LeBron James’ heavily anticipated return to Cleveland will be a star-studded affair, as his Cavaliers will host Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks on Oct. 30 on TNT.
The game will be part of the NBA’s “Premiere Week” for its 2014-15 season, whose schedule was released on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Clippers, with newly minted owner Steve Ballmer, will host the Oklahoma City Thunder on the back-end of that Oct. 30 doubleheader.
The season will officially kick off Tuesday, Oct. 28 with its customary doubleheader on TNT. The defending champion San Antonio Spurs will play host to their in-state rival Dallas Mavericks, followed by another Texas team, the Houston Rockets, traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers.
As it has done in the past, TNT will air the Spurs’ ring ceremony during a one-hour pregame show ahead of the game.
ESPN tips off its coverage Oct. 29 with Chicago Bulls’ star Derrick Rose returning from another major injury, vising Anthony and the Knicks, followed by the Thunder traveling to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers.
On Halloween night, the Cavs will travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls. The late game will be another battle of Los Angeles between the Clippers and Lakers. Both will also air on ESPN.
NBA TV will round out Premiere Week with a Saturday doubleheader on Nov. 1. The early game will again see the Bulls heading to Minnesota to see top draft pick Andrew Wiggins and the Timberwolves, while the late game will have the Lakers squaring off against the Golden State Warriors.
Christmas Day will again feature five games, with TNT getting a piece of the holiday action this year.
The early game on ESPN will see the Knicks playing host to John Wall and the Washington Wizards, making their first appearance on the league’s marquee day since 2008. The highlight of the five-game slate, however, will be the Cavs traveling to Miami to face the Heat in what will be James’ first game back in South Beach since leaving this summer. The other ABC game is a rematch of last year’s Western Conference finals between the Thunder and Spurs.
The evening doubleheader on TNT will see the Lakers play the Bulls and the Warriors renewing their budding rivalry with the Clippers.
This year will also see a longer All-Star break from Feb. 12-19. All-Star Weekend, which will be shared between New York’s Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, will be held Feb. 13-15.
The Bulls, Cavaliers and Thunder lead with 25 appearances on national TV.