Your Miami Heat: Starring LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and...?

And the winner is....

 

NBA fans, you now know where LeBron James will play basketball next season.  In an embarrassing and overly dramatic prime-time broadcast on ESPN, James announced he would go to South Beach, Florida and sign with the Miami Heat.  James tried to appear diplomatic and respectful toward Cleveland, but far too many references to what he did for the Cavaliers larded his rhetoric.  He was treated in kind, with Cavs management insisting he gave up in the 2010 playoffs and fans burning his jersey in anger.  James could have avoided such acrimony by handling his departure in a different way; the ESPN broadcast and the total secrecy such an event requires was unnecessary.

In the end, LeBron James cast his lot with fellow free agents Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  These three and point guard Mario Chalmers are the only players currently on the roster.  James expressed hope that players might be convinced to take a pay cut and join him in his quest for a title, but I am forced to wonder why anyone would do this.  Being a teammate to the “big three” on the Heat will be a thankless job, and I am skeptical that many NBA players will be willing to take a pay cut to rebound and defend for Wade and the rest.  If the Heat won a title, they would be forgotten men—it will be all about James.  Veterans willing to take a pay cut to play for a winner will be more apt to sign with Chicago, Boston or Orlando, where the pressure is less and the teams have more than three good players. 

Your Miami Heat

Who are:  the Miami Heat?
Who are: the Miami Heat?
King James has arrived from Cleveland
King James has arrived from Cleveland
Will Wade's drives and dunks be a thing of the past?
Will Wade's drives and dunks be a thing of the past?
What will Chris Bosh's role be?
What will Chris Bosh's role be?
How will Mario Chalmers and the rest get along with the stars?
How will Mario Chalmers and the rest get along with the stars?
Who will the other eight Miami Heat players be?
Who will the other eight Miami Heat players be?
This is the biggest gamble of Pat Riley's career
This is the biggest gamble of Pat Riley's career

What can fans expect?


What will the Miami Heat look like for the 2010-2011 season? Currently they have Bosh and James at forward with Wade and Chalmers at guard. No one else is on the roster, which might be an NBA first. There is no more money to offer free agents and the Heat have no players to trade, so they will have to look for “bargain” players: undrafted player like ex-Jayhawk Sherron Collins, underachievers like Bill Walker or overachievers such as Chris Duhon (I’m not saying these guys are available—only that these are the type of players that will be available). The Heat might look to Europe or the NBA Developmental league and dig up a player like J.R. Giddens, or they could look to sign a fringe player in the mold of ex-Cavalier Darnell Jackson. This is the type of talent that will be available unless they are willing to look at guys like Gilbert Arenas or Allen Iverson.

What will this mean? Let’s consider what the Miami Heat might be like, on offense, defense and in the locker room.


The Miami Heat offense


The days of James and Wade driving to the hoop and making spectacular shots might well become a fond and distant memory. Both players like to have the ball, and neither is known for their abilities without the ball in their hands. I am skeptical that LeBron or Dwayne will work without the ball unless it is in the hopes of being on the receiving end of an alley-oop play. As a result, they will find themselves facing zone defenses and being forced to shoot from long range.

ESPN analysts considered the possibility that James’ creativity as a passer will be more in evidence while playing with Wade and Bosh, but will he pass to Mario Chalmers or the other still-unknown players that will join him on the court? Defenses won’t lose track of Wade and Bosh, and he will frequently be forced to pass into heavy traffic unless he’s willing to throw the ball to a Bill Walker or J.R. Giddens.

Bosh is creative inside, but he is not a center. What will James and Bosh do in the paint against bigger, stronger players? They will certainly get good rebounding numbers, but the effort will take its toll on their bodies. James expressed the hope of playing fewer minutes when he is teamed with Wade and Bosh, but who will the Heat send into the game to replace him? It looks as if the “big three” will play more minutes than ever and take more of a beating inside.


The Miami Heat defense


Miami opponents will have a fun choice to make when facing Miami’s defense: will they attack the weaker, less-skilled opponents that won’t have the ability to defend on a high level, or will they take the ball at Miami’s superstars with the intention of wearing them out or getting them in foul trouble? Both choices are so appealing, it is difficult to know what Miami will face more. Bosh, Wade and James are good defenders and sometimes spectacular on the defensive end of the court, but that isn’t where their reputations were made. Mario Chalmers has long arms and can pressure an opposing point guard, but that won’t help much. Who will shut down the middle and grab tough rebounds? Who is going to be the shot-blocker? Who will sacrifice their body one night banging against Dwight Howard or Shaquille O’Neal, and then defend skilled big men like Tim Duncan or Pau Gasol twenty-four hours later? If the answer is Chris Bosh, somebody should tell him because I don’t believe that’s what he signed up for.


