This is disheartening, and awful
Kyrie Irving was the #1 draft pick in the 2011 draft, and the first step the Cleveland Cavaliers took towards their current positioning: back to the NBA Finals, with LeBron James commandeering the team, and city. This is Irving’s first postseason and NBA Finals, and it has come to an unfortunate, heartbreaking end.
While trying to execute a routine crossover move on Klay Thompson last night, Irving’s knee buckled, he stumbled, and appeared to be in excruciating pain as he attempted to maneuver around the court by himself. He ended up needing a trainer’s help to get back to the locker room, and the grimaces on his face worsened as he neared the gallows of Oracle Arena. He knew it was over long before we did.
Now, we know. The Cleveland Cavaliers have officially announced that Irving will need surgery on a fractured knee, which will keep him out 3-6 months, and certainly the rest of the NBA Finals. This puts LeBron in the disadvantageous, but familiar position of having to lead an eager group of role players into battle every night against a fine-tuned, healthy, dominant Western Conference Champion (see: 2007 NBA Finals). Kevin Love, whom the Cavs traded their #1 pick, Andrew Wiggins, for in the off-season with the idea that Love gave them a better chance to win right away, has been watching from the sidelines all season after an awkward run-in with Boston Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk in the first round of these playoffs ensured the end of his season.