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Irving scored 50 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an overtime loss.
Irving’s night included setting the record for most points in an NBA debut for any team, which also means he broke the record for most points scored by a Nets player in his debut. The previous marks were set by Kiki Vandeweghe when he scored 47 points in his 1984 debut with the Portland Trail Blazers and D'Angelo Russell when he scored 32 in his first Nets game in 2012.
The point guard also became the seventh Nets player to score 50 points in any game and the most recent player to score 50 points on a season-opener. The last player to score 50 points on a season opener was Anthony Davis and the player before that was Michael Jordan, according to ESPN.
Minnesota, however, got the last laugh, winning 127-126.
It was an emotional night for Irving, who grew up a fan of the New Jersey Nets and went to high school at St. Patrick’s across the Hudson River in Elizabeth, N.J, before he went to Duke.
“It just hit me before the game,” Irving said ahead of tip-off in an address to the crowd at the Barclays Center. “I wasn't trying to get too emotional or anything like that, but I'm just a Jersey kid playing for his home team. There's nothing like it. This has been brewing since I was in fourth grade.”
Irving signed a four-year, $136 million deal with the Nets in the offseason and it appears Brooklyn will be getting their monies worth if he continues to have performances like Wednesday throughout the year.
According to Spotrac, Irving will earn $31.7 million this season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.