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07-09-2010, 11:11 AM
LeBron James makes his pick: He's going to Miami
Posted Jul 8 2010 10:21PM

See ya, Cleveland.

Sorry, Chicago, New York and New Jersey. Maybe next time around, Clippers. LeBron James chose superstar help over the comforts of home and is heading for Miami because he wants to win a championship with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
NBA, get ready: A superstar trio has just been born.

Ending weeks of will-he-or-won't-he speculation, the two-time MVP said Thursday night that he's decided to join the Heat and leave the Cavaliers after an unsuccessful seven-year quest for the ring he covets.

``I can't say it was always in my plans, because I never thought it was possible,'' James said on a made-for-Lebron live show on ESPN. ``But the things that the Miami Heat franchise have done, to free up cap space and be able to put themselves in a position this summer to have all three of us, it was hard to turn down. Those are two great players, two of the greatest players that we have in this game today.''

Olympic teammates in Beijing, James, Bosh and Wade all helped deliver gold medals.

This time, it'll be about a gold trophy, the NBA championship one - the one Wade got in 2006, the one that James and Bosh have yet to touch.

``Winning is a huge thing for me,'' James said from a studio in Greenwich, Conn., where an audience of kids from the Boys and Girls club was present for the announcement.

It's a huge victory for the Heat, which got commitments from Wade and Bosh on Wednesday. That duo, along with James, formed the upper echelon of the most-celebrated free-agent period in league history.

Heat president Pat Riley landed them all, a three-pack of stars to help shape his quest for a dynasty in Miami.``There's magic in the number three,'' Wade said, a nod to his jersey number.

And for Cleveland, a city scorned for generations by some of sports' biggest letdowns, James' long-awaited words represented a defeat perhaps unlike any other.

James is gone. Home sweet home no more.

He said he made the decision Thursday morning and knows it won't go over well in Ohio.

``They can have mixed emotions, of course,'' James said, adding that Akron will ``always be home for me.''
His new home - part-time or otherwise - wasted no time in beginning the celebration. Horns honked outside the arena and on Miami Beach, where Wade was watching the announcement with members of his inner circle.``It's going to be crazy,'' Wade said.

In Cleveland, the immediate reaction was predictably filled with outrage. Television images showed at least one fan burning James' No. 23 wine-and-gold jersey.

``I can't get involved in that,'' he said. ``I wanted to do what was best for LeBron James ... At the end of the day, I feel awful. I feel even worse that I wasn't able to bring an NBA championship to that city.

``To my real fans out there, I hope that you'll continue to support me all the way to Miami.'' James met with six teams on the free-agent recruiting circuit, and said the process was ``everything I thought, and more.''

``We are disappointed that LeBron James did not pick the New York Knicks, but we respect his decision,'' Knicks president Donnie Walsh said.

Added Mikhail Prokhorov, the new owner of the New Jersey Nets, another club that swung and missed on landing James: ``We have a vision of a championship team and need to invest wisely and for the long term. Fortunately, we have more than one plan to reach success, and, as I have found in all areas of my business, that is key to achieving it.''

And Bulls general manager Gar Forman said he was convinced his organization ``made the strongest of bids to acquire LeBron James during this free agency period.''

James, Bosh and Wade entered the pros in the same year, the respective Nos. 1, 4 and 5 picks in the 2003 draft. They went their separate ways: James to Cleveland, Bosh to Toronto and Wade to Miami, where he won a championship partnered with center Shaquille O'Neal in 2006. That year, James, Bosh and Wade all signed matching contracts to make sure they were all unrestricted free agents at the same time.

Season-ticket sales for the Heat's coming 41-game season were suspended Thursday afternoon after the entire supply of available seats were sold out. Not every seat has been released for sale yet and some will be held back for single-game purchases at the 19,600-capacity arena.

``I'll believe it when I see it,'' Louisville coach Rick Pitino said while attending a tournament of high school stars at Cleveland State University, co-sponsored by James and Nike, one of the 25-year-old's corporate partners.

Believe it.

The Cavaliers, a franchise that was in ruins before winning a lottery drawing and bringing James up Interstate 77 from his Akron home, have had the upper hand - until now. They were able to offer him more money - $30 million more - than any other team.

This wasn't about money, though.

Wade and Bosh both said they would take fewer dollars to make this happen. And that, combined with what Riley and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said to James on the recruiting tour, was enough to pull off the stunner.

Because they have overspent while trying to please James and win the first title by any of Cleveland's three pro sports teams since 1964, the Cavs are strapped with a few big contracts that have eaten up salary-cap space and prevented them from making roster moves to improve the team.

They've come close to winning it all with James, who at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds has the quickness of a point guard and brute force of an NFL defensive lineman.

With the possible exception of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, James is the NBA's premier player, but his legacy cannot be fulfilled until he wins a championship.

If it's going to happen soon, it'll happen in Miami.

Wade has shared the spotlight in the Heat locker room before, doing so when O'Neal was there for the 2006 title run. And James said that if Wade wasn't willing to make this megadeal happen, the trio wouldn't be together.

``At this point, D-Wade, he's the unselfish guy here,'' James said. ``To be able to have Chris Bosh and LeBron James, to welcome us to his team, it's not about an individual here. Because if that was the case, D-Wade wouldn't have asked us to join him or we wouldn't have asked him if it was OK to come down here. It's not about individuals. It's about a team.''

07-09-2010, 12:20 PM
Is this thread dedicated to the bandwagon fans?

I'm a Miami Heat fan since the Dan Marino days. Este since the Harold Miner days. Este since the Rony Seikaly days. Este since the Zo/Timmy days.



07-09-2010, 12:24 PM
<----bandwagon fan here. LOL!

07-09-2010, 01:48 PM
Pat Riley could come to the picture if he wants to. The cast of Miami reminds me of the 80's Lakers. Lebron when he arrived in the NBA in 2003 played point guard for the Cavs back then under Paul Silas and Pat Riley could put him in that position again ala Magic Johnson. And then he has Chris Bosh who plays like James Worthy.

07-09-2010, 02:06 PM
pierce-allen-garnett was put together when those 3 were at the tailend of their peak. wade-bosh-james are all at the peak of their peak. and if lebron can make all-stars out of mo williams and ilgauskas, guys like delonte west, varejao and gibson look like good players, imagine how much better he'll make wade and bosh look.

