The Miami Heat's Big Three appear to be formidable as ever, but they still have made no decisions about whether to remain together beyond this season.
I'm not at a point where we are a bad team and I need to think about the future so right now I'm really focused on just enjoying this team, enjoying our quest to try to 'Three-peat.' And when the season is over, and whatever happens, then I will sit down and I will sit down with Chris and I will sit down with Bron and I will sit down and make the best decision for myself and my family.
The revelation that the three have yet to make a decision comes in contrast to comments recently made by Bosh indicating he and James would be returning to Miami. Unless he knows something Wade doesn't, it looks like Bosh may have just been saying the right thing to save face.
There's not much else he could say at this juncture, with the Heat in mid-pursuit of their third straight title.
It comes as no surprise that Wade is inclined to stick around. More than either James or Bosh, Wade has become synonymous with the Heat as the franchise's longest-tenured star. If he were ever going to seek out greener pastures, it likely would have already happened.
James and Bosh's loyalties are less certain. After all, both left teams in free agency four years ago to pursue greatness in Miami. It's not inconceivable that they could turn around and do so again.
On the other hand, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to find a core that's as successful as this one. James, Wade and Bosh have already developed an impressive chemistry, good enough to win two titles in three tries. They also play for one of the league's elite head coaches in Erik Spoelstra.
Rovell reports that, "The three met before they made their free agent decision in 2010 and could have another such meeting before their June 30 opt-out deadlines, which allows them to leave in 2014, 2015 or 2016."
In other words, even if the trio agrees to stick it out one more season, that doesn't necessarily guarantee they'll remain together through 2017. There will be two more opportunities for an about face.
Speculation that the Big Three would come to a premature end has been in the making for a while now. ESPN.com's Michael Wallace wrote in 2013 that, "[Heat owner Micky] Arison is ultimately in control of where this ride takes the Heat," noting that the principal hurdle to keeping the group together would be exorbitant luxury taxes.
As it turns out, the other hurdle may be a conversation that goes awry. Regardless of Arison's intentions and financial resources, the Big Three's hearts still have to be in this. Only a meaningful talk with one another will reveal if that's indeed the case.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!