The 2018-19 NBA regular season schedule has officially been released.
1. @ Portland Trail Blazers | Thursday, October 18, 2018 | 7:30 PM PST
To the surprise of most, James will officially begin his Lakers career on the road. As they have struggled against the Blazers in Portland, this will be a challenging, but potentially satisfying first win to start the new era of Lakers basketball.
2. Houston Rockets | Saturday, October 20, 2018 | 7:30 PM PST
Two days later and in James’ home opener, he and the Lakers will host James Harden, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and the Rockets. Since the Rockets finished with the best record in the Western Conference and were a potential free agency destination for the 33-year-old, this will serve as an early measuring stick game.
3. Toronto Raptors | Sunday, November 4, 2018 | 6:30 PM PST
Kawhi Leonard returns to his hometown for the first time since the San Antonio Spurs traded him to the Raptors. Through all the conflicting reports, the 27-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 season and the Lakers have preserved a max-contract slot by only signing one-year deals.
4. @ Cleveland Cavaliers | Wednesday, November 21, 2018 | 5:00 PM PST
After winning the 2016 NBA Finals and opening the I PROMISE school in his hometown, James returns to Cleveland since free agency. Unlike the first time when James signed with the Miami Heat in 2014 and was booed, he will receive a standing ovation from Cavaliers fans for delivering on his promise.
5. @ Golden State Warriors | Tuesday, December 25, 2018 | 5:00 PM PST
As the Warriors are in pursuit of their fourth championship in five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, James and the Lakers are looking to dethrone them. In their first major test, the Lakers will quickly find out if signing tough playmakers instead of shooters in free agency is a formula for success against the current dynasty.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder | Wednesday, January 2, 2019 | 7:30 PM PST
Despite reports of signing with his hometown team, Paul George re-signed with the Thunder and did not even meet with the Lakers. With both teams having championship aspirations, the young core wants to prove they can be competitive now as they continue to reach their full potential.
7. Golden State Warriors | Monday, January 21, 2019 | 7:30 PM PST
Regardless if the Lakers won or lost their first matchup against the Warriors, they are looking to build momentum at this stage of the season. With seven new players on the roster, the hope is they have learned how to play together in order to get a better assessment of how they match up with the two-time defending champions.
8. Philadelphia 76ers | Tuesday, January 29, 2019 | 7:30 PM PST
As the 76ers were considered a free agency destination for James, this will be a battle between the young cores. With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons wanting to prove James wrong, Ball, Hart, Ingram, and Kuzma all have an opportunity to solidify his decision to sign a four-year, $154 million deal.
9. Boston Celtics | Saturday, March 9, 2019 | 5:30 PM PST
With James leaving the Eastern Conference after winning three championships in eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances, the Celtics are considered the favorites now. As the Lakers and Celtics represent the greatest rivalry in all of sports, James and Kyrie Irving will certainly add another layer as former teammates.
10. @ Oklahoma City Thunder | April 2, 2019 | 5:00 PM PST
Heading into the final five games of the season, this game could mark a pivotal one between the Lakers and Thunder for playoff spots. Since the Lakers are projected to finish as high as the second spot or not even make the playoffs, things could get interesting especially if the Thunder are in a similar situation.