News of Irving's departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers broke at about 7:30 p.m. James offered his first public response about three hours later.
"King James" had a humble response after seeing the news. He responded to a tweet from Tony Hartman. The initial tweet said "Ok Cavs fans you know what to do.." It featured an Irving Cavaliers jersey video. It was meant to mimic videos of when fans burn jerseys after players leave their favorite teams. Instead of setting the threads on fire, a handwritten letter is placed on top. The letter reads: "Thank u so much."
Irving joined the Cavaliers in 2011. The four-time All-Star arrived in Cleveland two seasons after James departed for the Miami Heat. He was the first of three No. 1 overall draft picks Cleveland attained in the four years following James' departure.
"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode #Filayy," James tweeted.
Cleveland averaged 26 wins in Irving's first three seasons prior to James' return. The Celtics sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick in 2018 to the Cavaliers in the trade.
A big THANK YOU from the entire organization & we wish you well in the next chapter of your career. pic.twitter.com/7PDqLJgMQ9— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) August 23, 2017
The 25-year-old Irving averaged a career-best 25.2 points per game last season. He has three years left on his current contract.