07-09-2010, 02:58 PM

Heat ship Beasley to Timberwolves for draft pick


MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Moments after LeBron James(notes) told the world he was headed to Miami, the Heat set to work to make way for the King.

A person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press late Thursday night that the Heat have agreed to send forward Michael Beasley(notes) to the Timberwolves for Minnesota’s 2011 second-round pick and a swap of future first-round picks. The person requested anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced.

The Heat wanted to clear more cap room when James made his announcement Thursday night that he was joining Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes). The deal ensures that the Heat can pay all three stars and add some supporting cast to make a run at the title.

Team president Pat Riley definitely has his work cut out for him in that area. With Beasley gone, the Heat now have just one player—point guard Mario Chalmers(notes)—officially on the roster. James, Bosh and Wade have yet to sign their contracts.

Beasley was the No. 2 overall draft choice in 2008 but hasn’t lived up to the billing yet. He averaged 14.8 points and 6.2 rebounds last season for the Heat.

Beasley said often last season that he didn’t want to be traded, but people close to him indicated that he never fully felt comfortable in Miami.

And he simply never clicked the way the Heat hoped, either.

His departure, which should be finalized on Friday, could open enough room for the Heat to go out and address their most glaring need—a shooter. It’s believed Mike Miller(notes) is at the top of Miami’s wish list, and his acquisition would likely be supported by Wade, who has raved about Miller’s play before.

Beasley’s playing time, especially at the end of games, was often a concern and subject of incessant speculation. The Heat never were really sure what position to use Beasley at, trying him at small forward, power forward and even center. And his stint was marred by two rocky offseasons, first when he was kicked out of the NBA rookie symposium and fined for rulebreaking, then last summer when he received substance-abuse treatment at a facility in Houston.

Before one game late last season, Beasley had John Legend’s song “I Can Change” blaring in the locker room from his iPod, saying it was merely a coincidence and not a hidden message.

“I know I can be a great player at this level,” Beasley said in an interview with The AP during last season’s playoffs. “I’m just not showing it yet. I don’t know why.”

Maybe a change of scenery will serve him well. He comes to a rebuilding Timberwolves team that won just 15 games last season and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004.

The gamble is small on Minnesota’s part. The Wolves give up a second-round pick and will swap first-rounders with Miami in an unspecified year down the road to land a player who was neck-and-neck with Derrick Rose(notes) in the running for the No. 1 overall pick just two years ago.

But Minnesota suddenly has a logjam at power forward with Al Jefferson(notes), Kevin Love(notes) and Beasley. They also have agreed to deals with center Darko Milicic(notes) and power forward/center Nikola Pekovic(notes), who will come over from Greece.

That means it is highly likely that at least one of those players gets traded before the season begins. Timberwolves president David Kahn has said the team is considering all of its options to get things turned around as quickly as possible.

“This time of year,” Kahn said earlier in the day, “everybody on our roster is open for discussion.”

AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this story.

07-09-2010, 03:34 PM
current Heat roster:

Wade, James, Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, DaSean Butler, Joel Anthony(?)

expect them to scour the whole Summer League.

07-09-2010, 04:01 PM
Mike Milller is on his way to the Heat as well. Miami will have their shooter.


07-10-2010, 08:52 AM
Is this thread dedicated to the bandwagon fans?

I'm a Miami Heat fan since the Dan Marino days. Este since the Harold Miner days. Este since the Rony Seikaly days. Este since the Zo/Timmy days.



Now that you've mentioned Rony Seikaly..... ;D

Forget LeBron: The real king of South Beach is Rony Seikaly
By Jim Weber

LostLettermen.com, the college sports site dedicated to former players, will regularly contribute "Where are they now?" stories to The Dagger. Here's a look at the current whereabouts of former Syracuse star Rony Seikaly:

Former Syracuse star Rony Seikaly was dubbed "The Spin Doctor" during his basketball career for his spin moves in the paint, but it's an even more fitting nickname for his new career: Spinning turntables.

That's right, the 6-foot-11 former college star and NBA big man is now a DJ. Don't believe us? Check out his website or watch him in action yourself. He's even signed with Subliminal Records and will release a new floor-friendly tune every month starting in July.

More of the article here:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Forget-LeBron-The-real-king-of-South-Beach-is-R;_ylt=AupXGwGTmC98ZvYu2RwJBfNjVJJ4?urn=ncaab,2545 94

07-12-2010, 10:39 AM
James will wear #6 jersey (#23 was his previous number), and Bosh will wear #1 (he wore #4 before) for the Miami Heat.

07-13-2010, 07:08 AM

Haslem staying put, agrees to deal with Heat

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP)—Udonis Haslem(notes) is staying with the Miami Heat.

Terms were not immediately revealed, although Haslem says he turned down offers from Dallas and Denver that would have paid more. The Heat were expected to announce the signing later Monday.

Haslem has been teammates with Dwyane Wade(notes) for each of their previous seven NBA seasons, and Wade wanted that relationship to continue. When Wade, LeBron James(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) agreed to new deals last week, each took slightly less money to allow Miami room to get other players.

Haslem has averaged 10.0 points and 8.1 rebounds in his seven Miami seasons.

07-13-2010, 07:24 AM
Haslem stays with Heat; Miller joins in
By Marc Stein, ESPN.com

Udonis Haslem is staying with the Miami Heat and Mike Miller is joining him.

Haslem signed a five-year deal Monday worth around $20 million, roughly $14 million less than he could have received if he accepted more lucrative offers from the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets.

"This is a combination of having a great opportunity to win, which is why we play this game, and an opportunity to still stay close to my family and be with my mother," said Haslem, whose mother has been ill for some time. "And also, the opportunity to be a part of something special. We all play this game to win. I've never been a person driven by money."

Miller's agent, Arn Tellem, confirmed the sharpshooter's intention to sign a five-year free-agent contract with the Heat on his blog Monday.

Shortly after ESPN.com reported Monday that the Nuggets had joined the Mavericks in the bidding with a strong offer, Haslem sent an e-mail to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reading: "Turned down full mid level from Dallas and Denver. See u next season."

