What Is LeBron James’ Record in Season Openers?

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has never missed an opening night game during his legendary career. In his 19th season opener on October 19, 2021, the King will play against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.

The 2020-21 season was disappointing for LeBron. His Lakers lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns, marking the first time LBJ has failed to advance to the second round.

LA general manager Rob Pelinka retooled the roster in the offseason, acquiring All-NBA guard Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards and signing Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Rajon Rondo, Kent Bazemore, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, Wayne Ellington, and Trevor Ariza in free agency.

The Lakers have championship aspirations for the 2021-22 season with LeBron, Westbrook, and Anthony Davis leading the way. They will look to start the campaign off the right way by defeating the Warriors.

However, history tells us that LeBron and Co. may end up losing to Golden State.

LeBron James is only 7-11 in season openers

Surprisingly, LeBron is only 7-11 in season openers during his career. He’s lost his last three, all coming with the Lakers. The future Hall of Famer averages 24.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in season openers.

The last time the four-time MVP won on opening night was October 17, 2017. LeBron led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics by dropping 29 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists. The 2017-18 season was the four-time champion’s last season with the Cavs. He signed with the Lakers in the summer of 2018 as an unrestricted free agent.

LeBron’s best outing during a season opener took place on October 27, 2009. Even though the Cavs lost to the Celtics, the Akron Hammer put up 38 points, four rebounds, and eight assists.

Lakers fans will likely be expecting a win against the Warriors since the Dubs are without Klay Thompson. The purple and gold faithful didn’t experience a preseason victory, so they are certainly eager to see LeBron get his first win with Westbrook and Anthony.

Lakers went 0-6 in the preseason

It’s preseason, so the games didn’t count. However, the Lakers went 0-6. LeBron played in three games and averaged 18.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. He finished the preseason by scoring 30 points against the Sacramento Kings in 29 minutes.

Westbrook didn’t look good at all in the preseason. The one-time MVP averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 5.8 turnovers while shooting 35.0% overall. Los Angeles will need Westbrook to limit his turnovers during the regular season and improve his shooting percentage.

LeBron has nothing left to prove. He’s a four-time champion, four-time Finals MVP, four-time regular-season MVP, and the only player in NBA history to rank top-10 all-time in points and assists. The 17-time All-Star is the third-leading scorer in league history and enters the 2021-22 season 3,020 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for first place.

However, LeBron could play with a chip on his shoulder this year since he lost in the first round of the playoffs last season for the first time ever.

LeBron James still has plenty of haters

Pundits such as Skip Bayless have bashed LeBron his entire career. It’s actually admirable how the NBA legend hasn’t responded to Bayless, who gets more pathetic each year with his LeBron slander.

LeBron has to hear some of the outside noise, though. Brooklyn Nets swingman Kevin Durant is being called the best player in the world; the national media are doubting the Lakers since they are old; LeBron naysayers believe the GOAT debate with Michael Jordan is over since Bron is 4-6 in the Finals.

All of these things could undoubtedly fuel LeBron to have a revenge season in 2021-22, just like Jordan did in 1995-96 after losing to the Orlando Magic in the 1995 playoffs.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference

RELATED: LeBron James Is Taken for Granted by Basketball Fans, According to Former Warriors Coach Mark Jackson: ‘He Should Be Celebrated and Acknowledged, He’s Special’