Ya boi Ben Simmons has been given the honour of opening the 2018-19 NBA season, with his Philadelphia 76ers set to feature in the season opening-clash against the Boston Celtics.
League bosses confirmed that the Sixers and the Celtics will face off in the season-opening clash on October 16th, with the NBA today revealing the opening fixtures of the new season.
It means not only will the new season open with rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference semi-final matchup, but also that two Australian players – both Ben Simmons of the Sixers and Aron Baynes of the Celtics – will feature prominently in the very first game of the season; a slot reserved for marquee, premium matchups as league bosses look to kick the new year off with a bang.
Following the clash between the Sixers and Celtics, Kevin Durant will be presented with his second championship ring before taking on his former team, as the Golden State Warriors take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Funnily enough, this will be the third time in the past four years that Aron Baynes has featured in an NBA season-opening game.
Baynes took the court in the season’s first clash last year in 2017, dropping 6 points in Boston’s 102 – 99 loss to Cleveland.
In 2015 Baynes, at that time a Detroit player, scored another 6 points to help his Pistons overhaul the Atlanta Hawks to the tune of 106 – 94, which lifted the curtain on the 2015-16 NBA season.
In other games confirmed by the NBA today, LeBron James will step onto the court for the first time as a Los Angeles Laker when LA travels to Oregon to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on October 18th.
Joe Ingles, Dante Exum and the Utah Jazz also had their home opener confirmed: a pivotal clash against the reigning champion Golden State Warriors on October 19th.
The full 2018-19 NBA schedule is set to be released this coming weekend.