LeBron left Cleveland because he could not get what he wanted most, a championship. People thought that he would follow the money because, after all, James made it publicly known that one of his goals is to become a Billionaire. The Knicks put eleven out of their twelve eggs into this basket. Others thought he wanted the glory of turning around a struggling franchise to solidify his greatness (basically all 5 teams that courted James. Miami is left out here because they had Dwayne Wade. And no, he never planned on leaving).
Can the new Heat win a title in 2010? Sure, they can. Will they? I say no. Most people will say that in order to win a championship, you need at least one superstar, and at least on budding superstar (perennial All Star, who is often out shadowed by his teammate the superstar). Not true (it does help tremendously though), what a team needs is depth.
Go back to 2004, when the Detroit Pistons were champions. The roster was full of talent, but did not have a superstar caliber player. Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, and ‘Sheed were all stars (as in each one of them was a star), but not one of them were Kobe type superstars. But they had talent. Ben Wallace established himself as one of the best defensive player in the league at the time (as well as the scariest man in the NBA since Charles Oakley), and both Tayshaun Prince and Mehmet Okur proved to be very promising draftees.
The Heat have two Alpha-dogs in one ring (if you don’t know what happens when two alpha-dogs are pitted against each other, you can go ask Michael Vick, or Qyntel Woods... how’s that for a name-drop?). I say two, not three, because I don’t believe Bosh is a top tier player.
In his career so far, James has proven that the only thing bigger than his wallet is his ego. And no, taking a pay-cut to win a championship does not change that. Perhaps if he had not held his, “decision,” over everybodys’ head, he would be commanding more respect as a person (let-alone an athlete and a roll model) right now.
What makes his decision most unbearable is that he chose to take a backseat to Wade. He could have gone to any team, and would have made them a contender. Imagine if he had gone to the Knicks, it would have been the 90’s all over again. Starks & Ewing vs. Hardaway & Morning would have been reborn as LeBron & Stoudemire vs. Wade and Bosh. But in the end, LeBron went down to Miami. The smartest thing the Heat can do now (other than fill out their roster with bottom tier players, although it is more of a necessity than anything else) is to not let the new signings go to their heads.
The NBA is a war; fought between 30 teams, and the Heat are heading into battle dressed up in clown costumes to the sound of a full on marching band. Every team in the league can see you Miami, and they are all gunning for you. While each player on the Heat will have, “Their own spotlight,” they will be taken down by the teams that actually play team basketball. Individual players don’t win championships; teams, with team players, do.
The new big three may work in international play, where they have to get along for only 6 games or so. But, in a regular season, I don’t see it working out through 82 games. Then again, it is unlikely for the big three to play 82 games a season, all together.
This team will not have a lot of help coming off the bench. In order for them to be the top team in the league (they may be the best team in the east, but that doesn’t make them the top team in the league, i.e. ‘08/’09 Cavs), all three will need to be playing close to 48 minutes a night. I do expect the team to start the season off on a hot streak. But, by playoff time (and it is safe to assume the team will make the playoffs), the extensive minutes night after night will catch up with the players.
Call me optimistic, but I am not putting my money on the Miami Heat winning a championship this coming season. I love seeing the big teams fall (unless one of those big teams is the Yankees). Once the Miami Heat fall, it will be oh-so-sweet.
In summation, the Heat will be good, very good, but not champions... Also, don’t play with tigers.