LeBron James is 31 years old, and turns 32 in December. He’s played in six straight NBA Finals and most recently brought an NBA title back home to Cleveland. Yet on opening night of his 14th season, he looked as hungry as ever.
The Cavaliers started their season raising their first NBA championship banner into the rafters and showing off their large, shiny new rings. Emotions were high and for some players it could have overshadowed their entire night ... but not for LeBron.
LeBron started his first half of the 2016-17 season with 12 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. There was no championship hangover for LeBron as he nearly had a triple-double in his first half of basketball.
He started the second half with emphatic back-to-back dunks to give the Cavaliers a nine-point lead, which only continued to grow as the team fed off of James’ energy.
He wasn’t just powering through the Knicks on the offensive end, he was doing it with defense, too.
James finished the night with 19 points, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds, picking up where he left off in Game 7 with another triple-double and another dominating performance.
LeBron James is the 1st player with a triple-double in a season opener since Jason Kidd in 2006-07. It's his 43rd career triple-double pic.twitter.com/O66CnmdDaN— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 26, 2016
Opening night for James wasn’t just a night to pick up his ring and celebrate with his teammates. It was a night to send a message to the rest of the league that he is still LeBron freaking James. He is still the four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA champion, and 12-time All-Star he always has been. You’re going to have to deal with it all season long.