By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The opening to the NBA season is still three weeks away, but the war of words in the Eastern Conference has begun.

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And it began in Cleveland of all places, where Tristan Thompson apparently believes that losing LeBron James didn’t shift the balance of power in the East.

“We’re still four-time Eastern Conference champions, so until you take us down from that, teams ain’t got much to say,” Thompson told reporters. “Boston, Philly, they ain’t got much to say. Boston had home-court Game 7 and lost. Philly, you guys almost got swept. Toronto – we already know that story. So until someone takes us down, there’s not much that can be said.”

Celtics forward Marcus Morris strongly disagreed with that message, particularly the part about there not being much that can be said. Morris let it rip on Twitter.

“Cut it out,” Morris tweeted, after a quintet of laughing/crying emojis. “Get that vacation ready early this year fam! Ain’t [poop] going through the Cavs this year! #facts”

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Marcus Morris’ Tweet (Screen shot from Twitter/@MookMorris2)

You might remember these two had a mild encounter back in the postseason:

Tristan Thompson, Marcus Morris (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

If you missed it this week, the Celtics’ bench is going with the nickname “BWA” this season — short for Bench With Attitude. It’s off to a rousing start.

The Celtics and Cavaliers, unfortunately, won’t meet until Nov. 30 in Boston. Depending on what the record of the “four-time defending Eastern Conference champion” Cavaliers is at the time, these comments may resurface.

And the fact that we’re getting this level of trash talk before the calendar even hits October? What a true blessing. There’s nothing quite like the National Basketball Association. It’s the best.

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You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.