The Nuggets, after being foiled in their pursuit of Jermaine O'Neal, extended a multiyear offer to Haslem starting at the $5.8 million mid-level exception, just as the Mavericks did earlier. The New Jersey Nets were also interested in Haslem.

Denver had an even greater need than Dallas for Haslem. Two of the Nuggets' key big men, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen, recently underwent surgical procedures that will rule them out for the start of the season.

But every team that showed interest in Haslem in recent days did so with pessimism that he could be lured away from Miami, given his strong ties to the area and a close relationship with Wade.

Team president Pat Riley has often said that he wants Haslem to be a Heat lifer, such is the regard for the gritty forward's contributions to Miami's title team in 2006. Haslem, 30, earned $7.1 million last season and has averaged 10 points and 8.1 rebounds for his career.

"He is the epitome of what the Heat is about," Riley said. "He is our anchor, he is a true warrior and a great professional."

That's why Wade reached out to Haslem constantly during the free-agent process, if only to remind him that was the case.

"I would be changing my DNA if I left just for money," Haslem said.

Another factor for Haslem was Miller's decision to join the Heat -- something the team still hasn't formally announced. Miller and Haslem are extremely close friends, both former Florida Gators as well.

When Miller decided, Haslem knew he wouldn't play anywhere else.

"Nothing else for me to consider," Haslem said. "That's my boy from Day 1."

Tellem wrote on his blog Monday that Miller talked with four teams, not including the Heat, but that his future "hinged on LeBron's."

LeBron picked Miami, so Miller followed, and Tellem compared Miller to the Ringo Starr on this new Heat team of stars.

"Mike welcomes the chance to be the Ringo in a hot combo that already includes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh," Tellem said.

Miller averaged 10.9 points a game on 50 percent shooting from the field, including 48 percent from beyond the 3-point arc with the Washington Wizards. He also contributed 3.9 assists a game in 54 games.

Haslem's signing was announced about an hour before Miami's trade with Minnesota became official, in which the Heat sent Michael Beasley to the Timberwolves for a pair of second-round draft picks.

Beasley took over Haslem's job as the starting power forward last season, something Haslem went along with without complaining openly. Bosh will be the starter now, and Haslem doesn't mind that whatsoever.

"Coming off the bench behind a guy like Chris Bosh who has multiple -- what is the game they play in? -- All-Star game appearances, different things like that, I have no problem," Haslem said. "The hardest thing I had to deal with was just to give my job up."

With Bosh preferring to play power forward, and with the Heat not having an established center on the roster, that could mean the 6-foot-7 Haslem has to spend some time at the pivot this season.

If that's what coach Erik Spoelstra wants, so be it, Haslem said.

"We've already sacrificed," Haslem said. "Why stop sacrificing now? I'm committed to do what it takes to make this team successful."

He said he was watching Friday night's lavish introduction of James and Bosh, along with the re-introduction of sorts of Wade, with his son. Haslem was undrafted when he came to the Heat, was with the team through its first rebuilding phase, was a crucial factor in the 2006 championship run, then endured the indignity of the 15-win season in 2008.

Now this.

"I couldn't believe it," Haslem said. "It just didn't seem real. It seemed like something out of a video game or something like that."

Nope, it's real.

And knowing his role will be to help protect Miami's new Big 3, Haslem said he'll keep his trademark braids -- although he considered getting a haircut after turning 30 earlier this summer.

"With the bulls-eye that's going to be on these guys' backs, I'm going to need these braids this year," Haslem said.

07-15-2010, 07:10 PM
If miami is looking for cheap talented point guards, they can sign Jon Scheyer or Scottie Reynolds. Both are undrafted players in the 2010 Draft.

blue scorpion
07-16-2010, 07:57 AM
If miami is looking for cheap talented point guards, they can sign Jon Scheyer or Scottie Reynolds. Both are undrafted players in the 2010 Draft.

Ako na lang sana. Sobrang cheap. I am willing to get the minimum as the minimum will be way more than what I get at work. Kahit ako maging 12th man at taghigh five lang kay wade. At pinapasok pag sobrang tambak na. Hahaha. Just kidding of course.

07-18-2010, 08:44 AM

Heat complete Ilgauskas signing as roster fills

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP)—For the Miami Heat, the first priority of the summer was the big moves, the names like LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes).

It’s been all about big men since.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes) became the third center to sign with the Heat in less than 24 hours on Saturday, completing a deal he agreed in principle to about five days earlier. On Friday, the Heat completed contracts with returning Miami veteran Joel Anthony(notes) and rookie draft pick Dexter Pittman(notes). And Miami’s next move is expected to be the re-signing of another 7-footer, Jamaal Magloire(notes).

That’s roughly 28 feet of centers in all, with the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas standing taller than everyone else on Miami’s now-bursting depth chart at center. The Lithuanian—who was drafted by Cleveland in 1996 and has never suited up for any other NBA club—is 12th among all active players with 1,269 blocks, and 21st among current players in rebounds with 5,904.

“As we continue to shape our roster, we have filled a key position with the addition of Zydrunas,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a release. “He is a two-time All-Star, a proven rebounder, and a great shot blocker. His place in NBA history is already clear, and we are pleased to be able to add a seasoned veteran of his caliber to our roster.”

Ilgauskas averaged 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds last season for Cleveland, playing as a backup behind Shaquille O’Neal(notes). He was part of a three-way midseason trade and ended up in Washington, which bought out his deal without Ilgauskas ever playing a second for the Wizards. After the NBA’s mandated 30-day waiting period, Ilgauskas returned to Cleveland.

But when James announced his decision to join Miami, it seemed almost certain that Ilgauskas would follow. To him, it made sense for three reasons: His wife Jennifer has plenty of family in South Florida, James wanted him to join the rebuilt and suddenly loaded Heat roster, and Ilgauskas is still chasing his first championship ring.

“LeBron gets a lot of the credit for this one,” Wade said.

Ilgauskas is the ninth player to sign with Miami for the coming season. After Magloire, the Heat are expected to add Juwan Howard(notes) and Carlos Arroyo(notes) in the coming days, and it seems possible that free agent James Jones(notes)—who was with Miami last season—could also return. Free agent point guards Keyon Dooling(notes) and Chris Quinn(notes), both former Miami players, are targets as well.

