Some kind of big news in Miami

A couple thoughts on Le Decision:

It’s very possible that this was pre-ordained since the 2008 Olympics and everything else has been some giant charade, but you’ve got to wonder if LeBron winning a title in Cleveland would have changed things.

And you’ve got to wonder if Cleveland pulling the trigger on an Amare Stoudemire trade would have made any kind of difference in that regard.

If Cleveland has Amare instead of Jamison, I think they win it all (on the flip side, I think the Suns sneak into the playoffs and get smoked by the Lakers or Mavs in the first round in that situation). The Suns seemed willing to take nickels on the dollar and all the Cavs offered was J.J. Hickson, and at the end not even that.

If the Cavs would have taken Amare AND J-Rich (who of course dominated the playoffs), I don’t think there’s any doubt that they would have gotten The King his crown.

Cleveland made almost every move it could to pacify LeBron but in doing so in my opinion lost its best shot at him. Once Bosh said no to Cleveland and since prior moves severely limited the Cavs’ flexibility, you knew he would only return for sentimentality’s sake.

On the flip side, the Heat couldn’t be smarter for not dealing for Amare. Of course, he could have left Miami just as easily as he did Phoenix, but this offseason would have had a completely different feel for the Heat if STAT was their player. In the end, they couldn’t look smarter for failing to pull the trigger on Amare.

As for Amare, you’ve got to kind of feel bad for him and the Knicks. I don’t feel he’s the kind of guy who can carry a team to greatness alone. Perhaps as a No. 2 guy (although he never really did that in Phoenix) but not as the top dog.

The Knicks still have money to field a pretty decent team, but if they decide to save much of that for next year they’d be lucky to be a fringe playoff team.

As for the Heat, the NBA just got a whole lot more interesting. I don’t love the idea of Team Trinity, but it will give fans a new team to either love or hate.

I don’t think Miami will win it all this year, but they might win the next three or four once they have mid-level and spend a year gelling (teams so rarely win it all in their first run together). Plus, they could really use a center and a bench.

I really think Wade and Bron could be unselfish enough to make this work. Still, it’s so rare for a team to have two alpha dogs on the perimeter (unless Bron isn’t really an alpha dog) that this could still self-destruct at any moment, especially considering all the egos involved. Still, God help us all if Chris Paul ever joins them.

Finally, you’ve got to feel bad for Cleveland fans. That city has suffered enough and to have LeBron play it out on “The Decision” was more of a kick to the balls than was necessary.

You can either call LeBron the ultimate unselfish player who only cares about winning or a guy who doesn’t think he can win it all alone, but the scenario nobody thought could be true has finally happened. Three superstars have joined up on a team to take over the NBA (and the world). Can’t wait to see whether it works.

Tags: Lebron James

  • Jasper Buckleman

    "Why does anybody go to Miami? Ass. And the burgeoning art scene."

  • Shawn

    I don't think it's cowardly, everyone has needed help to win a tittle and how could you say no to playing w/ Wade and Bosh. Shoot, watch Shaq follow suit he said he wanted to "win a ring for the king" right?… not Cleveland lol.

  • Jasper Buckleman

    It's not cowardly to leave the team you came up with to win a ring. Kevin Garnett did it and I think most people (even those in Minnesota) don't begrudge him. But Kevin Garnett never made a big deal about it and he accepted the fact that the Celtics weren't his team. He was at the end of his career and knew he couldn't be THE guy and win a championship, and was more than willing to be just one of the guys.

    LeBron James is in his prime and thinks he's the best player to put on a uniform. He dragged out this whole thing to serve his ego and he did to go be Wade's Pippen? Look how Kobe Bryant's sole focus turned to winning a title without Shaq. He had help, absolutely. But no one is confusing Gasol with Dwayne Wade and no one calls the Lakers anything other than Kobe's team. Wade has already won a championship without LeBron.

    What was the point of all of this if he already knew where he was going? And it seems pretty clear he knew where he was going all along.

