by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

There’s really no mystery to this heated rivalry — LeBron James and company are what’s standing between Derrick Rose and his first NBA title.

While Rose is saying all of the right things, James did not mince words prior to tonight’s season-opening showdown between the two Eastern Conference powerhouses.

LeBron says the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls simply don’t like each other.

Per the AP:

The Heat will get their rings in an elaborate pregame ceremony, one that everyone — well, almost everyone — inside the building will be watching. The Bulls plan to stay in their locker room for the festivities, and it’s somewhat logical to think they’ll be spending part of that time verbalizing some sort of sentiment about emerging and spoiling the party.

“We don’t like them and they don’t like us,” James said. “It’s not like it’s unheard of. We all know what it is. They don’t like us, so we don’t like them.”

Chris Bosh, bless his heart, added some colorful perspective while comparing the two teams’ collective mindsets:

“When Dallas got their rings [on Christmas Day 2011], we wanted to embarrass them on their home floor, wanted to defecate on their night,” Bosh said of a Mavericks team that beat the Heat in the Finals in June 2011. “We know [the Bulls] want to do that to us and they want to spoil what we have going.”

The NBA will mercifully return tonight, and we couldn’t ask for a more intriguing battle to kick things off.