LeBron James Kicked off the NBA Season in the Most Badass Way Possible

LeBron James was truly the King of Cleveland Tuesday night.

Over at Progressive Field, the Indians were unwrapping some wireless Beats by Dre headphones that James sent over as a pre-World Series gift. Much like the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the Indians are underdogs in their championship matchup against the Chicago Cubs. But they were able to cancel out the noise, and blanked the Cubs in Game 1.

Over at Quicken Loans Arena, meanwhile, the Cavaliers were getting ready to start their NBA title defense. They received their rings and then went on to dismantle the New York Knicks, 117-88. James led the way with the 43rd triple-double of his career, collecting 19 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.

At times last year, James was criticized for seemingly coasting his way through the regular season. March was an especially tumultuous time, with James unfollowing the Cavaliers on Twitter and then refusing to comment when asked about the perceived slight. It was later reported that James unfollowed the Cavs to prepare for the playoffs, but that didn’t stop his social media activity from being the biggest sports story in the country.

All of that vitriol wound up looking ridiculous, of course. James led the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 series deficit and wound up collecting Finals MVP honors. He’s picked up exactly where he left off.

James threw down a couple of violent dunks Wednesday, including a one-handed slam while he was on a breakaway in the second quarter. It was an apparent message to the rest of the NBA that King James may actually take the entire regular season seriously. That’s a scary thought indeed.

He followed that up with another dunk roughly one minute later.

In the third quarter, James nearly brought the whole arena down.


Despite winning his third NBA Championship last season –– and first in Cleveland –– James flew under the radar this summer. The Golden State Warriors, who signed Kevin Durant following their gut-wrenching Finals defeat, dominated the headlines.

But on the first night of the NBA season, it was James’ Cavaliers who came out on top. They bested the Knicks while the Spurs blew out the Warriors. Cleveland and Golden State are favorites to meet up once again in the Finals, but until then, the two teams will engage in a proxy war for NBA supremacy. The Cavaliers made a strong opening statement.

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