Thursday, July 08, 2010

Afternoon Thoughts on LeBron to Miami

Let's accept on good faith that LeBron is going to the Heat -- that the leaks are true and not some sort of odd subterfuge to manufacture extra drama for tonight, when he will pick someone else.

Here are a few points I've been mulling over:

*Why is there an assumption that the Bron-Wade-Bosh (or is that Wade-Bron-Bosh) Heat are this lock to win the championship? It's uncertain that they're even the best team in Florida, let alone the NBA.

*The 2010-2011 Lakers would destroy the Bron-Wade-Bosh Heat in the Finals.

*It's not like LeBron's Cavs in 09/10 were crappy -- they were a 60-win team, the No. 1 seed in the East and the presumptive favorites to win the East (and the title). Hmm...

...That earned LeBron a 2nd-round playoff exit.

*So: John Hollinger projects these Bron-Wade-Bosh Heat as a 60-win team. And? It entitles them to... nothing.

*When it comes to winning championships, a 3-star team with crap around them has less of a chance of winning than a 2-star team with a solid supporting cast.

That's why I'm mildly intrigued by the idea of the Heat getting both LeBron AND Mike Miller. That gives the Heat two superstars -- Bron and Wade -- and two really good "supporting cast" guys -- Bosh and Miller. But, still: The rest of the roster is crap.

I just don't think you can win 16 games in the playoffs with a shoddy supporting cast, no matter how awesome your superstars are.

Forget the ticket sales or jersey sales or TV ratings or Q ratings or glitz or whatever. LeBron and this presumptive Heat team should be judged on championship rings.

And I'm just not sure they are as locked in on them as everyone seems to think they are.

That was one of the points I was trying to make this morning: The expectations. What if LeBron, Wade, Bosh and the Heat win one title in the next five years... will that be enough? No way.

But I would argue that they have more of a chance of winning ZERO titles in the next five years than more than one. By the way, I'm not even sure that winning two titles is enough.

Cripes, Isiah Thomas won two titles. Hakeem won two titles. MJ won more. Kobe won more. Duncan won more. Hell, Adam Morrison has two rings.

At what point would a LeBron-Wade-Bosh Heat satisfy expectations: 3 titles? Four? Five? That discounts all the competitive forces at play in the rest of the NBA: Kobe in the next year or two, Dwight Howard and the Magic after that, Kevin Durant after that.

I am just not convinced that LeBron will win championships in Miami (or anywhere, but that's another story).

Funny enough: I don't begrudge him going to Miami to play with the other two. If he thinks it's his best chance to win a ring(s), more power to him.

And, as I have argued for a week, it is entirely ground-breaking for him to choose this route -- and LeBron has proven himself as interested in being a mold-breaking exceptional as being a champion.

I simply am not ready to hand him and Wade and the Heat a ring (or more). The only thing LeBron wins tonight is greater expectations than have ever been on a basketball player in NBA history.

(Ooh: I think I just found my SN column lead tomorrow... unless he flips the script and either stays in Cleveland -- unlikely -- or goes to NYC -- unlikely.)

-- D.S.

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