Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James will have a chance to avenge last year’s Western Conference finals loss the instant the 2023-24 NBA season begins. The Lakers will reportedly play the reigning champion Denver Nuggets on opening night Oct. 24, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns will also play on opening night, per Charania.
The Lakers-Nuggets contest is a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals, which didn’t go well for Los Angeles. The Lakers were swept by the Nuggets in the series. Denver then beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in five games.
The Warriors and Suns did not face each other in the playoffs last season, but both teams feature immense star power. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Chris Paul and Klay Thompson should once again make the Warriors a dangerous team in the West. Deandre Ayton, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant will look to reclaim the No. 1 seed in the West after finishing as the No. 4 seed last season.
A few hours after the opening day slate was reported, Charania reported the five-game slate for Christmas Day.
The Milwaukee Bucks will open the day at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. The Warriors will then close out the day against the Nuggets in Denver.
The Nuggets’ opening night appearance should not come as a surprise. The team that won the NBA championship usually plays on opening night the following season.
Nuggets big man Nikola Jokić tore up the Lakers in the Western Conference finals last season, averaging 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 11.8 assists per game. He’ll look to build on that performance, and start a new MVP campaign, when he faces the Los Angeles on opening night.