But it was another first meeting - one between LeBron James and Jordan more than 17 years ago - that took the spotlight before both teams squared off.
"It was godly," James said, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "I've said that over and over before, but it was like meeting God for the first time. That's what I felt like as a 16-year-old kid when I met MJ."
James was a high-school phenom at the time, soaking in all the advice from his idol.
The 33-year-old couldn't help but reflect on how far he's come, considering his upbringing.
"Any time I'm even mentioned with the greats that played this game and guys before me who laid the path, laid the grounds in this work and allowed me to be in this position, it's always humbling and gratifying for my city," James said.
Jordan's impact on James is undeniable. They both wore the No. 23, and like Jordan, James would like to own a team at some point.
James also attributes the growth of the game to the greats that played before him, and like his predecessors, he hopes to continue that movement.
"MJ made the game global," James said. "He made the game global. He made people all over the world want to watch the game of basketball because of his marketability, because of the way he played the game of basketball, because of who he was. He kind of transcended that era."