LeBron James said the Cleveland Cavaliers' season-opening game against the New York Knicks in Cleveland on Thursday night is "probably one of the biggest sporting events ever," according to The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.
James is playing his first regular-season game with the Cavaliers since joining the Miami Heat in July 2010 to form the so-called "Big Three" with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The four-time MVP announced in an essay published on SI.com this summer that he would return to Cleveland, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career after being selected first overall in the 2003 draft.
After landing James, Cleveland further upgraded its roster by trading for star power forward Kevin Love and adding versatile defender Shawn Marion. The Cavaliers are listed at No. 2 in SI.com's preseason power rankings and the betting website Bovada lists their odds to win the championship at 5/2.
From The Plain Dealer:
"None of us should take this moment for granted," James said, following the Cavaliers' morning shootaround at The Q. "This is probably one of the biggest sporting events ever." [...]"Just the fact that it's my second stint here, and I understand how much I mean to this team, the franchise, this city, this state," James said. "It's a different feeling but I am calm and excited at the same time because it's the first game of the season."
After hosting the Knicks on Thursday night, the Cavaliers play at Eastern Conference contender Chicago on Friday before beginning a West Coast road trip in Portland next week.
- Chris Johnson