The return of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers is the biggest story in the NBA this fall. The four-time MVP didn't waste much time in showing basketball fans what they can expect from him during Thursday night's opener against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena.
With 6:30 remaining in the first quarter, James took a trademark outlet pass from fellow new Cav Kevin Love and powered through a foul from Carmelo Anthony to finish an and-one layup. Take a look below:
It was a classic play from James with a new wrinkle from Love, who joined the Cavs this summer via trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The play shows why the Cavaliers could be one of the best fast-break teams in NBA history in 2014-15. Few teams have ever had the transition talent of LeBron, Love and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.
LeBron's first basket followed a raucous pregame introduction. The crazy scene didn't come across fully on the TNT broadcast (which appeared to have some audio problems). James also brought back his pregame chalk toss routine, which was a mainstay of his first tenure in Cleveland but was used only intermittently during his four seasons with the Miami Heat. You can watch both the intro and the chalk toss here:
In a surpise loss to the undermanned and underdog New York Knicks, Cleveland eventually fell by a 95-90 score. James struggled in his re-introduction to northern Ohio, turning the ball over eight times and missing 10 of 15 shots on his way toward 17 points. The Cavs will likely run into challenges this season as they attempt to turn a roster full of talent into a championship-level squad, but for now there are plenty of causes for celebration in Cleveland. Thursday's scene is just the start.
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