In Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, a fan walked onto the court wearing a white shirt that read "KYRIE DON'T LEAVE."
First, there needs to be some serious reevaluation of the court-side security at Quicken Loans Arena. This is the second time in the last two seasons where a fan was able to get onto the court in order to send a message to a player with their clothing.
Last year, while playing the Miami Heat, a fan similarly entered the field of play with a shirt that said "We Miss You" on the front and "LeBron 2014" on the back. This fan focused his attention on LeBron James, as he was clearly trying to get the superstar to return to Cleveland when he is a free agent next summer.
The ability for these fans to get on the court is alarming. Though both fans meant no hard to the players, the result of both incidents could have been worse. The most recent event was handled so slowly, it was almost as if the organization wanted Irving to get the fan's message (no, I'm not attempting to start conspiracy theories).
The boy came up behind Irving with 3:09 left in the second quarter and was able to stand behind the player while he dribbled. After Irving passed the ball to Andrew Bynum, the fan tapped him on the shoulder, unzipped his jacket, and showed Irving his message.
As Irving headed down to the defensive end of the court after the play, the fan followed in that direction. It was as Clippers' guard Chris Paul was dribbling up the court that the official – and Paul – took notice and security finally apprehended the boy and escorted him from the premises.
Obviously no Cavalier fan wants to see Irving leave Cleveland, especially after witnessing James take his talents south, but this is an interesting way to get the message across. Having a second superstar leave their city in a five-year span would be devastating for city already starved for sports success, but showcasing this by invading the court is not going to make a player stay.
Irving is in the third year of his rookie contract and the Cavaliers have already picked up the option. This means that Irving could become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015 and the Cavs would have to match any offers he receives in order to keep him.
Cleveland will be able to offer Irving an extension this summer, but it is unknown if he will accept or not. Like many NBA players these days, Irving has been quiet on what he will do saying he would rather focus on the present.
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