LeBron James' playing status for Tuesday's season opener against Boston remains unclear. The two teams are expected to meet in the Eastern Conference finals, almost eight months from now, though it should be pointed out that Cleveland is 13-3 against Boston over the last three seasons (counting playoffs). Yes, the obvious draw is Kyrie Irving now in a Celtics uniform, but several other new pieces on both teams, including Gordon Hayward and Jae Crowder, offer plenty of additional intrigue.
But Cleveland Cavaliers teammate J.R. Smith was definite the superstar would play.
"Oh, he's gonna go", Smith said after practice Monday.
"Any time I'm able to be a free agent or my contract is ending, I'll approach that when the summer comes", said James, who returned to Cleveland in 2014 and led the Cavs to their only league title in 2016. "I really don't know, I mean, just depends on how he feels after today".
Draymond Green throws shade at Houston Rockets prior to season opener
The league is starting a week earlier In an effort to cut down on travel and to allow more recovery time for players. After securing their second NBA Championship in three years the Golden State Warriors won free agency, too.
"I'll foul the shit out of him", James said with a laugh.
The 32-year-old James did not miss an opener in his previous 14 seasons, and it would be hard to imagine sitting this one out.
But James said he planned to hammer his son with physical play, even if he fouled out of the game or took a flagrant foul ejection doing it. "No entitlement at all", said James. James was held out of Friday's preseason finale in Orlando. While we probably won't get another TV special, James' decision will still be very important and it could change the entire league.
"This will be different", Lue said. To celebrate the grand opening of "The Fifteen" as well as the start of the new National Basketball Association season, LeBron & Co. cracked open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, fittingly from Caymus Vineyard's '15 reserve.