Bulls head to Miami for season opener on Tuesday.
Miami Heat star LeBron James has revealed that he is looking forward to facing Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose again this season.
The 25-year-old will return to competitive action on Tuesday night at the AA Arena, after almost 18 months out following surgery to repair a torn ACL.
Having impressed in pre-season averaging just over 20 points per game with the Bulls going unbeaten in eight games, there is a great deal of excitement surrounding his comeback to NBA action.
Although he will represent increased competition for James and the Heat as they look to defend their crown this season, the defending champions are looking forward to the rivalry returning.
“I’m happy and thrilled that he’s back,” James said according to ESPN.
“I’m happy with what he did last year, to be able to stand strong throughout everything, throughout all of the adversity of everybody criticizing him about what he should do. He did what was best for him.”
Rose was the league’s MVP during the 2010-11 season as he led the Bulls to the best record in the Eastern Conference. However, they went on to lose in five games in the conference finals, with Rose absent in the playoffs last season.
Heat guard Dwyane Wade shared his team-mate’s sentiment, and admitted that “the game needs him”. Having gone through his own knee injuries over the years, the 31-year-old is pleased to see his rival back in action and is looking forward to season tip-off.
Miami will hold a ring ceremony prior to Tuesday’s game, but it remains to be seen whether or not they can get off to the perfect start as they look to achieve the ‘three-peat’.