While Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving was putting on a show in the second half of Sunday's Game 1 against the Boston Celtics, LeBron James took to Twitter to express his admiration for his former teammate:
James was clearly enjoying Irving's masterpiece in the final 24 minutes, in which he scored 24 of his 39 points to help the Nets overcome a 15-point deficit in the third quarter. Unfortunately, Brooklyn's comeback fell short as Jayson Tatum's buzzer-beating layup gave Boston a 115-114 win.
Irving looked to be extra motivated while playing in front of Celtics fans, who booed him relentlessly every time he touched the ball. Irving had spent two seasons in Boston prior to signing with Brooklyn in 2019.
James and Irving have an interesting history. Together, they helped bring Cleveland its first championship in any sport by leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title win over the Golden State Warriors in 2016. The Cavs overcame a 3-1 deficit to take down Golden State, which had set an all-time record that year by finishing 73-9 in the regular season.
But despite the on-court success, Irving was visibly uncomfortable playing in James' shadow, and he orchestrated his exit to Boston one year after winning the title. Irving took a dig at James soon after he signed with Brooklyn, saying Kevin Durant was the first teammate he truly trusted in the clutch. James admitted to being "hurt" by the comments.
Still, it's clear that James is man enough to give credit where credit is due, and he enjoyed Irving's performance on Sunday just like any other NBA fan.