LeBron James sit out the season opener against Kyrie Irving’s Celtics with an ankle injury? Well anything is possible. Some things just aren’t likely. James was ready for the Boston Celtics in the playoffs last year after the Celtics rose to snag Eastern Conference regular season first place honors, edging the Cavaliers by two games. But James is especially ready to battle Boston this year — and not because the Celtics were thorny upstarts last season. You know why. Everybody knows why. Because Kyrie. Yup, Kyrie Irving chafed under the long shadow of LeBron and wanted his own team to lead. Boston GM Danny Ainge gave Irving the Celtics. The geniuses in the NBA marketing — sorry, scheduling — department gave NBA fans a Cavaliers-Celtics Season opener.
LeBron v. Kyrie. James took the high road when Irving split from Cleveland, but beyond Golden State Warriors vengeance there’s hardly anything the hyper-competitive James would like more than to go undefeated against Kyrie’s Celtics. You think he’s gonna sit this one out? At Cleveland? Cleveland guard J.R. Smith disagrees with you then: “He’s gonna go, trust me that,” Smith told Cleveland.com. “I don’t care what he’s gotta do, he’s gonna play. It’s different when — obviously the preseason and regular season — we were talking about it, he’s never missed, since he was eight years old and he started playing, he’s never missed a first game. I’m preparing for him to play.”