Now, for something completely different: since reading Bill Simmon's excellent Book of Basketball I have become quite the fan of the sport. I sweated through the finals and then eagerly anticipated LBJ's "decision".
However, I feel different from most out there: I love it.
Here we have three guys at the peak of their earning power taking less money than they could get to go to a team together in order to win championships. For one thing, I think we are all so stunned by the fact these guys turned down max contracts with other teams to realize what we are witnessing: the success of our current educational philosophy.
No one can believe that three of the ten best guys in the league would not want to beat each other instead of playing together but that is not how they were brought up. We have forgotten that MJ, Bird, Magic and even Kobe came up in a radically different time. Winning was allowed, competition was awesome - now? Not so much. Everything children are taught is about acceptance, equality and working together for a greater common good. LBJ, Wade and Bosh are just the first major step in what I believe will be a domino effect of "superteams".
Yes, none of them are Jordan, and they are not going to be creating the same legacy. My argument is they are ushering in a completely new era and will be the trendsetters, the first and always the best.
A few other arguments: Had Bird, Jordan, or Magic come up in this era would they have done the same thing? Hell yes. (Well, maybe not Jordan because there will never be another player like him in history) Plus, while we are busy roasting the Miami Thrice over the fire for wanting to play on a good team let's remember the teams the other guys had. Lebron has never had a great team (he made them great). Jordan played with one of the top 50 guys all-time, Magic won all his championships with a little known center named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (arguably the 2nd best player ever) and James Worthy (top 50 all-time). Bird had MacHale and Parrish and Walton who dominated at one point or another. Kobe won three titles as a number two to Shaq, then could not even make it out of round one of the playoffs until Pau Gasol joined the Lakers. He has never, it could be argued done it by himself.
Now that Lebron wants to be Magic Johnson we are raking him over the coals? I don't buy it. We just hate the way he left Cleveland.
I love this team because they are being unselfish and have inspired other stars to join the team unselfishly (Mike Miller, Haslem) and they are primed for a title run.
Longtime readers (ha!) of this blog know of my dislike for Kobe Bryant, and the reason I love the Heat most of all is that they will take titles from Kobe in his prime. No longer will he walk over the Eastern conference. I love it. Maybe he never wins another, if so, I could not be happier.
Go Heat, might be time to plan that parade route out now.