliers traded Irving in the offseason for a package that included Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas, who is out until at least December with a hip injury.

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Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Duke, averaged 21.6 points and 5.5 assists during his stint with the Cavs. The shot proved to be the game-winner and capped the Cavs record-making comeback from a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors.

"Oh, he's gonna go", Smith told Cleveland.com. "This was literally a decision I wanted to make exclusively based on my happiness and pushing my carer forward. So whatever they decide to do, I embrace whatever they do".

Lue said James will not have his minutes restricted. "[They] don't really pose that as a big threat to us". The Cavs debuted this gem before tipoff.

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