Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) and guard Dwyane Wade (3) speak during a press conference after game five of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

How LeBron Betrayed Wade, Heat Organization


When LeBron James walked off the court following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston on May 13, 2010, it was clear that he was desperately in need of a change to ever reach his goal of becoming an NBA Champion. When he walked into Pat Riley‘s office just a few weeks later during a free agency visit, no words needed to be said, as Riley simply showed off his collection of championship rings that he had earned in the league throughout the years.

When you are able to achieve the greatest feat in professional sports as a player, a coach, and as an executive, you have nothing to prove to anyone affiliated with the sport. When James saw the championship jewelry being flashed before his eyes, there was no doubt he was going to join the Miami Heat and contend for championships immediately.

Four years later, LeBron James has seemingly panicked following a loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals last month and jumped ship. It wasn’t that the Heat weren’t championship worthy, it was just the fact that the Spurs were a basketball juggernaut that was not going to be denied the title this season following last season’s heartbreaking defeat.

By delaying his decision more than 11 days into free agency, James has put Pat Riley and the rest of the Miami Heat organization in a terrible spot. Teams around the league have spent the last week and a half signing free agents and making trades while the Miami Heat were frozen with no activity because they had to keep the cap space open for a potential LeBron James/Chris Bosh/Dwyane Wade return.

Apr 9, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) carries the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Had James announced that he was returning to Cleveland within the first few days of free agency, Pat Riley could have worked his magic to rebuild a quality roster for the future. The Heat began free agency with more than $55 million in cap space, the most ever for a team to negotiate with.

For perspective purposes consider this: the Heat could have signed Toronto Raptors PG Kyle Lowry ($12 million per year) and potentially either Luol Deng (FA) or Pau Gasol (FA) for close to the same amount of money LeBron James ($20.7 million) will receive for his max contract this season. Chris Bosh could have returned to the Heat at around  $15-18 million per year. When you assume Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem would also return to a team that already has Norris Cole and rookie Shabazz Napier under contract, you suddenly have a dangerous team once again.

The truth is James would have never joined the Miami Heat if it weren’t for Dwyane Wade. It was Wade who first mentioned the idea of a potential Big Three years in advance to LeBron James and Chris Bosh while playing for Team USA. It was Wade, an NBA Champion prior to James coming to town in 2010, who sucked it up and played the role of sidekick to the best player in the game. It was Wade who handed the keys of the franchise to James.

Wade put his heart and soul into the organization each and every night for seven years before the idea of LeBron James in a Miami Heat uniform was ever a reality around the NBA. He single-handedly destroyed an opponent on the biggest stage (2006 NBA Finals Vs. Dallas Mavericks) en route to a championship; something James was never able to do in Cleveland. Wade had nothing to prove to the city, Pat Riley, or the fans that loved him so dearly. Still, Wade wanted to do more.

We live in an era of professional sports where the words “loyalty” and “sacrifice” are mentioned few and far between. Athletes today rarely stay with the same franchise their whole career but when they do, they are absolutely beloved (see Tim Duncan in San Antonio). Athletes who willingly give up millions of guaranteed dollars for the benefit of the team is even more of a rarity in today’s world, but it has happened (see Tim Duncan – notice the trend?).

Dwyane Wade, much like Tim Duncan, is a clear representation of a man who was loyal and sacrificed it all for one reason and one reason only, LeBron James. Wade brought James to Miami to win titles, something they were able to accomplish twice (2012,2013). Although they came up short in 2010 and 2014, the accomplishment of making it to the NBA Finals is nothing to take for granted. Spend a few minutes to look up the last time every franchise appeared in (not even won) an NBA Finals – I think you’ll be surprised at the unrealistic expectations that were placed on the Heat franchise these last four years.

With LeBron James’ decision to return to Cleveland, one can only wonder what Dwyane Wade is feeling right now. Is he appreciative that he was able to win two more championships with the help of James? I’m sure of it. Is he feeling betrayed LeBron has bolted the Miami Heat, the very franchise that he put on the map so many years ago, so James could continue his career without him? This I’m even more sure of.

