- Tom Haberstroh, ESPN Staff Writer
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MIAMI -- The NBA announced Friday that the Miami Heat will, as expected, take on the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Christmas to open their respective seasons. That is, of course, pending the lockout coming to a resolution.
While Heat forward Chris Bosh is looking forward to finally getting the season under way, the Dallas native didn't mince words when it came to the prospect of watching the Mavericks raise the championship banner in front of their home crowd.
"It's going to suck," Bosh said to reporters after his second day of workouts in Miami.
Bosh, who attended Lincoln High School in Dallas, said he hasn't been home for Christmas in years, but isn't looking forward to the pregame celebrations after a crushing Finals defeat.
"I'm not going to like it," he said, "but things happen and I think things happen for a reason."
So far, the Heat power forward is the only member of the Heat's Big Three to arrive for workouts at American Airlines Arena. Forwards Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman worked out at the facility on Friday for the second straight day, while free agents Juwan Howard and James Jones also got some work in.
Bosh spent the summer in Miami, trying to relax and add weight to his frame after a disappointing performance in his first NBA Finals. Since the defeat at the hands of Dallas, the 26-year-old got married and he and his wife, Adrienne, have a baby on the way.
Bosh spent only a week back home in Dallas during the offseason, partly to enjoy the Miami surroundings with his wife, but also to avoid the negativity from fans back in Texas -- fans, he added, who weren't so abundant when he was growing up.
"I didn't want to hear all the fans," Bosh said jokingly. "But it's funny because there wasn't a lot of Mavericks fans when I was a kid. But now all of a sudden, everybody's a Mavericks fan."
The Finals loss was a tough pill to swallow for Bosh and he wore his emotions on his sleeve after losing Game 6 in Miami. Bosh has been the source of much criticism after the Finals, especially after he was seen on national television coming to tears outside the Heat locker room.
Bosh said he has turned the loss into a learning experience and used it to fuel his offseason regimen.
"It was good for them," Bosh said of the 2010-11 champions. "It was good for the city. I think they deserved it, they earned it. They played a great series and they're a fantastic team. But I was unfortunately caught in the middle."
Luckily for the Heat players, they likely won't have to sit through a ring ceremony before the Christmas battle in Dallas. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said not to expect his team to receive any rings, but a banner will be raised. Bosh will be looking in the other direction.
"The fact that they won't get their rings, I think that's cool," Bosh said. "But, Mark Cuban is a crafty dude and he can make anything happen. They're going to have their moment and they deserve it. I'm just going to look around, take in all the excitement that they're going to have in that arena, and just dream until that can happen for us."
The league also announced on Friday that the Dec. 25 slate will include two additional games. Oklahoma City will host Orlando before Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers visit Golden State on Christmas night. The rest of the scheduled games will include Boston at New York and Chicago at the Los Angeles Lakers.
Tom Haberstroh covers the NBA for ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine.
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