07-20-2010, 06:51 AM

Jones signs deal, sealing his Miami return

MIAMI (AP)—James Jones(notes) completed his return to the Miami Heat, signing Monday with the NBA team that bought out his contract last month.

The South Florida native decided last week that he didn’t want to play anywhere else, especially after Miami wildly reshaped its roster by adding LeBron James(notes), Chris Bosh(notes), Mike Miller(notes) and others while keeping Dwyane Wade(notes) and Udonis Haslem(notes).

Jones was the NBA’s third-best 3-point shooter in 2007-08. In two seasons with Miami, he’s appeared in 76 games, averaging 4.1 points and shooting nearly 38 percent from 3-point range.

Jones originally had a contract for 2010-11 guaranteed for $1.9 million. He’ll make $1 million more this season, plus receive buyout payments through 2012 from the original contract.

07-20-2010, 06:52 AM

Magloire re-signs with Heat, adds to center depth

MIAMI (AP)—Center Jamaal Magloire(notes) has re-signed with the Miami Heat for the coming season.

It’ll be the third season Magloire spends with Miami, which wanted him back to bolster its depth inside. Magloire has averaged 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in his 10 NBA seasons with one All-Star appearance.

Magloire averaged 2.1 points and 3.4 rebounds, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field in 23 games as a reserve for Miami last season.

He becomes the 10th player to sign with Miami for 2010-11, including the fourth center.

Sam Miguel
07-20-2010, 10:20 AM
Inside Look at LeBron’s Free-Agent Coup

By Adrian Wojnarowski

Email Print At the Beijing Olympics, where LeBron James was surrounded by such talent and possibility, the Cleveland Cavaliers began to lose their star to free agency. The beginning of his departure came in small moments on the daily bus rides through the city’s choking smog and bigger ones on the basketball court. Together, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and James kept talking about the summer of 2010, about the chance of a lifetime to chase championships and roll like a touring rock band.

And yet before Pat Riley’s free-agency vision for the Miami Heat could ever be validated, James had to first become a member of that 2008 Olympic team. The public never knew what those on the inside of American basketball’s elite power structure did: In the years and months before Beijing, that was very much in doubt for James.

Back when the Heat’s three new superstars had signed short contract extensions and started to explore the idea of free agency thrusting them together, a different discussion had played out within the NBA and USA Basketball: What should we do with LeBron?

From Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski to managing director Jerry Colangelo to NBA elders, the issue of James’ immaturity and downright disrespectfulness had become a consuming topic on the march to the Olympics. The course of history could’ve changed dramatically, because there was a real risk that James wouldn’t be brought to Beijing based on fears his monumental talents weren’t worth the daily grind of dealing with him.

When the mandate had been to gather these immense egos and get the NBA’s greatest players to fit into a program, no one had a more difficult time meshing into the framework than James. Other players made it a point to learn the names of staffers and modestly go about their business without barking orders and brash demands.

No one could stand James as a 19-year-old in the 2004 Athens Olympics, nor the 2006 World Championships. Officials feared James could become the instigator of everything they wanted to rid themselves for the ’08 Olympics. For as gifted as James was, Krzyzewski and Colangelo subscribed to a belief that with Kobe Bryant joining the national team in 2007, they could win a gold medal in ’08 with or without LeBron James. Behind the scenes, officials had taken to calling James’ inner circle, “The Enablers.” No one ever told him to grow up. No one ever challenged him. And yet, James was still a powerful pull for his teammates, and everyone had to agree they could no longer let his bossy and belittling act go unchecked. These weren’t the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Team USA wasn’t beholden to him.

After the NBA witnessed the behavior of James and his business manager Maverick Carter during the 2007 All-Star Weekend, the commissioner’s office sent word to USA Basketball the league wouldn’t force James on them for the Olympics. Before Team USA gathered for the 2007 Tournament of the Americas in Las Vegas, an unmistakable message had been delivered to James through Nike: Unless you change, we’re serious about leaving you home.

“Legacies were on the line,” one league official said, “and they weren’t going to let LeBron [expletive] it up for everyone in China.”

Through Nike, James ultimately heeded the message and became more tolerable to coaches, teammates and staff. Team USA assigned Jason Kidd(notes) to babysit him at the Tournament of the Americas in 2007, to try to teach him something the Cavaliers never had a veteran to do: professionalism.

When James returned to the Cavaliers, the franchise hoped that he had grown, matured and maybe learned some lessons. Only James understood the angles and leverage he had in Cleveland. Every day, owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Danny Ferry wondered: What must we do to get him to re-sign in 2010?

What will make him happy?

The answer, as the Cavaliers eventually discovered, was nothing. James lived to make demands, but those with knowledge of his plans insist he never intended to re-sign with the Cavaliers.

One week after James joined Wade and Bosh in Miami to potentially alter the NBA’s balance of power for years, Yahoo! Sports has shaped a story of how events unfolded in the free-agent frenzy of 2010 based on interviews with several sources who were either involved in or have direct knowledge of the process.

Within an hour of the Cavaliers’ season ending in Boston, James’ inner circle, including power broker William Wesley, agent Leon Rose and business manager Maverick Carter, stood outside the visiting locker room grumbling about coach Mike Brown.

James had wanted Brown gone a year earlier after the Cavs lost in the Eastern Conference finals to the Orlando Magic – despite Brown guiding Cleveland to 66 victories while winning the league’s Coach of the Year award. Ferry debated Gilbert to keep Brown. He won out, but Ferry knew it would be tough to make that case again in 2010. Every decision the Cavaliers made had to be run past James. He didn’t always get to decide, but he had to be consulted.

This time, Gilbert believed he had to fire Brown to have a chance of re-signing James. When he was fired, Brown purposely left his star’s name out of a public statement of thanks. He knew James had led the movement for his dismissal for more than two years and Brown no longer needed to pretend that he liked, or respected James.

Ferry warned the owner there wouldn’t be a better coach available to hire. Eventually, Gilbert pushed out Ferry, too. The owner wanted to take over a bigger portion of the basketball decision-making and Ferry’s stubbornness made that difficult for him.

