Thursday’s night bittersweet moment for the Cavaliers began with pride and ended with hurt but unweathered pride. While the Wine & Gold couldn’t rally for a win against the New York Knicks, last night was historic, and Cavs Nation would like to look back at the top 10 moments from LeBron’s official return to Cavaliers basketball.
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#9 Kendrick Lamar Pre-Game Performance
From a few hours before the game started, this game had the feel of a playoff game. Celebrities were seen everywhere, Usher was courtside, Michael Strahan was spotted as well as Justin Bieber. Pre-game, Kendrick Lamar played his new hit single “i”, live in front of a Cavs crowd ready to cheer on their new squad.
#8 Usher Sings National Anthem
Did you know Usher was a part owner of our Cleveland Cavaliers? Now you do.
One of the best of his genre, Usher straight up killed the anthem tonight. It was the perfect start to the homecoming of Ohio’s own.
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
#7 Introductions and Court Animations Pumped up the Crowd!
#6 First Bucket of the Night
Not the most exciting play of the night, but this is the basketball coach coming out of me. It didn’t take Kevin Love long to score, twelve seconds to be precise. On a simple back pick from Andy, Love caught the ball on the low post, sealed his defender and made a layup. Something we lacked for the rest of the game.
#5 Kevin Love’s Full Court Pass
This is Kevin Love, doing what he does best. The Knicks make a layup, within seconds Love has taken the inbounds pass, found LeBron in the front court for a layup. Keep an eye out for this for the rest of the season, Cavs Nation.
#4 LeBron Scores his First Points as a Cavalier Again with Tough Layup
LeBron struggled this game, but this layup had every Cavs fan smiling. With Carmelo Anthony draped all over him, LeBron powered through and made this tough layup. He didn’t shy away from showing the crowd what he thought of his bicep either.
Jason Miller/Getty Images
#3 Kevin Love Looks Right at Home
The fans in Cleveland have embraced their new superstar, and he didn’t let them down at all. Love was quite clearly Cleveland’s most productive player last night. He made his first bucket in a Cavaliers uniform just twelve seconds in, and that was just the beginning. Love ended the game with a double double, with 19 points on 6-14 shooting, 14 rebounds and add 4 assists on the night.
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
#2 The Loss
Bear with us Cavs Nation. Expectations were sky high for opening night; we were simply expected to win against the Knicks. LeBron’s homecoming, Kevin Love and many others made their debut, it was a huge night in many ways. With the first loss of the season done and out of the way, we can focus one what really matters: a daily process. This first loss grounds the team and may even drop the expectations just a little. This may shock you guys, but this team isn’t invincible, we proved that tonight. A loss may be the best thing for this team early in the season.
The Cavs played flat the entire night, and they will have get focused to play full 48 minute games. That’s why this moment of realization was key.
#1 The Return of the Chalk Toss
With the return of Ohio’s prodigal son, comes the return of our favorite pre game ritual, the chalk toss. Bags of confetti were given to each member of the crowd to join in on the festivities, and it set the mood for an incredible night.