Cavaliers, WWW

When a player you love wants out: While We’re Waiting

Oh, Cleveland. How did we get here?

In terms of our beloved Cavs, the past week really… well, it really escalated quickly, didn’t it?

Last Friday afternoon, I was elbow-deep in a pitcher of watermelon margaritas at Johnny Mangos when an ESPN push notification popped up on my phone. I glanced over and saw a note that Kyrie Irving had asked the Cavs not to trade him. “Well… obviously,” I thought to myself. “Slow news day, ESPN?”

Minutes later, my phone blew up. Texts and tweets and general outrage over Kyrie were suddenly flooding in. Confused, I looked again. Oh.

How strong were those margaritas, Johnny?

I, like so many Cleveland fans, was equal parts baffled and heartbroken at the news that Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving had asked the team to be traded away. Didn’t he love us as much as we love him? Doesn’t he love it here, in beautiful, sunny Cleveland? Isn’t he happy returning to the NBA Finals three years in a row, one of which he hit the game-winning shot in Game 7, when the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead?

The answer to all three of those questions is, “apparently not.” Or, at the very least, “not enough.” So much time and energy, not to mention all the sports-talk listener calls, devoted to where LeBron James is heading in 2018—we, collectively, never saw this coming.

It’s a terrible feeling, knowing that one of our best players wants to leave. It sucks. The thought of Kyrie in anything other than wine and gold already makes my heart hurt. But if he wants out, he’s probably already as good as gone. The sooner we accept that fact—even if we don’t agree with his reasons why—the sooner we’ll all be OK, Cleveland.

So, now what? I’m no expert at this, but here’s how I’m coping. Let’s call it the “Handy Guide for Getting Over Kyrie Irving.”

In the Immediate Future

Wait and see. I’ve never been one for patience, but what more can we Cavs fans do at this point? The wheels are in motion, but nothing is final or announced yet. Quit over-thinking. Quit asking yourself what you could have done. Let’s take some deep breaths, and see what happens.

Distract. Hopefully you’ve noticed, but things are happening on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. Instead of dreaming up more potential deals in the NBA trade machine, why not mosey over to The Jake and take in a game? Eat some amazing food, drink some good beer, cheer for the racing Hot Dogs… your broken little heart will feel better in no time.

Decide your fandom. One thing to consider: Do you love Kyrie enough to keep cheering for him, regardless of where he lands? If you do, great. You’re a Kyrie fan first and a Cavs fan second and that’s totally OK. If you don’t, SAME. Wish him well and prepare yourself for what’s to come.

If He Gets Traded

Don’t burn your Irving jersey. Bruh. For the love of God, don’t be that guy (or girl).

Don’t give it away, either. I can assure you that I eventually regretted the decision to aggressively donate my blue-and-orange LeBron throwback to the Cuyahoga Falls Goodwill on the morning of July 9, 2010. Don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling. For now, fold up that jersey and stick it in the back of a dresser drawer. Roll up your Uncle Drew T-shirt and shove it under your bed. Get that stuff out of sight, but keep it, OK? You never know.

Don’t be a dick. Depending on where he lands, Kyrie will more than likely end up facing the Cavs back at The Q sometime. Don’t boo him. Don’t tweet at him. Don’t send him snaps or leave hateful comments on his Instagram uploads. Please. Let’s give the guy, who gave us his first six years in the NBA, a little bit of respect.

Treasure the memories—and move on. Watch The Shot. Watch it again. Watch every single Uncle Drew clip you can find. We don’t have to love the fact that Kyrie wanted out and left, but we can love the time he spent here.

And, no matter what happens, we’ll always have 2016. Thanks, Kyrie, for everything.