The Miami Heat locker room


Can Dwayne Wade and LeBron James play together throughout the course of an 82-game season? Their games are very much alike, and while they both will say the right things and claim a willingness to do whatever their coach demands, what will happen if they are not seen as equals on the court? Julius Erving and George McGinnis played together for the Philadelphia 76ers in the late 70’s, but they couldn’t win the title until Big George was shipped out in exchange for the unassuming Bobby Jones. What will happen if James and Wade aren’t a good team? Will Bosh find himself wondering aloud what his role on the team is, particularly if he is forced to act as a rebounder and defender?

How will Mario Chalmers and other players of lesser talent be treated? Will they be criticized if they can’t hit the 2-3 shots per game they will be graciously allowed? Will the stars berate them on the court or in the locker room if they try to make a play for themselves instead of giving James or Wade the ball and getting out of the way? Will these role players also be criticized if they can’t defend opponents of far greater ability? Will the “big three” start to complain to the press that they don’t have the help they need to compete for a title? The inequity of this situation is so extreme, it will be a miracle if the “haves” and the “have-nots” can coexist.

Finally, what if they don’t win? If they don’t have the talent or the chemistry isn’t there, who will take responsibility for losing? Will they be able to remain cooperative with each other, or will we see the second coming of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant?


The NBA wins

 

However this plays out, it will be good for the NBA.  When Miami plays in Cleveland, we can be certain the television cameras will be there.  New York, Chicago and New Jersey will be gunning for the Heat, as well.  These games will be filled with the drama and intrigue that fans love.  If the Heat can actually win a title, the cameras will be there to document the vindication of LeBron James.  If the Heat can’t win, there will be endless speculation about what went wrong and the impact another failure will have on James’ career.  If this team fails to produce championships, it will likely signal the end of Pat Riley as an NBA executive—no team President or General Manager has ever taken so big a risk.

Whatever happens, sports fans everywhere will be watching, and the NBA couldn’t be happier.

 

What do you think about LeBron James' decision?

Will LeBron James and the Miami Heat be a dominant team next season?

  • No. It takes more than three players to win games in the NBA
  • The Heat will win, but James would have been better off in Cleveland or Chicago
  • Miami will be a very good team, but not good enough to win the title
  • James, Wade and Bosh will dominate the league together
See results without voting

Comments 40 comments

ltfawkes profile image

ltfawkes 6 years ago from NE Ohio

Nice coverage. Good job.

L.T.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

ltfawkes, thanks for reading. I appreciate your stopping by.

Mike


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Mike, I agree - good coverage.. I am not much of a follower anymore - used to be when Larry Bird played college ball - even then I couldn't really debate the game with the "true" followers. But it was always exciting to go to the games and watch...


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

CS, thanks for reading. I wasn't going to write this until I saw so many others had offered their opinion--I figured I better, also. I liked the era when Larry Bird played--it was a time when there were some truly great players out there.

I also used to go to NBA games. The Sacramento Kings used to play in Kansas City, and I loved it when I could make it to a game. It was great fun.

Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Mike


Gemineye profile image

Gemineye 6 years ago

Mike, nice article. The NBA absolutely wins in the end. The money that will come in from Miami now will be ridiculous, the drama will be blown up, and the TV will be strewn with Heat games next year. I am more than sure, the Heat-Cavs matchups will be part of the "vital scheduling".

I am still wondering if Pat Riley comes back to the bench. I know he said he isn't, but that's another ego that may need stroking. Isn't there the possibility of the Heat winning a handful of titles? If Pat was there to guide them, he would add to his resume as well, maybe try to make a run at Phils numbers?

Hrmmmmm


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Gemineye, thanks for stopping by. I could see Riley wanting to take over it if looked like the Heat had a legitimate shot at a title, just as he did when they acquired Shaquille O'Neal. It probably would be a good idea--Riley has the chops to deal with the superstar ego, just as Phil Jackson does.

