As the Los Angeles Lakers embarked on a three-game road trip that began Saturday night against the Orlando Magic, the primary talking points were how the team would adjust to not having Rajon Rondo and LeBron James’ return to Cleveland on Wednesday.
Sandwiched between the start and finish of the road trip, however, is another stop to one of James’ old stomping grounds. Fresh off their four-game winning streak being snapped, the Lakers are now set to face the Miami Heat on Sunday night.
It of course is where James and Dwyane Wade won back-to-back championships after the former shocked many by bolting from the Cavaliers in 2010 NBA free agency. James has already returned to American Airlines Arena since leaving the Heat, as he spent the past four seasons with the Cavs.
Nonetheless, James reminisced ahead of facing Wade and the Heat, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It always brings back memories when you go to a place where you had some success. It seems so long ago, honestly, since I played there. The banners still hang and the memories are still there.”
While James and the Lakers were guaranteed one trip to Miami this season, that he would face a Heat team that includes Wade was not nearly as given. Wade reunited with James on the Cavaliers last season, but was traded to the Heat as a favor of sorts to the veteran.
Wade contemplated retirement before announcing he would return for a 17th and final season in the NBA. Though, Wade will miss Sunday’s game as he’s still with Gabrielle Union after the two recently welcomed their first child.