We'll spare you the suspense and type just one sentence before getting to the information you want to know:
LeBron James is coming to Madison Square Garden on Friday night, Dec. 17, and again on Thursday, Jan. 27, and we hereby issue a challenge to the headline writers at the New York Post to outdo what they did last month when King James came to town for Carmelo Anthony's wedding just a few days after spurning the Knicks and signing with the Miami Heat.
The NBA released each team's 82-game schedule Tuesday, and the new-look Knicks learned they will open the season in Toronto on Oct. 27 and then play two nights later in Boston before playing host the following night to the Portland Trail Blazers in their home opener, Saturday night, Oct. 30.
David Lee will make his return to the Garden just nine games into the season when the Golden State Warriors visit on Friday night, Nov. 19. Carmelo Anthony -- who will be the Knicks' primary free-agent target in the summer of 2011 -- will make his one and only visit to MSG for a Sunday afternoon matinee on Dec. 12, one of seven weekend afternoon games the Knicks will play at home, including a Christmas Day matchup with the Chicago Bulls to tip off the NBA's holiday quintupleheader.
The schedule-makers at NBA headquarters spared the Knicks any long road trips.
They have a four-game trip to Denver, Sacramento, Golden State and Los Angeles (Clippers) in mid-November, then another four-game trip to Phoenix (for Amare Stoudemire's return to his former home), Los Angeles (Lakers), Portland and Utah in the second week of January.
After that, the Knicks' longest road trip will be three games -- one of which will come in early April against Philadelphia, New Jersey and Indiana and could determine whether New York qualifies for the postseason for the first time since 2004.