  • DAG

    OK. Bosh has some serious skills, but he is by no means a superstar. It’s even questionable if he is worth a max contract. He is very good, not great. Only great players are superstars.

    FYI- Love Amare, but also falls in the very good not great category.

  • Shawn

    Tough times ahead for Amare in NY unless they can get him some serious help. They certainly wouldn’t do much of anything like Bosh in Toronto if they don’t. I wouldn’t mind to seeing Tony Parker go there and Melo next year to make an entertaining team.

  • AZ Fisher

    Uhh… last I heard.. you need more than 3 players to be a basketball team. What is going to be the quality of the other 10 players that sign for $1 mil each? Right now, Boston and Orlando still look stronger in the East. Chicago certainly improved with Boozer too. The Cavs had three legit 7 footers last year. Miami has zero bigs. Miami just traded Beasley too. Well, good luck Miami. LA, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, and Orlando still look stronger.

  • Mike Meez

    I’ve already lined up against this “Team Trinity.” What a cowardly, disappointing move by Lebron. He can never claim to be the best player now. Yes, even superstars need a supporting cast but that does not mean Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and it doesn’t mean moving to the other guy’s city.

    I was going to write a whole rant but Bill Simmons says it best:

    “Maybe he wants to be an unselfish creator like Magic or a do-it-all wingman like Pippen. Maybe he has too much Doctor J in him, as I theorized after Game 6. Maybe he believes that if Wade carries the crunch-time load, it will free LeBron to do LeBron things and average a triple-double every game without having that burden of “I’ve gotta create every shot for us in the final four minutes.” Maybe he thinks it’s his best chance to win. And if so …

    13. I think it’s a cop-out. Any super-competitive person would rather beat Dwyane Wade than play with him. Don’t you want to find the Ali to your Frazier and have that rival pull the greatness out of you? That’s why I’m holding out hope that LeBron signs with New York or Chicago (or stays in Cleveland), because he’d be saying, “Fine. Kobe, Dwight and Melo all have their teams. Wade and Bosh have their team. The Celtics are still there. Durant’s team is coming. I’m gonna go out and build MY team, and I’m kicking all their asses.” That’s what Jordan would have done. Hell, that’s what Kobe would have done.

    In May, after the Cavs were ousted in the conference semifinals, I wrote that LeBron was facing one of the greatest sports decisions ever: “winning (Chicago), loyalty (Cleveland) or a chance at immortality (New York).”

    I never thought he would pick “HELP!”

    What a shame.

  • Brian

    Playing on a team with your buddies is pretty compelling. Can’t blame him for wanting to do that.

  • Shawn

    LBJ can't help the hype everyone makes about him. At least he turned it into a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club. Guys with big egos don't leave their team. I think he's actually taking an ego hit by going to Miami. He's putting his ego aside and money for what he feels is the best chance to win a title. Wade and Bosh are teaming with him as well what does that say about them?

  • Jasper Buckleman

    LBJ can't help the hype? Who do you think started this two years ago?

    Wade's already won a ring; he has nothing to prove and Bosh isn't a superstar, no matter how much he thinks he is.

  • Steve

    I agree with the first comment whole-heartedly. Bosh is not a superstar. He average career highs last year of 24 and 10. While those are great numbers, he was also the only player on his team worth mentioning. If he didn't average those numbers, they wouldn't have won a game. Toronto NEEDED him to do that. In a game that's got the pace of today's game, 24 and 10 isn't all that spectacular. It's earn a spot in the top 5 at your position, for sure, but that isn't the way I define "superstar."

    Dwyane Wade is a superstar. The man won the NBA finals by himself. Don't tell me he won it because of Shaq. Shaq averaged 13 and 8. I'd hardly call that "help." If you trust John Hollinger's PER system at all (which I do. I hate most of Hollinger's stats, but I think he has it exactly right on PER from an offensive standpoint), Dwyane Wade's NBA Finals performance was the single greatest playoff performance of all time. Better than anything Jordan did. He took a team of mediocre role-players and Shaq to an NBA championship. That's a superstar. As much as I hate Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan, they are superstars as well.

