Donovan Mitchell Wants Cavs To Retire Kyrie Irving’s Jersey

Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Cavaliers, NBA
Dec 26, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) talks to Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Given how frequently players move around the NBA nowadays, jersey retirements are something we could see less and less of. In this age of player empowerment, players are teaming up with one another and leaving behind franchises to do so.

One of those NBA stars who has played on several franchises looking to find his way is Kyrie Irving. The Dallas Mavericks acquired Irving from the Brooklyn Nets ahead of the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline, becoming the fourth franchise he has played for in his 13 seasons as a professional.

It was the second time in his career that Irving was traded, as the first instance was when the Cleveland Cavaliers sent him to the Boston Celtics. In both transactions, it was Irving who was pushing for a trade as he sought a change of scenery.

Seeking out a trade is something that will sometimes mar the relationship between a player and a franchise. We saw how Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert responded to LeBron James leaving in free agency when he signed with the Miami Heat and Irving almost certainly burned some bridges on his way out of Cleveland as well.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

Despite that, current NBA superstar Donovan Mitchell believes the Cavaliers should retire Irving’s No. 2. He recently spoke about it following his team’s shootaround on Tuesday night as Mitchell and the Cavaliers prepare to host Irving and the Mavericks.

“He should have his jersey retired for sure,” Mitchell said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “Being able to do what he did at the highest level, year after year, to go from not winning to being able to do that and have that impact I think is something that was truly remarkable. Obviously, what he has done in the playoffs in his career and in Cleveland, where he brought the city a championship, I feel like him, K-Love [Kevin Love], and Bron [LeBron James] should all have their jerseys retired. I think he should definitely have it retired. 

“Only championship in team history, and he was a huge part of that,” Mitchell explained. “I think that’s something that should never go overlooked.”

Mitchell certainly makes a good case for Irving to have his number retired, and he very likely isn’t the only person who feels that way. Regardless of how ownership or the fan base feels about Irving, he is connected to the franchise forever as a key contributor to their only championship team to this point.

Still playing at a high level, Irving is nowhere near ready to end his playing career. But, once he is, there will be plenty of discussions about whether or not his jersey should be raised to the rafters, presumably alongside that of LeBron James.

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