Jun 20, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (left), LeBron James (center) and Chris Bosh (right) celebrate after game seven in the 2013 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Miami defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win the NBA Championship. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you want about Dwyane Wade but he is the definition of a class act. He probably won’t make any negative comments to the media regarding James’ decision to leave Miami but deep down, you know he is hurting – how could you not? Chris Bosh, another close friend of Wade’s, openly commented that he would have returned to the team taking a pay cut had James returned to Miami. He wanted to continue being a part of something special – a potential dynasty in Miami for years to come.

Wade is now faced with the toughest decision of his professional career. He has to decide whether or not to stay in Miami, the one city he has called home since being drafted out of Marquette in 2003, or sign with another team with the hopes winning another NBA Championship. With James gone and Bosh likely to follow, the NBA Finals aren’t looking promising at the moment. Should he leave, the Chicago Bulls make for a great fit for two reasons: he was born and raised there and they are a serious threat to win the title next year given the roster.

Whatever the case may be, Dwyane Wade will forever be a Miami Heat legend. I (and assume most Heat fans) would not hold it against Wade if he left to join the Bulls or any other contending team because at the end of the day, he deserves better. For all that he sacrificed both on and off the court, his Hall of Fame career shouldn’t be ending on a rebuilding roster, it should be ending with more championship parades.

People are quick to forget that Dwyane Wade (3) has more championships than LeBron James (2). Given Wade’s competitive nature and his team-first mentality, should he decide to join a team like the Bulls, you can bet that Wade will give it everything he has to stick it to James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dwyane Wade showed LeBron James what it takes to be a champion, now we get to see if James underestimated the importance of having Wade as a teammate these last four years.

The Boston Celtics Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen openly discussed how things may have been different if they were able to team up in the prime of their careers as opposed to the latter stages of it. The San Antonio Spurs Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili have stuck together all these years, through the good and the bad, and just captured yet another NBA Championship. The Miami Heat had the ability to continue contending for championships year after year had each star committed himself but apparently, only two of the three down in Miami were willing to do so.

Since it appears as though LeBron James took four straight trips to the NBA Finals and two championships during his time in Miami for granted, I encourage Heat fans to do the same in the future. I will not be impressed by any triple-doubles or game-winning shots James is a part of until the month of June hits. With this decision to leave the Miami Heat, James has made it clear that he believes the Cleveland Cavaliers will have championship aspirations from day one.

The Cavs are officially in title-or-bust mode. The roster is filled with a bunch of kids who have never even been to the playoffs let alone the NBA Finals. The coach, David Blatt, has never coached in the NBA. There is yet another new general manager in the organization, this time David Griffin. Finally we get to Dan Gilbert, the owner of the franchise and the author of the most controversial letter in sports history where he, among other things, referred to LeBron James as a “coward.”

How James could return to such a situation is beyond me, even if it is “home.” To say that his decision went far beyond the game of basketball (as he so suggested) seems irrational to say the least. LeBron James is fighting for his place amongst the all-time greats in NBA history and is currently in the prime of his career. He doesn’t have time to wait for young players to develop, or for an organization to rotate coaches in and out year after year.

The Miami Heat gave James the best chance to win now because of the roster and the best chance to win in the future because of the stability throughout the organization from top to bottom. I honestly believe that LeBron was clouded in his decision to leave the Miami Heat and his decision was influenced solely on non-basketball related issues.

Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade saved the legacy of LeBron James when his career hit rock bottom in 2010. Decision 1.0 on July 8, 2010 to join the Miami Heat has proven to be the right one after all. Time will tell if decision 2.0 on July 11, 2014 to leave the Miami Heat will result in similar circumstances for LeBron James.

Tags: Dwyane Wade Free Agency Lebron James Miami Heat Pat Riley

  • MichaelNupe Thompson

    It’s cool wade is truly the only one who should feel betrayed. Let’s sign Greg Monroe to play center and Bledsoe to be point or either Stevenson to play the 2 and move wade to one or even see if melo would play with wade and bosh

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      Because the salary cap isn’t a thing….

      • MichaelNupe Thompson

        You saw I had a couple of ors in there right. Did you read. I said see we could try these players ORRRR try Stevenson, orrrrr even try melo.

        • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

          I missed the first “or.” I read “monroe and bledsoe AND either stevenson or melo.”

          Thought you were saying that they should get three premium money guys with Bron’s money which just doesn’t compute.

          My bad.

