We all know that when it comes to LeBron James, the Miami Heat rules are completely different.
If they get calls, people claim that they have the referees in their pockets. If they don’t get calls, others say that the league is against them because of the way the Big Three came together through free agency — the same way everyone else attempts to build through free agency. Yet onlookers, again, choose to criticize the champs for being “bought” instead of “built.” But remember these are the same fans that cheered when their teams cleared out cap space to make the same move happen.
That’s because the Heat have been completely polarizing ever since James and Chris Bosh joined the Dwyane Wade train. If you aren’t a fan who suffered through the bounce, the fights and the 15-win season, then the world thinks that you hopped on the bandwagon (I can’t say I completely disagree).
On the other hand, you have those like Charles Barkley who seemed to hate the Heat from the minute they were formed.
If you listen to him talk, he applauds Pat Riley for the genius maneuver of putting this team together, but speaks on the players as if they rented the newest wing in the New York Yankees‘ evil empire. All because they weren’t put together “the proper way.”
This coming from a guy who — like James — lost after carrying his team to the NBA Finals, then — unlike James — forced his way out of Phoenix too a squad with four future Hall of Famers, in order to chase the ring that Michael Jordan stole from him.
The two were different ages, but in the same situation. They both needed help and ran to get it. However, Barkley seems to suffer from the early stages of basketball dementia, like a lot of the 90s veterans when it comes to Miami.
Just take a look at one of the reasons why he told the press that the Heat are the favorites to win the 2014 title:
“We never had a superstar that leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, and he has to guard the best player on the other team…. Think about it, two years ago, three years ago this guy guarded Derrick Rose. In the Finals, two years ago, he guarded Kevin Durant… I think the Heat are favorite because of LeBron James.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
But less than a month ago he announced on TNT’s Inside the NBA that Miami wouldn’t even get to the championship due to James having to do too much for the team. It’s the exact premise that he chose to go with them the last three years. Now they’re his pick because he does everything?
I’m not sure what the Heat or their players have done to Barkley in the past, but when it comes to them, his comments become just as delusional as Shaquille O’Neal saying that Wade won his 2006 championship ring as “the other guy.”