“We got James Jones, now we’re moving Miami to northeast Ohio,” Mike Miller told ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, in reference to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ addition of the former Miami Heat forward last Wednesday.
To many fans, this quote may sound like just another NBA player jumping on the LeBron James bandwagon, but they fail to realize that a sharpshooter like Miller only came to South Beach for the purpose of suiting up with the Chosen One, and his amnesty release was one of the initial reasons for James showing frustration in Miami.
Think about it. Pat Riley and the Heat organization are known for being one of the most loyal franchises around, but the one time that they decided to turn their backs on someone, it ended in disaster. Not only was Miller crucial to their cause, he was close enough to the best baller in the game that he named his son after James’ business partner, Maverick Carter.
I know that that release was not the Cleveland star’s sole purpose for returning home, but their urge to take the court together was a huge part of why the Cavaliers’ puzzle is gradually starting to resemble the Big Three’s old bomb squad.
Jones vacationing his way from one bench to another does not come off as much of a shock after James campaigned for him to gain minutes in Miami, yet watching the open recruitment of their other travel buddy, Ray Allen, is rubbing people the wrong way.
They must have forgotten that the best statistical 3-point shooter to ever grace the league only went to his Boston Celtics‘ rivals because of the four-time MVP’s pitch. So him choose tagging along for a third title over retirement was to be expected. This is why it didn’t even make a splash when NBA reporter Li Shuang Fu reported that Allen was celebrating his 39th birthday in Beijing, while James kicked off his tour in China.
It was expected that the talents he brought to South Beach would migrate to the Midwest with him.