LeBron James will face the New York Knicks in his first game back with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The National Basketball Association yesterday released its 1,230-game schedule for the 2014-15 regular season, which opens Oct. 28 with two games -- including the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks.
James, who won two NBA titles with the Miami Heat the past four years, re-signed with Cleveland last month, returning to the team with which he spent his first seven seasons. James and the Cavaliers will host the Knicks on Oct. 30, with the game televised by Turner Broadcasting System’s TNT network. It’s one of 29 national broadcasts this season for the Cavaliers.
“It’s going to be amazing,” Hall of Fame forward Charles Barkley said on NBA TV. “That place is going to be rocking.”
The Knicks will play their regular-season opener the day before, hosting the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 29 in the head coaching debut of New York’s Derek Fisher.
James makes his return to Miami as a member of the Cavaliers on Dec. 25, one of five NBA games on Christmas Day. After the Knicks and Washington Wizards play at noon at Madison Square Garden, the Spurs meet the Oklahoma City Thunder in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals. James and the Cavaliers then visit the Heat, with a scheduled start time of 5 p.m. Eastern time on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC network.
“If they don’t cheer LeBron, there’s something wrong with them,” Barkley said of the Miami fans. “He got them two championships, he got them to the finals four years in a row and he wanted to go home.”
The Los Angeles Clippers, in their first season following the $2 billion sale of the team to Steve Ballmer from the Sterling family, will open at home against the Thunder on Oct. 30. The next night, they play against the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom they share Staples Arena.
There will be two regular-season games at international sites, with the Minnesota Timberwolves facing the Houston Rockets in Mexico City on Nov. 12 and the Milwaukee Bucks playing the Knicks at London’s O2 Arena on Jan. 15.
The NBA’s All-Star Game will be played Feb. 15 in New York. The league will have an extended six-day All-Star break for the first time -- from Feb. 13-18 -- after listening to requests of players, including James, who have participated in All-Star weekend and asked for more time off.
The regular season concludes April 15, with the NBA playoffs beginning three days later.