By Dan Bernstein–
It wasn’t too long ago that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh stood onstage in uniform amid pumping music, flashing lights and swirling fog, waving to the swooning Miami crowd.
It was, essentially, a championship celebration – a withdrawal from the emotional bank, an advance taken on titles to come.
The galling spectacle punctuated what had transpired in the days leading up. Wade’s phony meetings, James’s smarmy TV debacle and Bosh’s emasculation all worth it, because the banners were being prepared for their inevitable elevation.
How great is it, now, that these boobs are weeping in their locker room?
Coach Erik Spoelstra probably didn’t make many friends on the team by telling media that some of his players were crying after the loss to the Bulls, since now speculation can run amok, painting them all as spoiled babies.
Fine by me.
Perhaps even more interesting is what’s going on publicly between James and Wade, both of whom missed potential game-winning shots yesterday.
James crafted what was technically an apology, but it functioned as a power-grab. “I told my team I am not going to fail them late in games,” he said. “I put a lot of the blame on myself.”
With two sentences, he just told Wade who’s boss. Wade seems to realize it, too, and he doesn’t sound happy.
“I’m used to coming down in the fourth, having the ball, making mistakes, getting a chance to make up for them, etc.,” Wade said. “That was one of the things we got to understand when we all decided to come together, that there were going to be sacrifices that have to be made, and you live with the consequences.”
Translation: “Give me back my ball, LeBron. You’re missing too many big shots.”
This is just delicious, and I’m going to enjoy it while I can. The Heat are too talented to dissolve into total chaos. They won’t go out like this, though I still hold out hope that I’m wrong about that.
The contrast with the humble, hardworking Bulls only makes it that much more fun, and two specific points stand out from yesterday’s wild finish and the intense aftermath.
First, Tom Thibodeau defended Miami’s last possession without double-teaming, instead anticipating the chance to switch the ball-screen for James without a mismatch. It was the kind of gutsy, confident decision that tells players that the coach trusts them, and tells the opponent – stars included – that they won’t be intimidated out of matching them up man for man just because they’re supposed to be.
Then, the victorious Derrick Rose told the TV sideline reporter that, while the win was nice, they turned the ball over too much and missed too many shots. The guy who refused to actively recruit free agents was standing on their floor, having just swept the season series, and his first thoughts were of work to be done and business unfinished.
“The Miami Heat are exactly what everyone wanted, losing games,” Wade said. “The world is better now because the Heat are losing.”
Yes and yes.
Wade intended some sarcasm, but he has no idea how right he is.
The Bulls made the big, bad, bully cry.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>