Kyrie Irving shocked the NBA world when he requested a trade away from the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer.
After reaching three straight finals with the Cavs and winning the franchise's first championship in 2016, it came as a huge surprise that the point guard no longer wanted to be part of the organisation.
Irving was reportedly unwilling to continue playing with LeBron James and was seeking a move to a team where he could become the focal point and leader.
The Cavaliers granted him his wish and traded him to Eastern Conference rivals the Boston Celtics in a deal featuring Isaiah Thomas.
They also received Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick and a 2020 second-round, via the Miami Heat.
Ironically, Kyrie's regular-season debut with the Celtics will be back at Quicken Loans Arena to face his former teammates in one of the most eagerly-anticipated clashes of the year on Tuesday night.
It's unclear what kind of reception the four-time All-Star will get in Cleveland but even though he's expecting the game to generate a lot of hype, he appears to be unfazed by his return.
When asked if he's anxious about the game, he replied: “No. Why would I be? It’s just hoops.
“It’s just hooping. I understand the magnitude … but I know what it is going to entail in terms of marketing, whatever the case may be, to garner up this energy to make people feel a certain type of way. I get all that. It’s part of the game. It’s been a part of the game for a while, but it’s just two hoops and a basketball.
“It’s all love no matter what. I have heard boos at times to hearing cheers in the parade. I’ve been in the championship parade as well as being down 30 in ‘Q Arena.’ So I’ve heard it all. It’s just good to be there and hoop against a great team like the Cavs.”
After being part of a successful three-year stretch with LeBron and the Cavs, it's now the 25-year-old's job to overcome them in the east and end their dominance.
King James has been to seven straight finals and it will take something special to stop him reaching his eighth.
The main storyline going into this opening night clash is focused on the duo and their relationship and why Irving was desperate to leave the four-time MVP.
'Uncle Drew' is aware of the narrative and understands why.
“The only reason it kind of has garnered that much energy and attention is because of how special we were,” he said.
However, with James nursing an ankle injury, he's considered a doubt for the opener which would turn it into an anti-climax if he fails to recover in time.
But we can certainly expect the durable superstar to do everything in his power to take to the floor against his old running mate.