The franchise was in complete upheaval, and Gilbert had the Cavaliers trying everything possible to impress a non-responsive James. The Cavaliers star had started to fully distance himself from the organization. He refused to get on the phone and discuss his future with Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, whom Gilbert had offered $30 million to take over as coach.

Before the Cavaliers ever reached out to him, Izzo turned down a less lucrative offer to coach the Chicago Bulls. James wasn’t returning Gilbert’s calls and messages – never mind willing to talk with Izzo. Before Izzo finally turned down Gilbert, he was delivered a direct line to two of James’ close NBA friends, who told him he should only take the job with an expectation he’ll never coach James in Cleveland. Gilbert tried to sell Izzo, but the coach feared there wasn’t a single influential official in the Cavs organization who truly had a relationship with James.

No one had more intelligence and better monitored the disconnect between James and the Cavaliers than Miami Heat president Pat Riley. He had informants and spies everywhere, including his own star, Wade, who had been telling Riley for most of two years they could lure James to South Beach. The Heat had everything they needed to sell James, except for what finally arrived on the eve of the NBA draft: salary-cap space.

On the night before the draft, Riley hung up on a call with Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti to complete a salary dump of Daequan Cook(notes). It wouldn’t be long until word traveled to everyone. LeBron James. Dwyane Wade. Chris Bosh. The Heat had the salary-cap space to make this happen. All these months of planning, all these contingencies, and now the greatest free-agent coup in history was within reach.

When the NBA powerbroker and adviser to James, William Wesley – famously known as Worldwide Wes – heard the news, he was duly impressed. After all these months, all this careful planning, Riley had cleared the cap space to give the three stars of free agency contracts starting at about $15 million.

For months, Wesley had believed James’ choice would be the Chicago Bulls, but no one had counted on Riley’s relentlessness in clearing enough cap space to accommodate the three stars. Free agency wouldn’t officially start for another week on July 1, but from then on, Wesley had two words about LeBron and the Heat for the closest of associates: done deal.

Worldwide Wes had understood something about James the Cavaliers refused to believe, and even James’ childhood buddies from Akron were still somewhat unwilling to accept: LeBron James was never re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now it was a matter of securing him the proper complement of teammates for the greatest free-agent haul in history.

Riley was 65, a five-time NBA champion, a Hall of Famer and he wanted a dynasty to fade into the sunset of his basketball life. He had kept his word, continuing to dump contract upon contract in a high-wire act that left him without a safety net.

Riley believed he could unload those contracts. And mostly, he believed in his own power of persuasion. He is still the biggest presence, biggest voice in the room. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, a statistics analyst, met with Chris Bosh at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 armed with an iPad. Morey’s cult followers on the web hailed it as a resounding success, but Riley never believed he was losing Bosh to the MIT gang.

Riley believed in his ability to get into the room with James and sell him on the way the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers sacrificed salary, shots and statistics for the greater good of a dynasty. Most of all, Riley believed he could benefit on the close relationship that James had with Wade, and that there wasn’t a franchise with cap space that could offer such a compelling case to the two-time defending MVP.

Riley ran the Heat franchise in a bold way. He had two things to sell the best players in the NBA: South Beach and his bigger-than-life persona. The Heat don’t bother scouting internationally. They didn’t believe much in the college draft. They constantly planned around free agents and trades, a high-risk, high-reward way to steer an organization.

All along, teams believed Bosh would choose to play with James or Wade. What Bosh truly wanted was to play with James and Wade. It was commonly accepted that Bosh’s time with the Toronto Raptors taught him he couldn’t be the centerpiece player, and so he embraced the idea of playing the part of Robin to James’ and Wade’s Batman.

Wade had come to believe James would likely leave Cleveland, but became largely certain once the Cavaliers lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. For the first time, James could no longer blame his supporting cast and coaching for a playoff exit. His peculiar performance in a Game 5 blowout, lethargic and distant, pushed James on trial.

Within days of the season’s end, James and Carter traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the birthday party of New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul’s(notes) young son. With James on the premises, rules for the toddler’s birthday party included no photos, no video.

James was close with Paul, and free agency and the possible connecting of the players’ futures did come up in conversation. Paul was unhappy with the Hornets, and frustrated to see so many of his Team USA teammates on championship contenders and playoff teams. James and Carter long had been trying to recruit Paul to their LRMR marketing company and the Rose/Wesley/CAA cluster for his contract representation.

As a prelude to Paul eventually going into business with James, Wesley began working the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets to get them to try and trade for Paul with the strong suggestion that it could deliver James in free agency. Both tried, both failed.

As Wesley worked front offices, his stature started to rise out of the subculture of the sport and into mainstream news coverage. Carter wanted credibility beyond the public perception of him as merely James’ childhood buddy, and ultimately he could no longer hide his jealousy when Wesley started to get too much public recognition for packaging the players in free agency. Privately, everyone in the circle knew James was leaving Cleveland, and it would be harder for his Akron guys to get credit for the deal.

During the NBA Finals, Carter met entertainment mogul David Geffen at a party in Los Angeles. Carter talked informally with Geffen’s people about the possibility of them attempting to purchase a majority share of the Los Angeles Clippers and signing James with the team’s cap space. Carter even made sure to show up with Geffen courtside at Staples Center for a game in the Finals to elevate his stature as a major mover, but buzz died fast when Clippers owner Donald Sterling made clear he had no interest in selling his team.

After a Yahoo! Sports column detailing the strife within Team LeBron in late June, Carter unwrapped his jealousy and called the New York Times to insist Wesley would have nothing to do with choosing a team. Wesley had unsuccessfully shopped Kentucky coach John Calipari to the Chicago Bulls as a preferred coaching candidate for James, but the Bulls made a run for Izzo and ultimately settled on a less-expensive client of CAA, Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau.

Wesley wanted the commission on Calipari’s pro contract, but no one wanted to hire him. James did have a strong bond with Calipari, but ultimately he was much more interested with the ownership, front office and talent on the floor. James understood that coaches were easily disposable, but the rest had more staying power.