I noticed in the paper that Derek Fisher was interested in meeting with Pat Riley about joining the Heat. Fisher is exactly the kind of player Miami could use, even though he fits that "aging veteran" description. Fisher knows how to defer to the superstars and still play his game. He is also still an able defender and ball-handler. Trouble is, even if the Heat signed Fisher, can they find seven more players like him, including a starting center?

This will be fun to watch--no doubt about it. I wouldn't mind seeing Riley come back and try to win a few more titles. I always liked him as a coach and thought he was outstanding. In that regard, he is nearly as great an asset as the players; I would enjoy seeing him back on the bench.

It has been years since I've actually looked forward to an NBA season, as much as I enjoy watching the game. I'm looking forward to this one.

Mike

Mike


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Good hub. They were burning LeBron's shirt in Ohio last night. I thought that was pretty rude--the guy is a fabulous player.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi Mike, I think that you did a good job and I had fun reading this one, I like the scenario. I think that we are thinking on the same ground hehe, Take care, Maita


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Paradise, thanks for reading. I thought James could have been kinder to Cleveland in the way he elected to share his decision to leave, but moving to another team is certainly not worth burning his jersey. The other side of the coin is that players get traded without a second thought, and they are told to understand that it is a business and not to take it personally if they are traded or cut. Cleveland needed to understand the same thing.

James is a good player and it will be great fun to watch him play with Dwayne Wade in Miami.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Maita, thanks for reading. I saw you had written about LeBron's decision, as well. It is hard to say what Miami's team will be like, but I don't think it will be as good as people think--at least not right away.

Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope you have a great day.

Mike


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Mike, your knowledge and depth about subject matter and your responses are appreciated. Great hub to read on a Saturday afternoon!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Dallas, thank you for the kind words. I do write about things I enjoy, and hopefully that comes across to the reader. Thanks again.

Mike


ThomasWMutherJr profile image

ThomasWMutherJr 6 years ago from Topeka, KS

Hmm. This has got to be a truly unique situation: only four players on a roster less than 3 months before the preseason begins. This is taking "risk" to new heights, at least as far as NBA maneuvering is concerned. I can really see Riley taking this risk more than I can James. If this roll-of-the-dice doesn't pan out for him, it will be a huge set back . . . or, maybe not. I keep forgetting how young James is. Barring injury, he has 6-8 years of prime-time left. Anyway, It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

And I agree with those that think burning his jersey is a bit over the top. it reminds me of when Roy Williams left KU for North Carolina. I hated to see him go too, but hell, he had the right to go back to his Alma Mater if he wanted to. Didn't he? I can't see how changing ones address can transform one from beloved figure to super-villain.


generahowitzer 6 years ago

I am not signed in Mick but you have a great Hub here eh... soon enough this will be featured...


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Not much on basketball, but I still found your article entertaining and enjoyable to read. On the flip-side, now that Lebron HAS found a home, I can enjoy the end of hearing his name so much. lol


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tom, thanks for stopping by--I appreciate it. You've got it right--it is a risk for Pat Riley, but the biggest risk to James has to be to his reputation. If Miami is seen as a team 2-3 years away from being a title contender, how can he justify leaving a very good (although not great) Cleveland team?

The Heat are talking with Derek Fisher about joining them, but he is already showing his age. Would he still be in the league by the time the Heat are ready to challenge for a title? If he is in the league, will he have anything left to offer? He only averages about 7 points a game for the Lakers now.

I have never seen anything that has reminded me so much of the old Philadelphia 76ers with George McGinnis, Julius Erving, Chocolate Thunder and World B. Free. ESPN televised a huge "introduction" to their new players, with Bosh, James and Wade in uniform greeting throngs of adoring fans. It was a true spectacle and the Miami Heat are going to be the NBA version of the Rolling Stones.

When the games are finally played it's going to be a good show, but will it be good basketball? The NBA is more like the old ABA than ever, and it isn't that far removed from the Globetrotters. The Lakers vs. Celtics NBA Final was almost a throwback to an older era where no gets to the rim for dunks and everyone defends. Will that style of play once again be banished from NBA arenas?

I can see where Cleveland fans will vilify James, but burning his jersey is WAY over the top. If that was warranted, should every player traded against his wishes publicly blast team management? James made his decision and it should be respected, even if it isn't popular in Cleveland.

Gonna be an interesting NBA season--maybe for the first time in years.

Thanks for stopping by, Tom. Feel free to come back.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Generalhowitzer, thanks for reading. I appreciate your kind words and hope you're right--I can always tell if I have a hub featured by a spike in the number of readers.

