I woke up this morning listening to the Jorge Sedano Show in South Florida, with Jalen Rose as a guest. While listening I realize it’s the one year anniversary of “The Decision”. The hour long telecast changed the landscape of the NBA forever; players took control of free agency and left owners scrambling to adjust. Do not listen to Charles Barkley saying the Miami Heat are the reason for the lockout, they only added a topic to the NBA lockout agenda.
Reviewing the NBA season I realized, everyone benefited on the The Decision, The Heat Signing Party, and the season that followed. That’s right everyone won and let’s break down who everyone is and how they all won in some kind of way.
Miami Heat Organization – Ask anyone apart of the NBA, they will tell you from Owner all the way down to towel boy, the Miami Heat is a first class organization and did there due diligence to free up the cap space and sealing the deal with signing James, Wade, and Bosh.
LeBron James – The best player that played alongside of James during his 7 year stint in Cleveland, was Carlos Boozer in his rookie year. The Cleveland Cavaliers failed to add a young core next to James and I believe that is why he left. Do you think Jordan stayed in Chicago because of Jerry Reinsdorf and Jerry Krause; but rather playing with Scottie Pippen, at the end maybe not the best of friends off the court but were a work of art on the court.
Dwayne Wade – Adding LeBron James may have added three years to the longevity of his career. Wade’s style of play was not good for a prolonged career and he might have not lasted much longer playing that attacking style with reckless abandoned. With the current team he will be able to pace himself through 82 game seasons.
Chris Bosh – Went from playing in Toronto and never advancing out of the first round to playing in Miami and two wins away from the title.
Kobe Bryant – That’s right the Black Mamba especially, Kobe is fueled by motivation to be the greatest, and seeing the Miami Heat made Kobe realize I got to work harder to win another title and I need the right team to do it with. The rest of Lakers did not follow suit this year, and the Dallas Mavericks swept them because of it. The Lakers now have no choice but to give Kobe a revamped roster and do not be surprised to see Dwight Howard and/or Chris Paul in Laker Gold one day.
Dallas Mavericks – What better to beat for the NBA title, other than to beat the team that stole the title from Dallas in 06. Mark Cuban stayed quiet and got the last laugh on the NBA, very well played by him.
Rest of NBA – Other NBA stars realize that big market teams or classy organizations and joining with other stars, is the way to go. It’s the NBA way, if you do not want to believe that, and then explain why only eight franchises (Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Pistons, Rockets, Heat, and Mavericks) have won titles since 1984. Small market teams enjoyed sell outs whenever the Miami Heat came to now as well.
Miami Heat fans – Excluding the bandwagon jumper, Miami Heat fans went from believing Dwayne Wade may return to Chicago to adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The season itself was a spectacular ride for Heat fans, it did not end in a title but it was great entertainment.
LeBron James haters– After the Heat eliminated the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and the Los Angeles Lakers did not make it to the NBA finals, it appears those LeBron James haters/Miami Heat haters were going to eat crow. For seven quarters of the NBA finals the Miami Heat were in complete control, then lost control and never got it back. James haters were able to unite and rejoice at the end.
City of Cleveland – Dan Gilbert still has a chance to deliver on his promise to win the championship before LeBron James. Gilbert did win it all in the playoffs, well the NBA lottery that is. Cleveland fans made Dallas Mavericks logo’s with Cavalier colors and even called themselves the Cleveland Mavs. I found that a bit weird, but in the end they were also happy.
The Neutral Fan – Bill Simmons while on the Dan LeBatard radio show said it best when he spoke about how the 2011 Season had the perfect storyline. Miami Heat played the villain role and when it seemed they had it all. The good guy Dallas Mavericks TEAM saved the day and now everyone is happy. How the Miami Heat handle their adversity will be the number one storyline whenever the NBA lockout is over. Neutral fans like to see a team lose before seeing them standing on the mountain top. I believe the neutral/casual fan will support the Heat in there next title run.
At the end of the day we all want to see greatness on the basketball court, and we can only imagine the Miami Heat will be focused and energized for their next attempt at a title. The media spotlight will still shine on the Heat, but I expect it to be far less stressful on the players.
Everyone falls in the category of NBA player/staff, Miami Heat fan, Miami Heat hater, or the neutral casual fan. If LeBron announce to stay in Cleveland one year ago today, this NBA season would not have been half as entertaining as it was. This is definitely the best NBA season since the Jordan era; the ratings have made that clear.