Before I get into this I think is important to address a couple of points. I know that quite a few people are likely to accuse me of just being pissed because Lebron didn't choose my team. I also read enough comments in the 'Truth and Rumors' section of Fanhouse to know that the term 'hater' is thrown around quite liberally. So right away I will come out and say that I am a fan of the Bulls, and that while Lebron would have been a nice addition to our team, I was actually hoping for Wade, because Wade has actually proven himself in playoffs and I actually think him to be quite a stand-up guy. That being said, I don't blame Wade for being loyal to the Heat or the city of Miami. As far as hating goes I have nothing against the city of Miami. I have a lot of respect for the Heat, especially after the way they stuck by Alonzo. As a Bulls fan, I also appreciate the way they retired Jordan's number out of appreciation for his contribution to the NBA.
Anyway, on to the topic at hand...Unless you are living under a rock at the bottom of the Pacific you probably know that Lebron is going to Miami. This gives Miami two of the top players in the NBA in (Wade and Lebron), and a guy who is arguably top five in his position (Bosh). While long term Heat fans are rubbing their hands together, band-wagoners are buying their Heat gear, Clevelander's are burning jerseys and Riley is thinking about a new display case to hold all his rings there are still some questions that need to be asked.
- Who else is going to play for the Heat?
- The Heat have managed to unload their lottery underachiever, but that leaves them with only one player on the books today (four if you include their free agents). That leaves them with ten jerseys to fill. With Wade, Bosh and Lebron they aren't going to need a stellar bench, but they are definitely going to need some decent talent cheap. While this isn't an insurmountable task it is something to think about, especially considering that the spurned suitors of the big name free agents (the Knicks, Bulls, and Clippers to name a few) have holes of their own to fill and a lot more money to offer.
- How much ego can one team support?
- Wade is a mature player who already has suited up with a fellow all-star successfully (Shaq). Bosh also has some experience as part of a dynamic duo, having starting his NBA career playing with Vince Carter. Bosh also strikes me as the kind of guy who is happy to be a second option. He can say whatever he wants to in interviews, he had a bunch of pressure he didn't want thrust on him the day Carter left town for Jersey. This leaves us with Lebron, the NBA's very own Paris Hilton. His ability to play as a part of this team is in question. After his play in this year's playoffs, his post game comments about "spoiling" teammates, and his one hour love-me-fest on TV last night his ability to coexist in this relationship is in serious question in my mind. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert's comments about Lebron's ethics might sound like sour grapes today, but I think they hold more than a little water.
- How well can the Heat's Big 3 adapt?
- Separately Wade, Bosh and Lebron are great players and surely if the game of basketball was played with three balls they would be the greatest team of all time. Unfortunately, there is only one ball in play, which means that they are going to have to adapt there style of play to better support the team. Obviously, all three of them record rebounds and blocks every game, but usually they can count on having one or two team mates on the floor focused on that type of thing. Maybe Riley can talk Rodman into making a comeback. It seems to me that teams like the Lakers, with players who know their role on the floor have a distinct advantage. They are also going to have to start working on some serious outside shooting. Knowing the way the three of them love to drive the rim, an opposing coach could easily just dump a couple of bigs in the lane and force them to shoot outside.
- Finally (and least importantly) how long until Nike removes that "Witness" banner in Cleveland?
- I'm betting it's down by Friday noon.