LeBron James, the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player who left Cleveland for Miami in July, will make his debut for the Heat at Boston on Oct 26 in the NBA season opener, the league announced on Tuesday.
James joined pals Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat roster and was joined by Lithuanian center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, another former Cavaliers star, on a Heat squad that is expected to challenge for the championship in 2011.
Miami will meet the reigning Eastern Conference champion Celtics - led by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. James and the Heat will visit Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Dec 25 in a Christmas showdown that tops five games to be played on the holiday.
The Lakers will also play on the NBA's opening night, starting their quest for a third consecutive league crown at home against Houston in what is expected to be Yao Ming's return for the Rockets after missing all of last season. China's star center was sidelined after foot surgery but a healthy return could signal a resurgence for the Rockets, who will be spectators as the Lakers raise a championship banner to the rafters of their home arena.
(China Daily 08/05/2010 page24)