Nevertheless, Wesley reacted with caution over Carter’s public proclamation to back off, and slid further into the background. Still, he stayed in close contact with James through a Nike official, Lynn Merritt, and let Carter cool down from his public tantrum. Carter worried far more about Wesley than Wesley did about Carter. There were such doubts about the kinds of advice that Carter had been giving James, about the staying power of that bond, that Wesley was willing to play it out and see who would still be standing beside LeBron James.

Sam Miguel
07-20-2010, 10:21 AM
Inside Look at LeBron's Free-Agent Coup (cont'd)

By Adrian Wojnarowski

The New Jersey Nets – with owner Mikhail Prokhorov and minority partner Jay-Z – were the first team to make a formal presentation to James at the offices of his LRMR marketing company in downtown Cleveland on July 1. This was the meeting that most intrigued James, because he had never been in the room with Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire and new Nets owner. This was a self-made global tycoon, different than the rest of the owners, and this surely intrigued James.

Prokhorov was long, trim and athletic, and at 6-foot-9 inches able to look James in the eyes when greeting him for the first time. The Nets made a pointed, flashy presentation on the franchise’s eventual move to a new arena in Brooklyn and delivered a creative, if not embellished, explanation of how Prokhorov held an international blueprint for James on how to catapult him someday into the billionaire athlete that he always wanted to be.

For James, the problem with back-to-back presentations was his short attention span. Cavaliers coaches had always tried to keep film sessions short because James would drift away and lose interest. As the New York Knicks followed the Nets by repeating those themes with an array of power points and charts about accumulating wealth, James drifted in and out of focus. Later, James would tell Jay-Z that parts of New York’s presentation felt too redundant to New Jersey’s.

In this free-agent push for James, the Nets were something of a wild card, largely because of his close relationship with Jay-Z. In so many ways, James wanted to emulate the music mogul’s platform. In pitching the Nets, who had won only 12 games, Jay-Z kept reminding LeBron that he cared too much about his own brand to ever associate it with something unworthy. The Nets were going to be a force, he promised. With a partnership together, they could own New York and someday the sporting world.

At the start of free agency, the Nets erected a 127-foot billboard of Prokhorov and Jay-Z across from Madison Square Garden. Knicks owner James Dolan was irate, called Jay-Z and told him the mural intimidated his employees.

As it started to get back to Jay-Z that the Nets were trailing to the Heat and Bulls, a Nets official close to ownership – against the wishes of several peers – hatched a plan to leak the notes of a Prokhorov staff meeting to a media outlet. The leaked notes indicated that Prokhorov believed James’ brand would be diminished as part of a three-star team in Miami. What’s more, the notes also indicated what great respect Prokhorov had for Maverick Carter.

The Bulls still believed they were strongly in the bidding for James. They met him on July 2, and for all the discussion later about the belief that Chicago wouldn’t give jobs and access to members of James’ inner circle, the issue had never been raised with team executives.

For everything the Bulls tried to sell – from owner Jerry Reinsdorf to GM Gar Forman to coach Tom Thibodeau – there had been one thing that troubled James’ about the Bulls pitch: Derrick Rose(notes) never called and tried to recruit him.

Chicago officials never directly requested Rose to reach out with a call, and the young point guard felt James could’ve always reached out to him had he wanted to discuss the possibility of playing together. James needed to be courted, needed to be wooed and apparently it surprised him there was a star who wasn’t falling over himself to do that.

On the eve of the Bulls’ meeting with James, Forman and vice president John Paxson requested and received a second visit with Wade within 24 hours in Chicago. They met for a couple hours in the office of Wade’s agent, Henry Thomas. Chicago believed it needed badly to emerge out of the meeting with a commitment from Wade to take to James in Cleveland. The Bulls could still make a couple of moves to position them further under the cap and sign two maximum salary players.

Without James committed to joining him in Miami, Wade hadn’t completely let go of the Bulls as a bargaining chip. He knew Bosh would come with him, but LeBron still hadn’t told him that he was going to sign with Miami.

Nevertheless, Riley’s presentation on July 3 pushed James closer to committing than ever. Riley never did pitch James on his own return to coaching, and yet bringing those five championship rings into the meeting were his way of selling James on the fact that Riles’ prints would be all over the team. No other basketball executive in the process could tell James they understood what a title team needed, what it looked like and how they had already done it like Riley could. Riley had such credibility, such presence and he completely captivated James.

Want the best talent? It’s here. Want a Hall of Fame coach? He’s upstairs, waiting for your arrival. Nevertheless, Riley had backed far away from a news conference at season’s end when he suggested he would be willing to return to the bench should a free agent deem it a deal-breaker to sign with the Heat. For James, it wasn’t. Wade had sold him on Erik Spoelstra, and Wade didn’t want Riley hovering over this coach the way he had Stan Van Gundy before taking over on the title run in 2006.

Perhaps Riley could always be seduced to the bench, but he has privately told people he has come to cherish his ability to escape to his Malibu home for a few days here and there in the season. In a lot of ways, the grind no longer appeals to him and he’s wanted to give Spoelstra, his longtime apprentice and understudy, every chance to succeed.

Nevertheless, the pressure on Spoelstra to win a championship in 2011 promises to be immense. To keep his job, he’ll probably have to win it all, especially because Riley has his eye on Doc Rivers to someday coach the Heat. Rivers has one year left on his Celtics contract, and has been heavily affected by the distance between him and his family still living in Orlando.

Riley never sold any coach to James in the meeting but the one sitting next to him. Yet, James understood that Riley ultimately had no loyalty to anything but winning.

Wade wasn’t allowed to recruit for the Heat before the end of the NBA Finals, because he was still a Heat employee. Yet before the end of the Finals, there were two June meetings that involved Wade and members of James’ inner circle – one in Ohio and another in Chicago. The NBA doesn’t seem interested in pursuing a tampering probe, but a senior NBA official wants the league to investigate whether Riley promised James employment and benefits to members of his camp.

“The bigger issue is salary-cap circumvention,” one top NBA front-office executive told Yahoo!. “You can’t promise jobs or preferential services outside of a contract or a job for a friend. If that’s part of the deal, it’s a violation.”

