Sunday, November 28, 2010

LeBron James: The Heat Are Failing and so is The King

The Miami Heat are 9-8 and already had to have a team meeting after getting beat by the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night. The players said it was needed, they said that it gave them the chance to get some things off their chest.

Really? I know one thing that I hope was said in that "players only meeting." "Hey LeBron, you didn't think the three of you could come here and the rest of the NBA was going to bow to you, did you?"

Somewhere, Cleveland fans are laughing their heads off. LeBron turned his back on them, "took his talents" to the Miami Heat and now they look like nothing more than a mediocre last place team. They look no better than James' former team, the Cavaliers, who sit at 7-9.

There's excellence in the NBA and their names are the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. These three teams didn't come out with their best three players and hold a "look at us" rally. They didn't sit on stools and promise their fans that they were going to "chase history." They didn't tell their fans that they were going to have a hand full of championship rings by the time their run in Miami was done.

I'm not one to sit here and pile on a guy who's been hated on by just about every fan and most of the media, but I can't help but throw my two cents in.

I'm sorry to say this to you Miami fans, but you've been duped. Yep, you've been suckered but good. You were promised this and told that and, oddly enough, it was by a guy who wasn't running for President of the United States. Ok, that was a low blow, but you get the point.

Let me take you back to ESPN giving LeBron James his own one-hour special called, "The Decision." This was perhaps the network's worst decision they could have ever made. I can't imagine the producers or the CEO watching this train wreck and wondering why they hyped up an event that turned into the biggest waste of time.

What I found so funny about the entire thing is that James tried to make everyone think that no one knew what he was going to say. No one knew the decision that he had come to and that it was all a big surprise.

Really, LeBron? You did book a hotel in South Beach for a huge party earlier that day, did you not? Did you really think that we would think, "hey, maybe he's going back to Cleveland, but partying in Miami?" Come on, do you really think fans are as stupid as you made them feel?

Now, 17 games into the season, James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh are realizing that maybe the hype surrounding these three guys was nothing more than that. Hype.

These three guys can come out and think they own the NBA. They can come out and promise the fans as much as they want. But when push comes to shove, only one of them holds a championship ring. Only one of them knows how to get it done. But, then again, he did get a lot of help from one of the most dominant big man in the last decade, Shaquille O'Neal. So, maybe I shouldn't give Wade a lot of credit for that championship.

James has gotten close, but couldn't get his team over the hump, and I'm not even sure what Bosh has done to be seen as one of the best players in the game. I wouldn't even put him in the upper echelon of great players. Heck, I'd be willing to bet there are 10-15 players who are above him in talent and ability.

If these three guys want to know what it takes to win a championship as a team, they need not look any further than the Lakers and Celtics.

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce are the "big three" for that team, but they rely on big performances from Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis among others to get them one win after another. They know they can't have big nights from their best three players and win night in and night out.

The Lakers have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Ron Artest, but they get help from guys like Shannon Brown, Derek Fisher, and Lamar Odom to get them the back-to-back championships.

These two teams know that they can't count on one, two, or even three guys. It takes seven, eight, nine guys to put a championship run together. The Heat would do well to learn that and maybe, just maybe, they might figure out that a 9-8 team isn't going to get past the Celtics or Magic in the playoffs, if they can even get there.

There's no doubt that LeBron, Wade, and Bosh are good players together. However, the questions that came in to this season about all three wanting their points and their shots, seems to be holding this team back from what they could really accomplish.

Want the other problem? Against the Dallas Mavericks, a game that sent the Heat to that team meeting I alluded to earlier, "the big three" put up 53 shots while the rest of the team (8 players) put up a combined 22 shots.

They can't win it themselves and the sooner they figure that out, the better off they're going to be. If they continue to rely on only themselves, the more this team is going to fail.

Not that there won't be millions of NBA fans that wouldn't love to see that happen. A monumental failure by the Miami Heat would be met with laughter from everyone else outside of those in South Beach.

So, LeBron, I give you the words of the once great band, Metallica. "Where's your crown, King Nothing?"

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