In the interview in The Athletic, Durant said: “Um, it was a unique experience. I went with no expectation, no view on what it’s supposed to be like. I usually go to places where I at least have a view in my head. India, I’m thinking I’m going to be around palaces and royalty and gold — basically thought I was going to Dubai. Then when I landed there, I saw the culture and how they live and it was rough. It’s a country that’s 20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience. You see cows in the street, monkeys running around everywhere, hundreds of people on the side of the road, a million cars and no traffic violations.
October 19, 2017 | 11:21 am EDT Update
In an effort to create more space on offense and to make Dwyane Wade’s transition to the starting lineup a bit more smooth, head coach Tyronn Lue moved his All-Star over one spot, swapping out long-time starter Tristan Thompson. “It’s going to be tough for fives to move around with him,” Lue said recently. “When we run pick-and-rolls, they can’t really get out and show. He’s going to have a lot of open shots and we know Kevin, he can make shots. “When we play big and Tristan goes to the 5 and he goes to the 4, we’re back to our normal positioning. We’re going to try it out and see how it works. He was frustrated at first, but now he’s enjoying it.”
October 19, 2017 | 9:59 am EDT Update
But the Cavs certainly hadn’t forgotten that he quit on them and set out on a path for greater personal accolades. Cleveland.com reported that some players were upset about the Cavs’ production of a video tribute for Irving. It was never shown, with the team saying it had a floating time slot that never presented itself. Hayward’s fractured and dislocated left tibia just 5:15 into the game may have contributed. But considering the ire it prompted, perhaps not.