That notwithstanding, I thank you again for reading. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Springboard, thanks for reading. I'm with you--there has been too much attention given to this decision, especially since it has been going on for almost two years now. I will admit to seeming contradictory by writing an article about LeBron, but my contributing to the hype doesn't mean he deserves it......

I wonder what Tiger Woods has been up to lately?

Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

Mike


Just A Voice 6 years ago

I don't follow basketball, I'm a maniacal football fan. But this whole Lebron James thing reminds me of Terrell Owens who seemed to think that he WAS the team, not part of a team. And he did complain to the press that because he didn't get the ball enough, or support enough for HIS talent that this was the reason games weren't being won.

Well put him in a ball gown, a crown on his head and glass slippers on his feet and let's call him Cinderella because boys, we've got us a prima donna!

Quite frankly, even if it might be true...at times, I can't stomach that kind of player. I was never so glad when he left my beloved team for another.

I'm one of those die hard fans of a certain team. Been a fan for 30 years...god that's a long time and definately dates me...sigh. But I digress...it doesn't matter if we're doing good or we're doing bad, I'm in all the way. (Of course I prefer we were doing good!) I've loved certain players on my team, but if they left then they were no longer on my radar. I am a fan of my team...not a certain player.

Some of these atheletes need to have a reality check. They are only as good as their team, no one can play by themselves. And when they start thinking that way...that team is not going to be team anymore. It's going to be the "STARS" and the supporting players who either get no credit or get slammed if it doesn't go well.

Sad, sad, sad.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Voice, thanks for stopping by. Your comparison with Terrell Owens is a good one and could be prophetic. It will be extremely interesting to see what happens if James and the Heat don't win big. If one takes all the credit for winning, what happens when they lose? Too often, what happens is they move on and insist the team didn't support them enough.

I'm like you, I am a fan of teams more than players. I have watched the hapless Kansas City Chiefs every Sunday for three years, hoping to see them improve. I watched them when they were good, also. I loved the high-scoring Dick Vermeil teams, and the strong defensive teams in Kansas City under Marty Schottenheimer. The Chiefs are rotten on both sides of the ball now, but I still watch because they are the Chiefs. I can't suddenly become a Chargers fan.

The Miami Heat are in the process of setting up a star system like no team in basketball ever has, and what they do on and off the court could dramatically change the pro game. But it will still be a team sport, and LeBron James did a lot this week to demonstrate that he hasn't yet learned what the word team truly means.

Thanks again for reading, Voice, and I hope everything is well.

Mike


Patrick Morton profile image

Patrick Morton 6 years ago

Great coverage, can't wait to see how it all plays out this season, it will surely be an exciting year in the NBA. I am more interested in seeing how Spoelstra handles the situation and Pat Riley as well for that matter.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Patrick, thanks for stopping by. I have wondered if Spoelstra has the experience and clout to handle the three superstars he has been handed, as well. Will they listen to him if things go poorly? So many people envision Pat Riley returning to the bench, which would be a shame for Spoelstra. It should be a fascinating season, for better or worse. I am looking forward to it. Thanks again for reading.

Mike


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Great Hub - the photo's are brilliant. Whenever I visit America, I must attend one of these big, fascinating NBA games. We don't have them here and they seem so exciting.

I haven't got the foggiest about the players/teams, but I hope that the Team you are supporting win.

Best Wishes. :)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Elena, thanks for stopping by. I hope someday you do get to see a basketball game in person, whether it is an NBA game or a college game. They are great fun, and I enjoy them both very much. Oh, and thanks for the kind wishes for my team(s). I appreciate it. Take care.

Mike


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Whoa Mike this is the first time I've ever seen a poll almost evenly split. I have a floor to ceiling poster of King James in my office, I hope he and the team win the championship this year. Excellent hub


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

The Miami Heat are certainly conducting a grand experiment. Keeping Udonis Haslem and signing Mike Miller to a contract, quite frankly, is a great beginning for them. Zydrunas Ilgauskas has left Cleveland to join James in Miami, as well. Ilgauskas is on the downside of his career, but he knows how to play with James and is a great acquisition. Frankly, their efforts to fill out their roster has so far gone better than I thought it would. This should be a great season, and I hope it doesn't get interrupted by a lockout.

Thanks for stopping by, pmccray!

