So here we stand in the 2014 NBA Draft, and the stressful night is over for the Heat organization and its fans.
This journey started the night of UCONN’s 2014 NCAA Championship, when LeBron praised Napier for his dominance in the tournament.
No way u take another PG in the lottery before Napier.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 8, 2014
Upon reading this, I turned to some friends and half-joked: “Guys, the Heat are gonna draft him, guaranteed”.
Of course, in that moment that’s all it was. A hope. An impossible dream.
Fast-Forward two months to a world where Miami loses in five games to the San Antonio Spurs and suddenly everybody is calling The Decision Pt. 2 to occur and LeBron to take his talents out of South Beach…
(Later this week, I’ll go into detail about the King’s future, but for now will keep the attention on his favorite player in this year’s draft.)
…then the world turns upside down when LeBron opts-out of his deal (this is smart for many and was expected by most of the organization).
Thanks to all of this, Miami realizes they have to do the best things possible in the off-season to keep the King.
Drafting Napier made the most sense, but Miami had to hope the former Huskie would fall to #26.
As the night wore on, Miami did everything they could including trying to trade with Utah for their 23rd pick.
The Jazz said no dice.
Then, a sense of fear entered my mind.
The Charlotte Hornets had the 25th Pick…
Why would Michael Jordan, the owner of the then-bobcats team that got swept by the Heat…who are led by the one player that has been compared to His Airness since he was playing in Akron, OH…help the Miami Heat.
Continuing to search through Twitter, hoping to see a name other than Shabazz drafted by the Hornets.
Unfortunately, the dream was shattered, my heart was broken, and the Pacers friendly crowd in the form of my family began the heckling cheers of joy as I read these words.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) June 27, 2014
That was it. Napier was off the board, and I literally had no idea about who the Heat would take (let alone LeBron’s future).
Sometimes though, just when you think something is set in stone, you get hit with a surprise.
Sources: Shabazz Napier traded to Miami Heat
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 27, 2014
No….could it be….is it possible?
Napier picked at No. 24 by Charlotte on behalf of the Heat, who have landed LeBron James’ favorite college point guard
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 27, 2014
So LeBron gets his man on his terms . . . in his city?
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 27, 2014
YES! They did it! I don’t know how, but they did it!
And of course, here’s how they did it.
Heat will trade No. 26, No. 55 and a future 2nd to the Hornets for Shabazz Napier
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 27, 2014
Are you kidding me? When people asked me what Miami would trade to move up, I said two first round picks because this was probably the ONLY draft to give up 2 first rounder in.
Of course everybody was excited about this, as most are about all Heat news.
You suck, Jordan. RT @chadfordinsider: Sources: Shabazz Napier traded to Miami Heat
— Jeff (BPredict) (@BPredict) June 27, 2014
No the correct words are You Rock, Jordan! This was an absolute steal. The end result, is why this pick is so significant for the Heat.
My favorite player in the draft! #Napier
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 27, 2014
I’ll never know why Jordan tore away the Huskie reunion of Kemba and Napier, but quite frankly I don’t care, because the Heat achieved their goal:
They have Napier, and the King is happy.
The 2014 LeBron Free Agency Adventure continues, and while only time will tell if the King remains in South Beach (again look for my post later this week) but one thing is for certain:
A 2014 Champion resides in South Beach.