Kyrie Irving on playing for Kyrie in Cleveland: ‘It’s just so important for us to win’

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kyrie James said Thursday that he expects to play for his hometown team again in 2017.

James, who has missed the last three seasons due to knee and ankle injuries, told reporters that he plans to return to his hometown of Akron for the 2017-18 season.

“Yeah, it’s pretty much my last chance to play in my hometown of Cleveland,” James said.

“That’s kind of where it all started.

So yeah, it is a tough thing to say goodbye to my hometown and it’s kind to have that chance, but it’s just going to be a good feeling to come back to it.

It’s just something I’ll cherish for a long time.

For me personally, I want to play my home town, Cleveland.

That’s my hometown.

I want it to be the place I grew up.

So it’s going to just be another way for me to be able to be in the same place, and it definitely will be a blessing for my family and I’m excited for the future.”

James played in all 82 games for the Cavs this season after making a career-high 34 starts during the 2015-16 season.

The 6-foot-9 forward scored 27 points and had a career high-tying 11 assists for the Cavaliers.

Irving is set to become the first player in Cavaliers history to average at least 21 points, 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists during his career.

He was the team’s MVP last season with 24.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 6.5 blocks per game.