We all knew this was coming. The NBA scheduling Gods just could not resist it.
On Tuesday, the NBA announced that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will travel to South Florida to face Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the new-look Miami Heat. James’ return to South Beach is guaranteed to be must-see T.V. in a number of ways.
— theScore (@theScore) August 12, 2014
First, there is the crowd reaction. Will the Miami fans boo James every time he touches the ball, like Cavs fans did whenever he returned to Cleveland? Or will Miami fans give him a standing ovation, thanking James for four incredible years in which he put Heat basketball back on the map? My guess? Judging from the comments on Heat fan sites, I will go with the former.
Second is how Wade and Bosh will approach this game. Let’s make one thing clear now: All three players are going to give it their all. But you also can make a case that Wade and Bosh will bring everything they got to try to not allow King James to get a win on their home court.
Third is how will LeBron react in his first return to Miami since dropping a bombshell on Heat fans in June? It may not seem like it, but James returning to the place where he had his greatest glory will no doubt bring back a tidal wave of emotions. He will also attempt to show the world that the Heat are worse off without him.
Whatever the case may be, Dec. 25, 2014 will be a date all basketball fans around the world will save on their calendars. This game was coming as soon as LeBron announced he was returning to Cleveland. This game will be a test not only for James and the Cavs, but for the Heat and their fans as well.
We will finally get to witness if the Heat are any better without James. Yes, they retooled nicely in the aftermath, but will the Heat be good enough to knock off the NBA’s new Big Three of James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, plus a much better supporting cast? We will find out on Christmas Day.
For us NBA fans, Christmas came early this year.