When someone wins something they’ve been striving years for and have gone through a lot of personal hardship’s, people tend to brag and boast a little more than they could chew.
Paul Pierce was remembered saying how he was the best player in the world after his Boston Celtics won the 2008 championship. It didn’t matter that Pierce never came close to a title prior to the C’s acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, but he still felt compelled to say he was the best because he had achieved the glory that he had striven a decade for. So, you can’t really blame him, especially when his team had beaten arguably the league’s best player at the time in Kobe Bryant.
Well, that confidence high from a championship has transferred over to someone who isn’t as good a player as Pierce, but has just as big the ego in Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers.
In a recent interview, Chalmers was asked his thoughts on Rajon Rondo calling himself the best point guard in the NBA. Mario had this to say in his rebuttal:
“He’s not the best, but he’s in the top five. There are a lot of great point guards in the league, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Steve Nash. There are a lot of great guards in the NBA so for him to say he’s the best is a pretty bold statement. I’d say that I [Mario Chalmers] am in the front end of the top 10.”
Well, that’s some heavy stuff. Mario didn’t just say he’s in the top ten, either. He said he was in the front end of the top ten; that’s a bold statement for a large majority of the league’s point guards. It’s not a knock against Mario, but there are so many quality point guards in the league that could easily be top five if not for the plethora of elite floor generals around the league.
Even top is a tough place to see Chalmers break through. Mario announced Rondo, Williams, Paul and Nash right off the bat to give four better point guards, and you can only add on from there with the likes of Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Ty Lawson, Stephen Curry. It’s up to the reader on whether or not they believe Chalmers is capable of beating out guys like Brandon Jennings, Jose Calderon, Mike Conley, Jr., and John Wall.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t be surprised that Mario Chalmers of all people would make this type of comment. He’s one of the most confident ballers you’ll ever come across and it stems from hitting that game-tying three-pointer in the NCAA championship back in 2008. Since then, Mario has been depended on to hit big shots, including hitting a game-tying three-pointer in Game 2 of the 2011 Finals and hitting several key shots in Game 4 of the 2012 Finals.
Mario showed up in a big way in the NBA Finals. After shooting a combined 2-of-15 in Games 2 and 3, causing a lot more pressure to be placed on James, Wade and Bosh, Chalmers stepped up in Game 4 with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Mario also hit three three-pointers and hit a layup in the final minute to turn a three-point lead into five; good enough to give the Heat some comfortable space between themselves and an Oklahoma City team that could hit a three-pointer at any time.
He hit 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory.
Why the sudden change? Probably because the Heat needed Mario to perform, especially late in the game once LeBron James was forced to sit out with a leg cramp.
Mario isn’t scared of those situations. It stems from hitting the game-tying three-pointer in the NCAA championship game back in 2008 and it’s show on plenty of occasions with the Heat, where they have found themselves getting significant help from Mario’s ice-cold veins.
If it was up to himself, Mario would be taking the last shot every time; because, according to Dwyane Wade, Mario thinks he’s the best player on the Miami Heat. If you know the Heat, you know this isn’t a surprise in the slightest. Chalmers has always come off as a confident, sometimes cocky, individual, even when he’s getting berated by the ‘Big Three’.
Because Mario played so well in the postseason, he’s going to keep the starting job at the point that he could have had over the past four years. He started every game as a rookie, but fluctuated between starter and bench player the next two years due to inconsistent play. It wasn’t until this season where the Heat gave Mario back his job.
The Heat put a lot of faith and trust into Mario at the beginning of the season and reaped the benefits, with Chalmers averaging 9.8 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per, while shooting a career-high from the field at 45 percent and from beyond the arc at 39 percent. He even bested himself in the postseason, averaging 11.3 points and 3.7 assists per while shooting 44 and 36 percent respectively.
Mario may not be one of the league’s ten best, but he’s the perfect point guard for the Heat’s needs.