The NBA schedule won’t be released until next week, but the drips and drabs of leaks about it have revealed that (as always) LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will feature prominently into the league’s opening week and other marquee dates.
The Lakers will reportedly play on opening night in Denver against the Nuggets to watch their old friend Mike Malone get his first championship ring, and will also host the Boston Celtics for a rivalry renewal on Christmas Day.
Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed a few more dates on Friday afternoon on both his own social media and during a TV appearance, including that the league is not messing around with a LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant matchup: The NBA is scheduling it for the Lakers’ home opener, seemingly to ensure the two stars play against each other for the first time since 2018.
The Lakers will also play Russell Westbrook and the Clippers shortly afterwards, on Nov. 1:
Two more key games on NBA season schedule:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 11, 2023
Season opener: 76ers @ Bucks on Oct. 26
So that’s 76ers-Bucks and Suns-Lakers on first TNT Thursday.
First Lakers-Clippers matchup: Nov. 1 https://t.co/ID3A2AZVEk
LeBron vs. KD doesn’t hold quite the same luster it did when both were firmly in their prime, but it will still be fun to watch the two wings who have defined the NBA’s last decade square off once again (knock on wood that both make it through training camp/the preseason without any knicks and knacks — or trade demands — though, given how star-crossed their matchups appear to be). It’s not certain how much longer they will both be playing, so any matchups we do get between the two are still special.
The Clippers game will also be a game on the schedule.
Do any of the matchups that have come out so far excite you most? Are there any unannounced games you’re more hyped for? Let us know in the comments below.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.