Right after Lebron James’ DECISION (July 8, 2010), I heard someone say that we might as well skip with the formalities of the NBA season games and hand Miami that Championship Trophy.
The “decision” brought together three (3) Franchise players who will now play for the Heat: James (Cavs), Dwyane Wade (Heat), and Chris Bosh (Raptors). By far, this is the ONLY current NBA team with 3 players, in the PRIME of their athletic careers, with this sterling resumés:
1) Franchise players;
2) All Stars;
3) US Dream Team players;
4) Belonging to the top 5 picks NBA draft;
5) The first offensive option of their former teams;
6) The number one scorer of their former franchises;
7) And to repeat, ALL ARE IN THEIR PRIME— James is 26 years old, Wade is 29, and Bosh 27;
8) All are equipped with very sound fundamentals— dribbling, ball-handling, passing, free-throw shooting, pivoting, shooting accuracy, and a high basketball IQ. That is, the defender would hardly find a major weakness in these 3 players’ overall game on which to focus the former’s defense. For example, surely you can’t use a hack-a-Shaq against any of the 3;
9) All are healthy, and are NOT under-sized for the position they play;
10) All belonged to NBA All-Rookie first team;
11) 2 of the 3 are NBA Scoring Champions.
Per the above qualifications, one may say that, cast-wise, this is the most dominant NBA Team since the inception of the US Dream Team. Coaches will agree that each of these 3 players requires a “double team” from their opponents to hopefully contain them (even a triple team may not be enough to stop a Wade or a James when and if they decide to score; and Bosh is a big man with an excellent mid-range sniping). Indeed, these 3 together on the floor will dismantle almost any defense.
1) The Boston Celtics of 2008 had their Big 3 too.
But Pierce, Allen and Garnett were never US Dreamteam players;
they were at the tail-end of their primes in 2008— Garnett and Allen were 32 years old, and Pierce was 30:
not one of them was an NBA scoring Champion.
2) The Lakers of the Shaq-Kobe era.
Shaq and Kobe don’t exactly make 3;
They did sign Malone and Payton for the 2003-04 season, but these were aging injury-laden veterans;
Shaq, while dominant, could still be stopped— he had a major flaw in his game: free throws.
3) The Lakers Showtime era of Magic and Jabbar.
Magic was just a rookie when he signed for the Lakers; (and yes, Magic got his ring in his rookie year)
Jabbar is the only Lakers player who was an NBA Scoring Leader/Champion.
4) The Bulls of the Jordan era.
Pippen was never a US Dream Team player; never an All-Rookie; not exactly a franchise player in the fullest sense.
5) The Celtics of the Bill Russell era.
I reiterate what’s above:” Per the above resume, one may say that, cast-wise, Miami Heat is the most dominant NBA Team since the inception of the US Dream Team.”
I have limited the scope to modern day basketball.
Bill will probably agree that his Celtics could likely be trounced by a modern NBA team— that is, the skills of the players and the science of the game have advanced to a different level.
And we are surprised that the Heat is in the Finals?
The Big Three will likely score if and when they want to.
And their supporting cast?Mike Miller, Mike Bibby, James Jones, Udonis Haslem, Eddie House, Chalmers, Ilgauskas, Dampier, Anthony— one can make another competitive NBA team with these.
Simply put, the BIG 3 when put together may just erase the competition. The trouble with this is that, in the process, the Heat may have made a farce out of this “sport”, as there is nothing “sport” about an extremely uneven playing field. The Big 3 may have made a mockery of the games that award an O’ Brien Trophy to the victor. Probably, out of an obsession for a ring, these players might have unwittingly formed a Big 3 which will give them just that— a ring— but this may be that ring of an awfully diminished value.
As usually expected of any US Dream Team, and with a beefed up cast such as this, the Miami Heat should be beating their rivals via a SWEEP or a BLOWOUT. Anything less may just be considered as under-achieving.
Some are even saying that the Heat maybe “taking the shortcut to glory”.
The not-so-funny thing about doing shortcuts in professional sports is that: if you do get your goal, there will always be questions on legitimacy; on the other hand, if you fail getting your goal, you’ll end up being a laughing stock.
Who knows, this Miami Heat phenomenon is just part of an ongoing NBA Evolution? An evolution that this sport needs to make it more interesting and relevant, as we move forward in time. An evolution that the NBA needs for its survival.