    LeBron James, I have my doubts. He's the best regular season player in the history of the game (if you question that claim, then you have to admit he is undoubtedly the greatest regular season player currently active). But he has had far better supporting casts than Wade had in his championship season, yet he has reached the Finals just once in a terribly weak conference with just 2-4 good teams per year. I don't think LeBron James is a superstar. You might think I'm crazy for that, but so be it. To be a superstar, in my mind, you have to have a killer instinct that makes you want to crush your opponents and do nothing but win. Kobe has that. Duncan has that. I don't think LeBron has it. He's the most physically gifted basketball player alive, which gets him his stats. But superstar? I'm not so sure.

  • KJ Loyalist

    Can’t compare KG to LBJ. It’s not even the same sort of thing.

    Kevin Garnett gave everything to the T Wolves. He remained there year after year. He cried on national television because all he wanted to do was win for himself and for that franchise. He tried everything and he went along with the moves the front office made.

    LeBron basically picked a roster, got his friends paid, then left as he hit his real prime.

    On the flip side, the Cavs should’ve been ready for this. They’ve had 2 years to prepare and they didn’t.

    What they should do now is just destroy everything and get rid of almost everybody. To be honest, if I were them, I might enquire about Leandro Barbosa.

    If you put him on a team and tell him to score, he could easily get you 25 a night in the east.

  • HankS

    I’m very curious how this is going to play out.

    Both LBJ and Wade are used to have the ball in their hands all the time–that’s not going to be possible now.
    How is Bosh going to like having, say, seven fewer shot attempts a game?
    And who are they going to play with–after all, if the three of them average 30 points a game (which they probably won’t), they’ll still need to have the rest of the team to average 15-20: are they going to find scraps able to do that for, essentially, the league minimum?

    Superstarts aside, I still like to think of basketball as a collective game–if so, three simply isn’t enough.

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  • Mike Meez

    Another great article about LeBron taking the easy way out. My favorite point: In 1990 Michael Jordan was 27 and had not even been to the NBA finals after being in the league for several years. The Celtics and Pistons had kicked his ass for those first years and he didn’t know if he had a good enough supporting cast. But he never doubted himself, stuck with Chicago, and went on to win 6 championships. Jordan would never have done what LBJ did. Nor would Kobe or Duncan or Larry Bird. So lame.

  • CornFlakes

    Amen to Mike, Jasper, and KJ. LeBron took a permanent shot to his legacy, and his goal (if it every truly was his goal) to be the best the NBA has ever seen is DONE. He’s now playing second banana to D-Wade in D-Wade’s city, on D-Wade’s team. Every great player needs help, you can’t win alone. But Jordan Kobe, Magic, they ALL had supreme and utmost faith in their own talents to see their teams out. They all had the killer instinct to see each & every game to the end (though Kobe had a few hiccups: don’t forget the Phoenix-LA Game 7 in ’07). LeBron? He’s taken the easy way out to let D-Wade and Bosh do most of the work. It’s like he’s AFRAID of being top dog, of always having to be “the man” every night. I don’t ever Jordan or Kobe backing down from that prospect (once again, barring that bad game Kobe had in ’07).

    He’ll always be remembered as one of the greats of the NBA. But he will NEVER be remembered as the BEST. That is over and done with.

  • ILoveTaint


    If LeBron is “The King” what is Wade? You saw the shirt he was wearing on ESPN? It said “Miami Wade County” (word play on Dade County). LeBron is now Pippen. Wade has already proved himself and can turn it on at any point of any game unlike LeBron who turned it off verse the Celtics with a decent team compared to Wades scrub team he won the title with on his back. I also love however many titles they win Wade will always be one up on LeBron. The only way he does that or beats him is if he leaves Miami in 6 years. What is going to do abandon Miami when Wade gets old and join Durant in New York or something in 2016. I think Durant is happy in OKC.