Heat power forward Udonis Haslem started talking and thinking about the road to a second title on June, 21, 2012.
“I swear, after the game, I was talking to Pat about next year already,” Haslem said. “We were just brainstorming and thinking of ways of coming back better and doing what we need to do.”
Haslem recalls how the Heat fell flat on their faces the year after capturing the 2006 championship. They finished with a 44-38 record and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Chicago Bulls.
“I don’t think with the ’06 team we really understood what mindset we had to come in with as returning champions,” Haslem said. “I think now we understand what our mindset has to be.”
Chris Bosh has the mindset Haslem is referring to.
“Winning a championship is only the beginning for this group, and we have to look at it that way,” Bosh said. “We have to look at it as we’re trying to have a dynasty. I think that’s the next thing. The only way you can do that is to have more than one championship. I look at it as a five- to six-year increment, where we’re trying to win as many as possible.”
This thought process has received outside support from NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon. Olajuwon recently said that he believes that LeBron James will become a better overall player and will become better and more comfortable in the post, and that this Heat team can compete and possibly win three out of the next five NBA championships.
“The goal is different,” Olajuwon said. “It’s not to prove a point to people. Now it’s just to take advantage of the opportunity: ‘Can we really achieve something great in the real sense? Can we get three out of five [championships]?’”
The Heat will begin their quest towards putting these visions to light Saturday Sept.29 when they open up training camp. Superstar player Dwyane Wade will be limited through the first week of training camp due to his recovery from knee surgery.