LeBron James smiled and shouted upon entering the Heat locker room Wednesday evening, prior to his first game action in the sparkling new Barclays Center.
You knew, on this night of all nights, that he and the Heat would be here, there and everywhere.
You knew that something like this 105-85 rout was conceivable, after Nets bruiser Reggie Evans did something that James' teammates deemed galactically stupid:
He disparaged what James had toiled so greatly to achieve.
It started at Nets shootaround in New Jersey, where Evans was asked if beating the defending champions, something Brooklyn hadn't come close to achieving in two prior meetings, would have any special significance.
"It doesn't prove nothing," Evans told the New York Daily News. "That was a lockout season."
Then Evans, in assessing James as an offensive threat, said that "LeBron is no different from Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche."
At the Heat's shootaround in Brooklyn shortly after, James was told of the lockout comments.
"Who said it?"
Reggie Evans, he was told.
"Right," James scoffed, and turned his head in search of some other question.
But, as the day progressed, it was apparent that Evans had gotten James' attention.
First, he tweeted, in a paraphrasing of the song "Takeover" by Jay-Z: "Just keep throwing rocks at the throne, don't matter cause nothing can break my zone."
LeBron proves point with 17th straight over Nets
Palm Beach Post | Jan 31