LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0) will take on his former team, the Miami Heat (0-2) on October 11 in the NBA preseason. Statiscally, James is expectedly to do well as a returning player to his hometown team, not to mention that LeBron James has consistently played well as one of the league’s most consistent players. Despite this, the Cavs vs Heat game may consist of more meaning than just a competitive preseason matchup. This game will be the first time that LeBron will be on the same court as the Miami Heat and not have his no. 23 Heat jersey on. Many NBA fans may be wondering just how this game will go and how it will set the tone for the two teams for the remainder of the season.
Since James decided to leave Miami this summer to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA has witnessed various reactions from fans throughout the league. Cleveland rejoiced despite the hatred that grew towards LeBron when he initially left to be with the biggest team in their conference in 2010. He contributed greatly to the Heat and brought them two back-to-back championships, while many may argue that he should have done that for Cleveland. Miami more-so became worried what would happen to the other two players in their Big Three- Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh- when LeBron confirmed he was signing to go back home. Both of them decided to keep their loyalty to Miami. It has not been a questionable transition since then.
Chris Bosh has admitted that he has not spoken to LeBron since his decision to leave Miami in July, though he did state that he and his wife sent a baby shower gift to James and his wife. It was also reported that Bosh briefly spoke to LeBron at Wade’s recent wedding with actress, Gabrielle Union, on August 30. Other than that, Bosh has made it clear that his former teammate is just that- a former teammate playing for the other team and sitting on the other bench. Chris Bosh is known for being just as if not more competitive than Wade and James. Both stars want the same for their team- to win games and ultimately, win an NBA championship. Just how competitive will this first game be? Though it will undoubtedly be a heated matchup, fans are anxious to see how this game will set the mood for future games this season and could set itself to be another conference rivalry.
While Chris Bosh has not spoken to LeBron within the past few months, Bosh has no problem talking about him. Bosh has confronted and warned newly signed Cavalier, Kevin Love, about playing with a player as big as LeBron James and explained to him that he would need to adjust his play technique and sacrifice his numbers. The two power-forwards may be playing the same position, but within time, Love will have to find his own rhythm when playing alongside one of the best players in the NBA.
For four years, LeBron James has been torn apart by Cavalier fans when the Heat traveled to Cleveland. This year, those fans have turned around and many may be anxious to see how similar Miami will react when LeBron and his Cavaliers have to travel down to Miami in the regular season. LeBron has a little time to prepare for those distractions as this preseason matchup will be held in HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Commentary by Tricia Manalansan