When LeBron James announced his “Decision” to join the Miami Heat in 2010, everyone said it wouldn’t work. We all rolled our eyes and said there was no way that three superstars could play together on one team in harmony, but that’s exactly what Miami has done for the better part of three years. That was until Dwyane Wade made some startling comments after the Heat’s Game 6 loss to the Indiana Pacers that suggest two things: the Heat’s harmony is dying and LeBron could leave via free agency this time next year.
“We’ve got to do a better job of making sure me and Chris [Bosh] can have opportunities to succeed,” Wade told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
What?! Wade and Bosh are both hurt and they may be playing through the pain, but they’re not playing well. They’re both missing layups and Wade is jacking up long two-point shots early in the shot clock. So the opportunities are there, but the Heat’s “other” stars just aren’t taking advantage. That has a lot to do with their injuries, so Wade’s frustration is coming from a rather ignorant-sounding perspective.
“We’ve got guys individually who want to play better. But we’ve got to try to help each other out in this locker room and not leave it up to the individual to self-will it,” Wade told ESPN.
Wade kinda has a point here, but he’s still not thinking clearly. Yes, Miami has a problem in that LeBron is a one-man show right now and that’s inexcusable on his part as well as everyone else’s. However, literally no one is stepping up, which is putting all the pressure on James to carry the load. Again, that has a lot to do with Wade and Bosh both being hurt, so Wade complaining about James “self-willing it” is again pretty ridiculous.
What Wade needs to do is find a way to play through his knee problems most effectively. That would involve setting himself up for open jump shots off drives by James and cutting to the basket when the ball is on the perimeter. Wade is used to scoring with the ball, but he and James have done well playing off each other in the past three years. Now that Wade is hobbled, he’s not doing that and it’s causing a problem for the Heat at both ends of the floor. Until that changes, Miami won’t win anything.
Of course, with Wade upset, LeBron could likely make up his mind to leave the Heat in 2014 before next season even stars, especially if Miami loses Game 7 to the Pacers on Monday night. James has already said he would enjoy playing for his hometown team again and Heaven knows the Cleveland Cavaliers would welcome him back with open arms.
Winning cures everything, so if Miami somehow beats the Pacers and then the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, this will all be a distant memory. But if Indiana pulls off the upset, things could start to unravel in South Beach.
You see, James and Wade take little shots like this through the media, but neither of them have the guts to actually “help each other out in the locker room” by saying things face to face. It’s all about being a man and looking cool all the time, so there’s no time for doing what true leaders and teammates do: talk.
And regardless of how awesome he thinks he is, James runs from controversy, so he’ll do just that if Miami loses in these playoffs and things go sour during the offseason. You can say you heard it here first: LeBron will be back in a Cavaliers uniform for the 2014 NBA season.