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I’ve heard a lot of talk about how this team has no one else and how they won’t make it out of the East and this and that and blah blah blah. I’m a Celtics fan so I don’t want this team to win. I didn’t want this to happen, but it did and now it’s time to face reality.
And the reality is that this team is going to be tough to beat, as long as they are on the same page. This isn’t just the top three free agents of 2010. This is three of the top 10 players in the NBA. Two of the top three. All still in their prime. Let me put it into words that we can all comprehend:
Imagine if the Los Angeles Lakers cloned Kobe Bryant. Then imagine that these Kobes were in their mid twenties. Not this current Kobe, I’m talking about the 81-points-in-a-game Kobe. MVP-chants-in-Boston Kobe. You have two of those Kobes, then you steal Pau Gasol. Well.. that’s Miami now.
Miami Thrice they are calling it. They don’t need the fancy nickname, they just need to win titles. I’m not going to claim that they win 10 titles together. I won’t even speculate on how many they can or will win. I just know that this trio, they are bound to win.
DWade just said that this could be the greatest trio of all time… only time will tell but until then lets look at other great trios:
- KG, Pierce, Allen: It’s a shame these three didn’t join forces earlier in their careers.
- West, Baylor, Chamberlain: These guys never technically won a title together but those three names are amoung the greatest of all time.
- Birb, McHale, Parish: Won 3 titles together. A total of 10 rings and 3 MVPs
- Jordan, Pippen, Grant: These three won 3 straight titles together until Jordan retired and Horace left. But it’s okay because that led us to the next great Bull’s trio.
- Magic, Kareem, Worthy: These guys won 3 titles together. Between them 14 championships and 9 MVPs.
- Jordan, Pippen, Rodman: While Rodman isn’t in the Hall of Fame, he deserves it. One of the greatest rebounders/defenders of all time. This Trio has 17 titles between them and the greatest single season record of all time.
- Russell, Havlicek, Jones: These guys won a staggering 8 championships together. A total of 29 titles between them. Sure it happened back in the day but all these guys did was win, win, win.
Where do James, Wade, and Bosh rank on this list? Currently, no where. They haven’t done anything together. Alone they have 1 ring and 2 MVPs. Not exactly amazing stats.
In my mind these guys have realized individually they will never catch MJ in stats or Legend. Their next best shot is to catch him in Championship count and this is the best way how. Look at Kobe, for example. The guys numbers don’t even touch MJ on an off night, yet he is one ring behind his Airness and already people are comparing Kobe to Jordan.
What this trio and, more specifically, LeBron accomplishes in June is going to be the best measure of their greatness.
LeBron, Wade and Bosh.
That sounds pretty good, right? A lot of people are saying the Miami Heat will win the next five titles (give or take).
Well, why don’t we play a little game…
I’m going to be an imaginary GM for a second. Let me put together a team.
First, I’m taking LeBron. He’s a beast. Gotta have LeBron. Could have averaged a triple-double per game in the right system. And I’m gonna add Dwyane Wade. That guy can get 250 free throws in the Playoffs. I need a guy like that on my team.
I’m not so much of a Chris Bosh guy. He’s never done much, but acts like he has. I don’t like that kind of player. He was the #1 on a horrible team, and most people STILL don’t know about him. I’m dumping him.
In his stead, I’m signing Tim Duncan. A younger Duncan too. Lets knock 5 years off his odometer. So, how about that team? LeBron, Wade and a younger Tim Duncan? That’s a pretty great threesome. Way better than the ‘10-‘11 Heat.
But hey, this is my fantasy, so I’m gonna keep going. I need forwards, so why not grab Amar’e and Boozer? They were both free agents, so it makes sense. Oooh! I love Carmelo. He’s just cocky enough, and just gutsy enough for me. I gotta have Melo.
LeBron can run the point, right? Let’s line ‘em up:
PG - Bron
SG - Wade
SF - Melo
PF - Amar’e
C - Duncan
And, I’ve got Boozer on the bench. Now that’s a title winner! I’ll just fill out my roster with minimum guys. Convince some vets to come chase a ring.
You know what? Screw that. I’ve come this far, why not fill out my squad with athletic guys like Shawn Marion and Richard Jefferson, and role players like Lamar Odom and Emeka Okafor? I’m even gonna add younger versions of Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury.
I think I can even get Larry Brown to coach them. He’s won titles at every level.
Now that’s a goddamn team. All those superstars? How can they lose? That team’s gonna win the next 50 championships, right?
Well, that was the lineup for the 2004 United States Olympic Basketball team.
And that team lost, when it counted - playing for the Gold Medal game - against a scrappy group of Argentinians, led by Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Fabricio Oberto, Andres Nocioni, Carlos Delfino, Pepe Sanchez, Walter Herrman and a bunch of dudes you’ve never heard of in your life. Argentina played like a team, believed in themselves, and beat us at our own game.
Hell, that team lost to Puerto Rico. By 20 points. Lithuania beat us too.
If you think Miami just won a championship by signing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, I’m here to say, you’re wrong.
Title teams, throughout time, have had the Derek Fishers, the Robert Horrys, the Dave Cowenses, the Sam Joneses, the Dennis Johnsons, the Ron Harpers, the James Poseys, the Brian Shaws, the Cliff Levingstons, the John Paxsons, the John Salleys, the Bruce Bowens, the Manu Ginobilis.
Maybe the Heat can get some players to accept peanuts to chase the title. But don’t forget, as my buddy Squibb texted me, they’ll need people to accept peanuts for the next 5 years.
Championship teams need heart. Grit. Leaders. And roles. I just don’t see it yet.
And Erik Spoelstra? That guy’s been a head coach for 2 years. I’m not sure I believe he’ll know how to balance those egos and minutes. I’m certain those players don’t know how to do it.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are two proud teams. The Lakers are a bit flaky. The Celtics are a bit old. At this point, each needs a little inspiration to get after it. They both have it now.
But this is about the Heat, and the pressure on Miami is higher than any team I can remember before it. The catch is, this squad’s done nothing. Never played a game together. Needless to say, next season, we’ll find out what winning basketball is all about.
(photos by NBA.com/SI Vault)
(written by brainworks)