In the land of the Miami Heat, the team begins training camp in the Bahamas … LeBron James graces the cover of NBA 2K14 … Dwyane Wade claims that a knee surgery in college has led to his chronic knee issues … Roger Mason Jr. and Udonis Haslem have formed a friendship … and Michael Beasley is still not arrested.
1. LeBron James (Last Week N/A)
It takes a lot to unseat LeBron from his thrown, but when the dude is on the cover of one of the most anticipated games of the year (although GTAV is the LeBron James of video games) and he masterfully puppeteered a throng of reporters during media day, he is sitting pretty.
If this were the NBA power rankings, LeBron would still be on top. During an offseason when the LA Clippers got Doc Rivers, the Brooklyn Nets got a bunch of guys Doc used to coach and James Harden got Dwight Howard, LeBron is still the main story. Why? Because we would rather talk about what LeBron will do A WHOLE FREAKING YEAR FROM NOW rather than talk about the quite legitimate competition that has developed this past summer.
It is fitting that in the first series of weekly power rankings, James is on top. I don’t see this changing much, but who knows? One embarrassing photo, injury or head shave could change everything. Ah, who am I kidding? When LeBron loses his head band, we love him more. When he gets injured … he doesn’t get injured. And if he shaved his head, he would do it with such precision that we would gasp over the efficiency of which he did it.
2. Ray Allen (Last Week N/A)
Allen may get the loudest applause of all when he enters the first game of the regular season against the Chicago Bulls. For the fans that were there, and the ones that watched on television, the first thing they will think about is his season-saving, team-saving, Chris Bosh-saving three that he hit at the end of Game 6.
In fact, I remember nothing after that shot. I don’t remember Game 7 even happening. It shouldn’t have been played. Everyone knew the Heat were winning. Even if you are an Atheist, you believed that the basketball gods would not allow the Heat to lose Game 7 to the San Antonio Spurs after that shot.
What’s more, the Miami Herald is reporting that Allen went paleo, bro, after the NBA Finals and has trimmed down, losing 10 pounds even before his offseason workouts.
The good: Allen, now the holder of the single most important shot in Heat history, enters next season ranked No. 2. The bad: He can only go down from here. One cold streak or blown defensive assignment and he could be out of the rankings. The ugly: Paleo, bro.
3. Chris Bosh (Last Week N/A)
Chris Bosh traveled the world and saw a guy pick up shat with his hands in India. His baby reads books on Chinese warrior ideology and now Bosh enters the NBA season as more worldly. Seriously, the guy is, like, soooo cultured. Bosh will be dropping cultural references left and right in the Heat locker room.
But like that buddy you have who traveled abroad that one semester, it will be ALL Bosh can talk about. For now, he is ranked No. 3, because his summer was pretty cool. But in a few weeks, his teammates will have had enough of it and we will see them boycott the Bosh pass until he shuts up about how he wished he could get good, Pesarattu in South Beach.
4. Dwyane Wade (Last Week N/A)
Wade would be ranked higher if the second best player in the NBA didn’t say James Harden was better. He also would be ranked higher if we knew his knees would be better and/or we knew if he has developed some kind of jump shot during the offseason. In fact, we have very little idea of what Wade did during the offseason, I mean in regards to knowing how he worked on his game. We do know, however, everything he wore every day during the summer. I guess that’s useful?
5. Udonis Haslem (Last Week N/A)
Haslem got married during the offseason and will start his first season as a married man in October. Seriously, good for him.
Haslem took a noticeable step toward “that-guy-has-declined-with-age-ville” last season. He was often out of position on defense, his rebounding numbers were down — way down — and that was Haslem’s bread and butter. Sure, he came up with a couple of big games against the Pacers and fooled us all into thinking his mid-range jumper could be counted on, but it seems Haslem’s main role on the team will be to take a beating and not screw anything up that badly. I wouldn’t be surprised if his spells by Michael Beasley turn into sits.
But for now, Haslem is happily married and we are happily happy. This might be as high as Haslem gets in the rankings, but the fan favorite deserved a spot at some point. Why not now?
Honorable mentions: Erik Spoelstra, Pat Riley, Micky Arison, Shane Battier, Michael Beasley, Greg Oden, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Roger Mason Jr., The Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Not worth mentioning: Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, Gabrielle Union, LeBron’s headband, Larry Drew, Eric Griffin, Justin Hamilton, James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Jarvis Varnado, Charlie Westbrook, the Atlantis under water.