The NBA is not good at keeping secrets.
Ahead of announcing the NBA schedule at 3 p.m. PT on Wednesday, reports emerged regarding key aspects of the Los Angeles Lakers' 2014-15 regular season schedule.
First reported by ESPN Los Angeles, the Lakers will start the season against the Houston Rockets. Yes, that is Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets. New Lakers' point guard Jeremy Lin will immediately face his former teammates. If all goes according to plan, Kobe Bryant will be in the lineup to face Howard for the first time since the center shunned LA for Houston. The game will also serve as Head Coach Byron Scott's regular season debut with the Lakers.
As an encore, the Lakers will host the Los Angeles Clippers on Halloween. The "battle for LA" will have its first round early in the season, and with new owner Steve Ballmer having taken official control, the Clippers will look to begin the process of dethroning the Lakers in the hearts and minds of Angelinos.
Apart from those two games, the schedule has been kept relatively quiet save for one other game: Christmas Day. The Lakers have played on the December holiday 15 straight years. More often than not, Los Angeles provides a visitor sunshine and warm temperatures during the frigid winter holiday.
This year, however, the Lakers will take a trip to the frozen tundra that is Chicago to face longtime Laker Pau Gasol as he lines up in his new colors. Presumably, Bryant will shower Gasol with warm embraces that hold longer than most NBA Christmas Day embraces. Although those embraces may highlight the poignancy of the relationship Gasol and Bryant shared, they also probably help provide that added body heat that is required during Christmas time in Chicago.
The remainder of the Lakers' schedule will be unveiled at 3pm Pacific Time on NBATV.