Mike


mjtalentsearch profile image

mjtalentsearch 6 years ago from Hollywood, Florida

Hi Mike, your article was wonderfully written. Growing up I loved playing basket ball in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for my high school.

Though I loved playing the game I rarely watched the NBA teams play on television until the play offs.

I can't tell you how excited I am, along with the rest of Miami now that we have Lebron and Bosh joining Wade.

You're correct by saying the NBA wins, but more importantly to us, the city of Miami Wins!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

mjtalentsearch, thanks for reading. You're absolutely correct, the city of Miami wins big by bringing LeBron James and Chris Bosh to the Heat. There will be some very interesting basketball played there this fall and winter, and I hope you enjoy some NBA games before the playoffs arrive this season.

Thanks again for reading, and good luck to the Heat and Miami.

Mike


Michael Jones 6 years ago

Im sick of these basket ball players all they want is money! Bodybuilding Supplements


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Michael, thanks for stopping by. I'm not certain what you meant when mentioning bodybuilding supplements--perhaps part of the message was accidentally deleted?

Mike


ralwus 6 years ago

Lebron is still well loved by many here Mike. I am only a stone's throw from Akron. Fans are upset by his leaving, his choice, but he is still loved by many.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hey, Ralwus, thanks for stopping by. James is charismatic and will retain a following even if he isn't playing for Cleveland any longer. After a few days passed since his big announcement, I'm sure fans who reacted emotionally began to see that James made what he thinks will be the right move. It will be interesting to see the crowd's reaction when Miami plays at Cleveland, and every NBA fan will be watching.

Thanks again for stopping by, I always appreciate it.

Mike


receptionist profile image

receptionist 6 years ago

Lebron's decision is very disappointing to the Cleveland fans out there... But I think that it was a right decision... He's a free agent and with such opportunity to win the championship, James can't say no to that kind of offer... Thanks for sharing this hub... Love reading your post.. =)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Receptionist, thanks for reading. It is hard to predict how this will turn out for James and the Miami Heat, but it is a fascinating team being assembled and most NBA fans can't wait for the season to begin. We will soon learn if the move was a good one or not.

Thanks again for your comments.

Mike


don 5 years ago

Good read.

I'm super late to add anything to the discussion that hasn't already been said. But I just wanted to acknowledge that I visited and enjoyed such sentiment.

Definitely good for the NBA.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Don, thanks for stopping by. So far, the Heat have been better than I thought they would be, and they have been fun to watch. I wonder if their lack of size up front will eventually wear them down, however. It will be interesting to continue to watch them. Thanks again for reading, I appreciate it.

Mike


ballfan92 profile image

ballfan92 5 years ago

Nice hub. The Heat have certainly lived up to most of the hype given to them in the pre-season. They could potentially be the favorites coming out of the Eastern Conference. Just did a hub on them myself today.


bayer2 profile image

bayer2 5 years ago from Manahawkin NJ

Looking back on this article now, it is amazing how so many underhanded signings happened and how many players were willing to take absolutely nothing to play with the Heat, most notably Bibby, Mike Miller, Big Z, and others. Their starting lineup lacks a center, but Miller and Haslem are above average starters and they get by. They will be tough to beat, but i think many people agree that they bought a championship and LeBron will never be compared to MJ anymore. Great article!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

ballfan, thanks for reading. A lot has happened since I wrote this, and the Heat are two wins away from an NBA title. Players opted to join Wade, James and company on the Heat and play for much less than their market value, giving them a chance to win the title in their first year. In less than a week, we'll know how it comes out. Either way, give Pat Riley another summer to tinker with his roster, and it should get pretty interesting next season. Thanks again for reading.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Bayer, thaks for stopping by. I resisted the urge to tweak this article as time went by to make it more relevant to events that have transpired since I wrote it. You are correct, it has been an odd year filled with questionable occurrences along the way, including the interest players like Bibby have shown in joining the Heat for less than their market worth.

Typically I root for teams featuring KU alums, as the Heat does with Mario Chalmers, but I have been rooting for the Mavs in this series, simply because I don't want to see teams succeed in buying a title. We will know what happens by the middle of next week.

By the way, I salute Mario Chalmers for playing so well on the big stage. He has hit half-court shots in two games in the finals now, and has played very well throughout the series. It would have been easy for Mario to sulk after the Heat brought in Mike Bibby and inserted him in the starting lineup, but Chalmers has handled himself with dignity and class the whole way.

He is the one Miami Heat player I am rooting.

Mike

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