Lebron James declared he is ready for the 2015-2016 NBA regular season and give his Cleveland Cavaliers their first-ever NBA Championship ring.
But then, former MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls has also declared himself ready to tangle with the Cavaliers on Tuesday on national TNT at the United Center at 8p.m. ET.
"It's part of it," Rose told reporters on Monday, "It's a big picture. I've got to take the good with the bad and the ugly. It was ugly when I started training camp. Like I said, taking the good, how my life has been. I've been so comfortable; my family has been so comfortable, everybody is enjoying their life. It's a lot of positives and a lot of blessings that come with playing this sport. Getting hit in the eye, all these surgeries, I've got to take it. This game changed my life too much.
"I don't think I have to prove anything to anyone," said Rose. "It's just all about having fun. Enjoying the game, appreciating the game. Seeing how far this game has taken me. How comfortable my life is as far as I'm able to focus on certain things, focus on my profession without any distractions. I just feel blessed. I'm not expecting anything (Tuesday). I'm just expecting to win the game. For myself, I don't care. As long as we win the game, I'm fine."
The reigning Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers enjoy a slight edge against the Warriors for the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls opening game. The opening game will also be the first time the Cavs will open their 45th NBA regular season on the road.
During the 2014-15 regular season against Chicago, LeBron James averaged 28.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 37.2 minutes per game.
The Cavs starting big men also put up solid numbers against the Bulls last season as Timofey Mozgov (13.0 points/11.3 rebounds) and Kevin Love (14.3 points/10.7 rebounds) each averaged a double-double against their Central Division rivals.
The 2015-16 campaign marks the celebration of Chicago's Golden Anniversary - the 50th season of Bulls basketball. The Bulls possess an Opening Night record of 27-22 (.551), and a 15-10 (.600) mark when opening the year at home.
James sat out for two weeks since receiving an anti-inflammatory injection for his back but insists he is ready for the Tuesday game. He said, "We're not going to put too much on the first game of the season. We've put in a lot of work over the last few weeks, and you can only try to get healthy, work your habits, work your rhythm and our last few practices have been very good. But you don't put too much onus on if this will be the team that we'll be long-term tomorrow."
Rose and Chicago represent perhaps the biggest threat to Eastern Conference supremacy for Cleveland after the Bulls finished 50-32 last season. They lost in six games to the Cavaliers, getting eliminated by a James-led club for the third time in five seasons and dismissed defensive-oriented coach Tom Thibodeau.
Cleveland captured three of four in the regular season from Chicago last season. The Cavs started 1-3 in 2014-15, with the lone victory an overtime win at the United Center that ended Chicago's six-game win streak in home openers.
Love and company are looking forward to repeating the feat.
"We'll be on the road. It will be us, our traveling staff, our traveling team against those 20,000 fans and the Bulls, so it's going to be a tough environment," Love said. "When that ball goes in the air, I think we'll be ready."
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