When ESPN columnist Bill Simmons wrote The Book of Basketball he referenced the idea of the Secret, a team first mentality that helped players succeed. Few players have fully grasped the concept of the Secret, but all indications point towards a successful understanding of the concept by the new members of the Miami Heat.
This league that so many people have come to know and love has been traveling down the path towards selfishness for a long time.
Players are obsessed with being the focal point of a team, a me-first attitude that goes directly against every fiber of the Secret’s being.
Players want to make as much money as possible, deserting better teams, friends, and fans alike in the elusive pursuit of what was once called the “root of all evil.”
Lastly, players have turned the game into an offensive showcase of sorts; most players throw the word defense out of the dictionary. Defense isn’t as glamorous and self-serving as offense and thus defensive stoppers like Ron Artest have become few and far between.
While most of the league is relentlessly hurtling down that road to a me-first, money-first, offense-only destination, the Miami Heat are somehow using their bright red jerseys to become a traffic light in that road.
You could say that they have become the Bizarro NBA team.
Let’s take a look at some things that have happened so far this offseason pertaining to NBA fans’ newest favorite team to hate.
Dwyane Wade actively recruited players to his team and those players weren’t just role players: they were fellow All Stars, one of whom won the MVP award last season.
Those two players, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, suppressed their egos and signed with the Heat, putting aside their need to be alone in the spotlight for a chance to win multiple championships.
All three of the aforementioned players took significantly less money. Therefore their new—or in Wade’s case, old—team would be able to sign better players than originally expected.
Next, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mike Miller, and Udonis Haslem all signed with the Heat for less money than most expected to make room for even more players.
Everyone on the team is grasping the Secret.
Finally, with the offensive firepower on the court, James, Bosh, and Wade alike won’t have to expend quite as much energy. Previously on that side of the court they were carrying their teams on their backs with their scoring prowess. They can actually use some of that extra energy to be defensive stoppers.
We haven’t seen a team like this in quite some time. When the Celtics put together their Big Three, the egos all clashed at first. Up through the 2010 Playoffs, the Big Three still seemed resentful of the newest great player, Rajon Rondo.
It hasn’t been like that in South Beach yet.
Isn’t it great?