In July of 2010, after the Free Agency dust settled, and the Heat got the 3 biggest fish in the pond, they took to the stage to celebrate and that’s when LeBron James uttered the infamous words that have been held against him ever since. “Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, Not 5, Not 6, Not 7, Not 8.”
To those who have common sense, it was nothing more than banter to get the crowd excited for the upcoming season. But for the people who instantly became critics of the Heat, it served as an arrogant thought that no one can touch them.
So, after three full seasons, have the Heat done enough to be considered a success, based on the promises they made that unforgettable night?
If you are one of those with common sense, you have to say yes. They’ve won three Eastern Conference championships, three trips to the NBA Finals, and they’re a LeBron James meltdown in the 2011 Finals from claiming a three-peat. Contrary to popular belief, none of it has been easy. They’ve overcome adversity in every playoff series but one, and have found a way to impose their will. They have also epitomized the word “team” in every sense of the word. They play together, they work through the adversity they’ve faced, and they all have done an amazing job of sacrificing to achieve the bigger goal.
However, there will still be individuals (the ones that are “Heat-haters”, or those who despise LeBron) who say that what they have done is not enough. They will point to the “…Not 5, Not 6…” and say “well, they haven’t done THAT.” Or they point to the age of the Celtics, and the health of the Bulls, and say that the Heat haven’t had to beat anybody that is a real threat.
But in today’s NBA, especially given the new CBA, this is about as good as it was ever going to get. The way the luxury tax is set up, keeping teams like this together for longer than 4 years is extremely difficult. With that being the case, the public needs to ease up on their expectations of this team based on a night of hype, and enjoy them for what they are. Yes, this team has been a success. Since when has 3 straight Finals appearances and 2 straight championships been considered a failure?