The way James lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals turned out to be a boon to the Heat. The pressure was on James to start winning titles and Riley understood this was playing into his favor. The criticism of failing to win a title weighed on James, and Wade worked him over on it. All that would fade away with the Heat, and it wouldn’t be a matter of winning a single title but rather how many they would line up.

James, Wade and Bosh talked on the telephone late on July 6. Wade had gone back to Miami and met with Riley and Heat owner, Micky Arison, and was ready to formally commit to staying. He had Bosh in his pocket, and now they just needed James to make the move with them. They hung up the phone late that night and thought James was prepared to make the jump with them.

Wade and Bosh made public their choices on July 7 and waited for word that would soon quietly come to them: LeBron was on his way to Miami, the greatest coup in free-agent history complete. Later that day, Carter was on the phone with free agent Mike Miller(notes) telling him that James was going to Miami and that he needed to join them as a sharpshooter playing off the three stars.

Back in Akron, James still wanted to go through his live hourlong television show on July 8 to announce his decision. This had been Maverick Carter’s big idea, his production, and still people around him worried about the fallout in Cleveland. Several friends told James this was a bad idea to do to his hometown, that leaving the Cavaliers live on national television would make this a public-relations disaster for him.

James didn’t seem to agree, didn’t think it made a difference. Mad was mad, he thought. He would take a beating, but it would subside and people would love him again in Cleveland. The TV event had delivered hope to the Cavaliers that they would keep James because they never believed he would go on air and open himself to such a visceral reaction.

Better than anyone, they knew LeBron James could sometimes be so unaware of the world outside his own needs, his own yes men. Nearly two years later, the whispers in the back of the bus rolling through Beijing had become the loudest statement in free-agency history. The telephone call to the Cleveland Cavaliers came minutes before the 9 p.m. show, and somehow the news still shocked them. LeBron James was leaving, and the truth finally washed over owner Dan Gilbert and his front office: James had been gone a long time. They just never wanted to believe it.

Sam Miguel
07-20-2010, 10:30 AM
Phil Jackson might be the most successful coach ever in NBA history, but no one holds a candle to Pat Riley when it comes to doing everything it takes to win and keep winning. The story above from Yahoo Sports should become a case study for MBA programs, especially in Organizational Management and Human Behaviour in Organizations. In the 21st century NBA calling this a coup would be an understatement. This was a well-engineered, well-plotted, well-executed plan that could serve as a blueprint for corporate takeovers. And it was all Pat Riley's scheming and dreaming. No wonder they pay this guy $100,000 for giving one-hour talks in corporate seminars.

07-20-2010, 01:09 PM
for me, the story is more about pat riley being able to convince wade to go through those 2 seasons (2008-09 and 09-2010) with such a cast of characters for teammates.

admittedly, riley clearing room for 2.5 max salary was a big gamble. losing big in the free agent bonanza was such a possibility.

pjax is a different beast altogether since he is confined to the coaching space.

07-21-2010, 08:34 AM
Juwan Howard completes his deal with Heat

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP)—After 14 years, Pat Riley finally has Juwan Howard(notes).

Howard joined the Miami Heat on Tuesday, signing a deal that won’t raise the ire of NBA officials—unlike his first agreement with Riley. In July 1996, Howard signed a $100 million, seven-year contract with Miami that was ultimately voided by the league because the Heat had gone over the salary cap.

After all this time, Riley thinks Howard will fit his team again. And for a veteran’s minimum salary, the NBA won’t complain either.

“We feel that Juwan’s ability to play both the four and five spot will be complimentary to what we have put together,” said Riley, the Heat president. “He also gives us incredible professionalism and is a perfect fit behind Chris Bosh(notes) and Udonis Haslem(notes).”

Howard becomes the 12th player under contract by the Heat for 2010-11, the sixth newcomer to join the rebuilt roster. Miami will be the ninth team for Howard, who will begin his 17th NBA season this fall. He appeared in 73 games with Portland last season and averaged 6.0 points, making 27 starts.

Read more here -- http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AmLeXWPKAYx5.Si.XdTRLMi8vLYF?slug=ap-heat-howard

07-23-2010, 07:42 AM

Arroyo returns to Heat, will vie to be starter

MIAMI (AP)—Carlos Arroyo(notes) has finalized his deal to return to the Miami Heat.

Arroyo appeared in 72 games and made 35 starts at point guard for Miami last season, then decided to return to the club after a brief stint as a free agent. He averaged 6.1 points and 3.1 assists, plus had a stellar 4.17 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The team announced his signing on Thursday, giving Arroyo the chance to vie for a championship alongside Dwyane Wade(notes), LeBron James(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes).

“By re-signing Carlos, we feel we have accomplished another big step in adding to this team,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “Carlos showed last season that he was one of the most competitive and efficient point guards in the NBA, and we are happy to have him back.”

Arroyo, who turns 31 later this month, played college basketball in Miami at Florida International.

He becomes the 13th player under contract with Miami for the 2010-11 season and just the second true point guard, joining fellow returnee Mario Chalmers(notes).

07-30-2010, 07:50 AM

House agrees to 2-year deal with Heat

MIAMI (AP)—Eddie House’s(notes) agent says the veteran guard has agreed to terms on a $2.8 million, two-year contract with the Miami Heat.

Agent Mark Bartelstein said Thursday that the second year is a player option.

House was a second-round draft pick by the Heat in 2000 and spent his first three NBA seasons with them. He has since played for eight other teams, including Boston and New York last season, when he averaged 7.0 points in 68 games off the bench.

His career average is 7.6 points, and he’s a 39-percent shooter from 3-point range, with a reputation for making clutch baskets.

House will be a strong contender for a reserve role as part of the Heat’s supporting cast for Dwyane Wade(notes), LeBron James(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes).

07-30-2010, 01:30 PM
Halos kumpleto na ang Heat sa minimum na 13 players. Sobra pa. ;D

PG - Arroyo, House, Chalmers
SG - Wade, Miller, Hasbrouck
SF - James, Jones
PF - Bosh, Haslem
C - Anthony, Howard, Magloire, Pittman


07-30-2010, 01:44 PM
Ah so si James Jones pala is still with the Heat? Interesting...

