The Heat is expected to open the season at home Oct. 29 against Chicago on TNT, according to a tentative schedule given to teams on Wednesday. The schedule also features the Heat playing at the Lakers on Christmas on ABC, according to an industry official.
The schedule can be altered up until the point it is announced, but parties involved do not expect those games to change.
Heat players will be presented their champion rings on the night of the Bulls game. “I feel like we’ll be the team that beats them next year,” Bulls center Joakim Noah said recently.
This would mark the Heat’s 10th Christmas game in 26 seasons. It’s unusual for an NBA champion to play a Christmas road game the following season, with that having happened only three times in the past decade.
• Yahoo! reported that LeBron James will not play for USA Basketball during the 2014 World Championships in Spain and is doubtful to play in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. An associate of James who requested anonymity said James has not made a decision about either event. James, 28, has played in three Olympics, winning two golds and a bronze.