There’s no way around the feeling that the incredibly successful project the Miami Heat undertook three years ago by creating the ‘Big Three’ as they added Chris Bosh and LeBron James to Dwyane Wade, isn’t going to last for much longer, and might be headed to the final season before the imminent breakup.
Financially, it’s hard to keep this team going with all three on it. Combined they make up the entire salary cap, making it almost impossible to add quality players. Even if the Miami Heat can add a mid-level exception player each season, it’s hard to believe they’re too fond of the idea that keeps them operating way above the luxury tax. That’s why Mike Miller was amnestied, although the wiser decision might have been letting Joel Anthony (making $7.6 million over the next couple of seasons) go via that clause.
And there are the professional reasons. LeBron James is the best player in the NBA and looks like he’ll be staying that way for the foreseeable future, but the past has shown us that he needs help. From role players like Ray Allen, Mike Miller and Chris Andersen, but also from the stars next to him, be it Wade, battling with his injured knees for a very long time, or Chris Bosh, who focuses on defense and serving as a decoy on offense the further the Heat go in the postseason.
This is no longer a trio of superstars. It’s about one guy above the rest of the team and the league, while Wade has his moments of greatness dabbled with frustration for not being able to play at the same intensity level of before, and Bosh has become just a more recognizable face along with a bunch of role players, while being paid like a franchise player.
The difference between the expectations and feeling about this season for the Miami Heat? Ever since the banding together of the threesome, it feels like it’s all or nothing each season, and even after three finals and two NBA titles, people are waiting for the year it finally doesn’t work out for them only to say it was a failure. Two NBA championships can’t be considered a failure, but the sense of doom and gloom comes with this team this year as well, due to the sense of finality surrounding everything.
Everybody wants to know what we’re going to do. I get it. If we win, cool. If we lose, that’s when it’s like `What if?’ We just have to make sure we take care of our business, stay together and just really answer the call to adversity when it comes. You think about it but I’m mature enough to know that if I really start to think about it, I’m going to start playing bad. Things aren’t going to go right. I’m just going to enjoy today. I’m looking forward to having a big year this year. That’s all I think about. In Toronto, it kind of messed me up. I was thinking, `What is going to happen ? I started struggling and then I snapped back into basketball.
There are many options on the table, but they all depend on how well the Miami Heat do this season – another title run, meaning reaching the NBA finals, with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh looking like they have more in them for future title challenges, and LeBron James stays on and gives up a chance to drive the league crazy by entering free agency. Anything less, and we might be seeing each player go his separate way.