While Irving is expecting a wild return to Cleveland during the first NBA regular-season game of the season Tuesday, he doesn’t appear to be anxious. “No. Why would it be? It’s just hoops,” Irving said before Wednesday’s shootaround in preparation for a preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets. “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.
October 20, 2017 | 9:05 pm EDT Update
Smith tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in August 2015, the summer before his senior year of high school. He experienced swelling in the knee after shootaround Friday, and the decision was made to not start him less than an hour before the game.