On our podcast, my cousin and I made a pretty bold prediction last summer when every NBA team with cap room except Miami went crazy: D-Wade and LeBron will be teammates on the Heat next year. As I heard that come out of my cousin’s mouth, I was both shocked that he’d make such a bold statement, and in my head I questioned it. After all, why would someone like LeBron, who’s as much a mini corporation as he is a basketball player want to mess up the best thing that could market him, a Magic-Bird type rivalry with Wade? Because of that, I saw LeBron and Amare joining forces in New York with Wade and Bosh joining forces in Miami, followed by the next decade of a relevant Heat-Knicks series where we would get to shut up New York fans once in for all. Hell, I WANTED that, something you could pencil in as the Eastern Conference Final every year, BIG TV ratings for ABC/ESPN and TNT, and for at least the next 3 or 4 years the winner taking on the Lakers. Hell, that’s what the NBA itself probably wants, or so we’re lead to believe.
But then, you realize that the Knicks only have enough cap space for one superstar to get the max contract, meaning LeBron on the Knicks will be the exact same situation only magnified, he’ll be destined to fail in New York, and the media will unfairly skewer him. New Jersey is not the option everyone thinks they are, they’re ownership situation is uncertain, in fact they don’t even know if they’re going to be in Brooklyn or Newark in the coming years. (Because you know if you sign a superstar, you might just want to take care of such pressing matters.) LeBron won’t play out west, I know people are thinking Dallas and Cuban will do whatever it takes, but the only way they could do it is with a sign and trade, and the Cavs won’t make such a deal without getting Dirk, and Mark Cuban has a humungous hard-on for Dirk so that won’t happen.
This means LeBron realistically only has 2 choices, Cleveland, which can re-sign him, and, that’s it, and Miami, which can sign him, and, get ready……….
……..I’m going to have to increase the font size for this……
…………RESIGN DWYANE WADE!........
Sorry about that, I did not mean to shout, but, if you think about it, it makes total sense, hell, even the much respected Chris Broussard says it makes the most sense for LeBron if he doesn’t win this year in Cleveland. (I’d say it makes the most sense for LeBron no matter what, if he wins this year and Cleveland and resigns, it will be his last championship, if he stays with Cleveland, he’ll stay until the bitter end, where as if he doesn’t win this year in Cleveland, which he won’t, and signs with the Heat, he’ll have at least 3 rings.)
Not only will he have Wade if he signs with Miami, but he’ll also have a great young defensive PG who can hit 3’s and distribute the ball well in Chalmers, and both LeBron and Wade will have a calming presence on Beasley, who will be the 3rd option. (And in all honesty, is really a 3rd banana, more of a Kukoc/Horry type than a Pippen type.) Those two are the only Heat players who will be under contract on July 1st, BUT, Haslem would definitely take less money to stay with Miami, I could even see JO doing the same. (My money though would be on the Heat picking up a shot-blocking center on the cheap that could clean up the boards and get at least 8 pts a game through put-backs, tip-ins, and alley-oops, and yes, there would be PLENTY of alley-oops! I’d see it being either Marcus Camby with the heat grabbing a big man in that mold in the draft, or Channing Frye. Honestly I’d go with signing Camby to a one year deal, then grabbing a bargain in Sean Williams currently of the Nets, then letting Williams learn the ropes from Camby and Zo, it would be more cost-effective than JO, plus would set up the Heat in the future.) In fact, Miami would be able to keep most of their bench intact, setting up a rotation that goes as follows:
PG #6 Chalmers
SG #3 Wade
SF #32 Lebron. (Why 32? We retired 23 to honor the contributions Jordan made to the game, and I believe the rest of the NBA should follow suit! I’m sure LeBron won’t mind wearing Magic’s instead! And no, #32 should NOT be retired, I don’t care if you win one championship in your 3.5 years of service with the team, your number should NOT be retired from the Heat’s rotation Shaq, let LeBron have it instead!)
PF #30 Beasley
C Camby/Williams (numbers to be determined)
#8 Arroyo (PG)
#40 Haslem (PF)
#14 Cook (SG/SF)
Williams/Camby (whoever didn’t start that night)
#22 Jones (SF)
I mean, doesn’t that look like a solid rotation? You could replace with generic free agent point guard, Haslem will provide great D off the bench and will still play about 28 minutes per game, and Cook looks like a potential 6th man of the year (sort of our version of Ron Harper, Vinnie “Microwave” Jones) with Jones also providing great perimeter defense AND the ability to shoot open 3’s. (There would be A LOT of open 3’s, and yes, you could even see stretches where LeBron and Wade aren’t on the court at the same time, making it more like Hockey where you have different shifts, however both would start the game and both would finish it, and they’d both equal #35 minutes a game.)
