In today’s NBA, there is this idea that if teams can somehow assemble a roster filled with a bunch of “stars,” that they will win championships (“not one, not two, not three, not four…”).
Most recently, we have seen an attempt by the Miami Heat to do so with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. You may be asking, ‘Well, if it doesn’t work, how did the Heat win last year’s NBA Finals?’ and you would be right to ask that question. The reason is simple: James is a superstar, and Wade and Bosh are not.
Bosh averages 17.9 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 2012-13. DeMar DeRozan (18.1), Jrue Holiday (18.3), David Lee (20), and OJ Mayo (19.3) are all averaging more points per game than him. Are they “superstars”?
Wade is James’ right-hand-man, but he seems to be declining at just 30 years old, because he doesn’t have the same explosiveness and spring in his step that he had early in his career.
Bosh and Wade are good, solid players, and would be viewed as superstars on a lot of other teams in the league. They all took less money to come to South Beach and, in doing so, proved that they are serious about winning championships. But the Heat will go as far as James takes them.
The reason that so many people view the Heat as the “Big Three” is because all three of them (James, Wade, Bosh) are perennial All-Stars. Bosh went to Miami after spending his entire career with the Toronto Raptors, and has yet to average over 20 PPG for the Heat in his two seasons with the team (he is at 17.9 PPG this season). Wade’s points per game, rebounds, and assists are down from his career averages in 2012-13, and although he is still an elite talent, he is losing some of the athleticism that made him one of the best players in the world earlier in his career.
James is fifth in the NBA in scoring, and is also in the top ten for assists per game. Each year that the Big Three has been together, both Wade’s and Bosh’s scoring has gone down. James is getting better, and the other two members of the Three appear to have leveled off.
James is surrounded by two of the best “sidekicks” in the NBA with Wade and Bosh. However, the weight of the Heat will continue to rest on his shoulders, just as it has for the past three seasons. Whether Miami repeats as champions will depend on the performance of James.
Contrary to popular belief, the Miami Heat basketball team is not successful due to a trio of superstars known as the Big Three; it is carried by a “Big One,” the best basketball player in the world: LeBron James.