The awkward first meeting between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers is out of the way, after the teams met in the preseason on Saturday night (Oct. 11) in Brazil.
The crowd at the sold-out HSBC Arena in Rio De Janeiro was definitely pro-Heat, as James was booed when he was introduced and the first few times he touched the ball. But, before tipoff, James embraced his former teammates … on his way to a 122-119 victory for the Cavs … which went to overtime.
After the game, although it felt uncomfortable, James says he felt good about it all.
“It was a special moment, to be back out there competing against my old teammates,” he said in the postgame press conference. “I didn’t get the awkward feeling, but I did get the… a lot of memories came back… the things that we accomplished with my teammates and the coaching staff that’s there. So, it was definitely great to see them.”
When the game ended, and both teams headed to their respective locker rooms, James broke off and gave both Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade a hug before leaving the court.
On Friday (Oct. 10), James said he was “surprised” at some of the comments his former Heat teammates said recently, referring to Wade saying he didn’t have fun last season (but did say they were still friends) and Chris Bosh seeming bitter. But, with their first meeting out of the way, all parties appear to be ready to move on.
“I like the fact we could get everything out of the way,” Bosh said after the game. “Just let everybody see it so we can move on. As far as seeing LeBron on another team, we’re pretty much over that now.”
The game wasn’t without some odd moments. During the first half, LeBron was playing defense when former Heat teammate Norris Cole called for a pick-and-roll. Surprisingly, it seems James forgot which team he was on, and set a pick on his own teammate, Matthew Dellavedova, and the result was a wide-open shot for Udonis Haslem. LOL, see that below.