Of course, LeBron wants to be a global icon, and some still don’t see Miami as a global city. Well, this video is a sales pitch that WTVJ used in 1987 to drum up advertisers to their station. 1987! Look at the numbers they tout:
320 days of sunshine: LeBron will be thinking about that this winter as he’s watching his handlers shovel snow.
Miami is the 2nd largest financial center in the country. I’m sure that will make him think about things.
16th ranked TV market. I know, this doesn’t seem so big when you think about it, BUT, for everything EXCEPT TV, they count Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast along with Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe County. There are Heat fans in Palm Beach County, and more importantly, It’s Palm Beach County, only one of the most affluent counties in the United States!
The 11th Largest retail market in the country. That was in 1987. According to my research (yes that means click on it to take a look) as of 2003 we’re at #5. That’s right, we jumped 6 spots in the span of 16 years! I know financial times in South Florida are a little bit tougher right now, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t fall 6 spots in years.(1999-2005 was one of South Florida’s many Boom Times, and if you watch the video, they do fudge it a little when they say its “never boom nor bust” because that’s just how we are thanks to piss poor city planning, and while I’m at it, I’ll give my take on the City of Miami Mayoral race even though I’m not a resident of the City of Miami, I live in Miami-Dade County’s Kendall area, but, thanks to everyone who voted for Regalado, Diaz had a lot of great ideas that wouldn’t and couldn’t be implemented because of how provincial this city can be, Regalado’s going to set The City of Miami back a good 20 years! Diaz was trying to make sure Miami didn’t remain Boom or Bust, but hey I guess we want that instead of being a well planned, well run city. I’d elaborate more but that’s another blog for another day.)
Those facts are important to LeBron, and to Wade, add in the Riley factor and I’d say it’s a GREAT possibility that we could see it happen. And since it would sell more tickets and get more sponsors, Arison wouldn’t mind paying the Luxury taxes he would probably have to pay, hell if anything whatever sponsors we’d have would pay for that! (And maybe with LeBron and Wade he’d move one step forward to joining up with Loria and saying F-U to FSN and Sun Sports and starting their own Regional Sports Network, BUT make it only for South Florida instead of the whole state, again, another story for another blog, but I’ll just say this, it’s kind of moronic to have a regional sports network that caters to ALL of Florida, let alone two. Why can’t Miami just have their own with a viewing area that covers Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Nielsen DMA (That’s TV terminology for TV Market), West Palm Beach DMA, and Naples/Ft. Myers DMA. I’ll elaborate more later, and yes, the TV Network they could start would also off-set the price of the Luxury Tax if its run right, in fact if it’s done the way it should be done, it would be like the Panthers would be paying the Heat’s Luxury Tax!)
Of course, it’s not like this is a slam dunk or anything, in fact, who knows what might happen, hell, we might lose out on both of them, but, it’s a strong possibility, and tonight’s game gives us a chance to think about it.
If the Heat are really interested in him, the best thing for them to do tonight is make LeBron win the game for Cleveland, while not letting Wade carry the load. They should make it so LeBron has to score in the 40’s while Wade only has to score between 25-30 but also throw in between 7 and 10 assists and all 5 Heat starters and Haslem score in double figures while Miami holds Mo-Pete to 10 pts or less and Shaq to his season average this year of 11-7 (I’m dead serious, that’s what he’s been averaging, he’s been a DISASTER for them so far with the exception of last night when he drew all those tacky fouls on Howard!) Whether the Heat win tonight or lose, if they can turn in a performance like that, then LeBron will really start to think. In fact if Miami does turn in a performance like that, even if LeBron scores 50 or more, I think the Heat either win this ballgame or lose by less than 6. Either one of those scenarios would make the Heat’s chances of picking up LeBron better, in fact losing by 6 or less would be ideal, then LeBron could play the “What if I was on their team” game in his head and realize that if he was, he’d probably only have to drop a 25-10-10 (yes he’d drop a triple double) and they’d win by at least 30! (BTW, another thing about LeBron signing with the Heat, he would average a triple-double in at least one season, and if he didn’t it would be more like 25-9-8 or something absurd like that, something else I’m sure he thinks about!)
Well, in less than 2000 words, I just explained why Miami is the best place for LeBron, and how the Heat can lure him here, all of the benefits the heat could reap, and I even left out the fact that Knicks fans everywhere would probably be more upset about it than Cavs fans who secretly have been dreading LeBron’s departure since he was drafted.
Wait, Knicks fans would be pissed, there we go, another benefit! Come to Miami Lebron!