Donovan Mitchell wants the Cavs to retire 2016 NBA champion Kyrie Irving’s jersey ‘for sure’

Kyrie Irving played for the Cleveland Cavaliers for 6 seasons and helped them win their only NBA title.

Donovan Mitchell wants the Cavs to retire 2016 NBA champion Kyrie Irving’s jersey ‘for sure’

Donovan Mitchell believes Kyrie Irving's jersey should be retired by the Cleveland Cavaliers (image via NBA. X account)

Kyrie Irving is one of the reasons the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA title. His contributions to the only championship in Cavaliers history remain folklore in the basketball community. So naturally, the Cavaliers should commemorate his contributions. At least Donovan Mitchell wants his team to retire Irving’s jersey to appreciate his contributions.

Mitchell spoke with Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Afseth during Tuesday’s shootaround at the Cavaliers facility. On the topic of Irving’s jersey retirement, this is what Mitchell said:

He should have his jersey retired for sure. 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. I think he should definitely have it retired.
Donovan Mitchell via Sports Illustrated

Mitchell thought Irving’s contributions alongside LeBron James and Kevin Love were significant enough to bring the Cavaliers their first championship. Irving shot the clutch three-point over Steph Curry in the 2016 Finals to give the Cavs the lead before James blocked a lay-up from Andre Iguodala.

Donovan Mitchell credited Kyrie Irving for influencing his playing style. Irving’s cut moves, hesitations, crossovers, and the ability to finish at the basket became effective weapons for Mitchell. However, Mitchell admitted that it was not easy to emulate them as Irving did. Irving’s clutch shooting and ability to take difficult shots were vital in their 2016 NBA title run.

Mitchell added that Irving’s free-flowing and creative style of play was something everyone should appreciate while he still played. The Cavs fans always appreciated Kyrie Irving. Hence, his jersey might get retired further down the line.

Kyrie Irving and his contributions towards the Cavs 2016 NBA Championship

The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Kyrie Irving as the 1st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. From the word go, Irving was the de facto main contributor on the team. But the real contribution came when LeBron James returned to his hometown team, and Kevin Love came in via trade. Cleveland brought together this big 3 to bring home a championship.

Kyrie Irving's contributions in the 2016 title win for the Cavaliers warrants a jersey retirement
Kyrie Irving for the Cavaliers in 2016 (image via Cleveland Daily/X)

And they did, during the 2015-16 season. Even though James was the 1st option scorer, Irving’s big-time scoring ability helped the Cavaliers win their first NBA title in history. His ability to score in clutch moments helped the Cavaliers to win against the dynastical Golden State Warriors.

Donovan Mitchell wanted Kyrie Irving to be appreciated for that contribution. Without Irving, the Cavaliers would not have a Championship banner in their arena. Mitchell wants the Cleveland hierarchy to do the right thing for Irving. Only time will tell if it indeed happens.

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