07-30-2010, 06:07 PM
The weak point guard rotation will not matter that much since both Wade and James will dominate the ball. If any, the center rotation is the weak spot. Haslem will see more time in center spot than Joel Anthony. Juwan Howard and Magloire are past their prime. In actual NBA game, Pittman will foul out in less than 5 minutes.

07-31-2010, 05:24 PM
Isn't Ilgauskas part of Center rotation? ???

08-16-2010, 08:58 PM
Haslem cited after Miami-Dade traffic stop

MIAMI (AP) -- .Heat forward Udonis Haslem was arrested Sunday for possession of marijuana following a traffic stop in Miami-Dade County.

Haslem, 30, was stopped around 3:05 p.m. going eastbound on the Gratigny Parkway because of speeding, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky said. Haslem was also charged with illegal window tint, Wysocky said.

A passenger in Haslem's 2008 Mercedes, Antwain Fleming, was also charged with possession. Both were being transported to Miami-Dade County Jail for processing. Corrections officials said neither had been added to the county system as of early Sunday evening.

"During the traffic stop the trooper smelled an odor of marijuana from within the vehicle," Wysocky wrote in a press release. "After the subsequent search, Mr. Haslem and Mr. Fleming were placed under arrest."

Both Haslem's agent, Henry Thomas, and Heat officials were collecting information and did not have an immediate comment.

Haslem has spent all seven of his NBA seasons with the Heat, and the South Florida native signed a new five-year contract to stay with the team last month.


08-24-2010, 09:52 AM
Casey: How to handle the Heat, and how Miami has to counter


a very interesting article about the South Beach team


10-27-2010, 07:35 AM
I read a few days ago Miami had signed Jerry Stackhouse.

10-27-2010, 08:25 AM
Miami behind by 16 points, 15-31 in the 2nd quarter. Celtics playing extremely well.

10-27-2010, 10:23 AM
Big game by LeBron but not enough. Off-night si Wade at Bosh.

11-23-2010, 12:31 PM
another bad home loss by miami, this time to the pacers. if this keeps up, erik spoelstra might need to "spend more time with his family" soon.

12-03-2010, 11:55 AM
The Miami Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers by a big margin, 118-90. LeBron James scored 38 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and had 8 assists in his first game back in Cleveland with his new team.

12-03-2010, 10:24 PM
Could this emotional game be the turning point in Miami's season? We'll soon find out.

06-26-2012, 12:52 AM
http://servssports.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/img_20120625_145630.jpg?w=300&h=225 (http://servssports.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/heat2012/)

IN their first seven seasons, the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat leaned on the annual rookie draft to patiently build their team. Read more here (http://servssports.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/heat2012/).

Sam Miguel
05-06-2013, 11:38 AM
LeBron James is the NBA’s MVP, but not unanimously as Carmelo Anthony steals a first-place vote

By Kelly Dwyer, Editor

| Ball Don't Lie – 8 hours ago

LeBron James seemed like the perfect candidate to not only win the NBA’s MVP award for 2012-13, but become the first unanimously-voted MVP winner in the award’s history. Not only would James had deserved the unanimous vote, based on his brilliant season, but the process would have served as a reification of sorts for the massive mistake former CNN anchor Fred Hickman made in 2000, when he cast a lone vote for Allen Iverson in the year that Shaquille O’Neal dominated the NBA.

The votes are in. LeBron has won the MVP, and he didn’t win in unanimous fashion. Because some voter, as yet unnamed, thought that Carmelo Anthony had a better year than LeBron James did this season.

Anthony received one second-place vote, out of the 121 possible votes cast. We’re not sure what sort of TV and/or radio personality NBA analyst cast the vote, but it seems a ridiculous notion in the face of a season that LeBron James proved superior to Carmelo Anthony in every aspect of professional basketball. James trumped the brilliant Kevin Durant in the same way; though Kevin produced an MVP-level season, he finished a rightful second in the voting. Anthony, most should deduce, had a fine but not MVP season.

Other goofball nods?

Five voters didn't have Kevin Durant in their top five, this season. That should pin your ears back.

Denver Nugget guard Ty Lawson received a fifth-place vote from someone who wasn’t taking his job as a voter seriously. Stephen Curry, who didn’t even make the All-Star team (in another blown vote) and can’t guard a bottle of seltzer water, received three fifth-place votes as well. David Lee – David Lee! – received a fifth-place vote. And Joakim Noah – my favorite player and the hero of Saturday night’s inspiring Chicago Bulls win over the Brooklyn Nets – took in a fifth-place vote despite playing just 50 total minutes over the course of the regular season’s last month.

Acting pedantic and churlish over award votes, instead of recognizing the award in full, is silly. Luckily, I don’t mind being silly.

The MVP award vote is not a place to make a statement, or to “recognize” a player you like just because you know that a certain favorite is going to run away with the award. The point, journalists, is to get it right, and not make a story out of your own personal vote. Even if it means you are following the herd.

Carmelo Anthony should be credited for a fantastic year, one that could give his team a chance to go at LeBron’s Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals two weeks from now. He’s in LeBron’s league, technically, but merely in the same way that Samuel Dalembert is in LeBron James’ league.

Carmelo Anthony is not in LeBron James’ league, though. And it’s unfortunate that one voter chose to make themselves the story, instead of correctly nailing what should have been obvious. The next obvious step is to await the “I did it”-statement from this particular voter, who is obviously in bad need of attention.

Beyond that? Congratulations, LeBron.

06-21-2013, 01:30 PM
Congratulations to LeBron James, Dwayne (yes I will spell it normally) Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat. They join an elite club of NBA franchises who have won back-to-back titles. James led the way with 37 points on 12-23 shooting including 5-10 from trey range to go with 12 rebounds. Wade chipped in 23 points and an identical 12 rebounds. James also becomes only the third player in NBA history to be named regular season and Finals MVP in back-to-back years.

Tim Duncan blew a jump hook and the subsequent tip-back in the last two minutes and a half that he has made thousands of times before in similar pressure situations. Manu Ginobili flubbed a back-pass meant for Duncan into the hands of James when he got jammed along the baseline on a drive with under a minute to play. Duncan still led San Antonio with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Ginobili added 18 points including at least two three-pointers in the highly contested fourth period.

Say what you will about James and the Heat, but they beat a real champion in this series and truly earned this title.