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            (In the maid from family guy voice) noooo, noooo oh nooo. Lol I know we can’t do that. Even with bosh new contract and expecting wade and deng to come I believe there will be a substantial amount to at least get Bledsoe and Monroe cause I feel their Max isn’t past 12mill. However if they were to pursue Stevenson or melo then the other two are a no go

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Bosh 22
            Wade 15
            Cole 2
            Deng 12
            Bledsoe 14 (roughly the max for a player with 6 or fewer years)

            That puts you 2 million over the cap, and that assumes you waived everyone else’s Bird rights (Haslem?). It would also mean reneging on your deal with McBob since you would no longer have the MLE.

            Maybe Wade or Deng ends up being a little cheaper than that and it works. Maybe Miami offered the max and Bosh ends up taking a little less. You never know, but right now 2 players out of Deng, Bledsoe, and Monroe seems out of reach especially since Monroe and Bledsoe are restricted.

            Deng and Gasol is looking like a best case scenario to me. Maybe Bledsoe and Gasol if Phoenix lets him go since they have Dragic and Thomas now.

            We’ll see what Riles pulls out of his hat.

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            I doubt gasol comes with the loss of LeBron. But this numbers seem accurate. Hopefully wade does take less.

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Yeah. I think Gasol can get comparable money in more certain situations. Miami ain’t on the discount gravy train any more.

            I was more spitballing on things that are workable rather than likely.

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            Right that’s understandable

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Sigh. Wish Bron had bolted before Lowry came off the board. IMO the best player available below $16M, and I think the Raptors weren’t going to go above $13M.

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            Right. I’m not mad at LeBron for leaving but the way he did it and held us up in FA from getting Lowry cause he was ready to sign with the heat but he wanted to sign in a hurry and Miami wanted to wait till LeBron signed

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Bleh. Don’t think it is fair to be mad. He took his time and made the best decision he could. Guarantee you he was still undecided by the time guys like Lowry and Gortat had reached agreements anyway.

            Miami knew he was considering other teams. They could have moved on if they thought the risk wasn’t worth it. They did think it was worth it, so at that point I feel like you’re just mad at LeBron because the gamble didn’t pay off.

            Is it fair for Houston fans to be mad at Bosh since they now only have a little over a day before they either lose Parsons or he eats all their cap space? Absolutely not.

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            I didn’t say I was mad. I just don’t agree with the way he went back and forth. I understand it’s partially Miami fault for thinking that FA had to reside around him. But it just sucks that the good fas are gone. I highly doubt we would’ve given gortat he wanted to stay in Washington.

          • Josh Melton

            Nice diss on Eric Bledsoe, he averaged 17.7points, 5.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Suns last season, while shooting an impressive 47.7% from the field and 35.7% from the three-point line. I will give you a free pass but please research next time before you say something silly…

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            What diss. What are you talking about. Nobody has dissed Bledsoe. Looking back through these comments… You need to read instead of posting something silly

          • Josh Melton

            As for LeBron it was a difficult decision’ like he said it would’ve been so easy for him write those peoples in Cleveland out his life. but leaving Pat Riley/ Miami Heat organization after two titles and 4 consecutive trips to the finals,could not have been easy..

            He probably talk to his family before he made his decision…

          • Ryan Smith

            I understand where you are coming from. As far as Houston goes, they weren’t/haven’t been a championship contender year after year as Miami has which makes it impossible to compare the two situations.

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            I’m not sure why Miami’s team success over the last four years gives LeBron a moral imperative to continue to live and work in Miami.

            If I work for a wildly successful company for four years but then choose to go build a start up in my hometown, have I betrayed my employer?

          • Brian

            Someone gets it.

          • Josh Melton

            Lowry gave no intention, he was signing with the Heat, stop the BS if that was the case than he would have taken a Paycut after he spoke to Pat Riley. But yeah ;lets keep living in your pretended fantasy world LMAO,…

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            Shutup read br there are reports he wanted to. But the heat waited. You aunt gotta believe it but get on

          • Josh Melton

            NBA Agents are warning players to get ”paid now” before the Lockout happens in 2017. No way was Lowry taking a paycut to play for Miami, if you really believe he would leave millions on the table, after his first All star season your crazy…

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            He wasn’t going to take a paycut Miami was ready to offer him a similar contract. Because that believed they would’ve gotten bosh and wade at a discount. There was even talk of LeBron taking a pay cut if the right pieces were brought in.

          • Josh Melton

            Miami couldn’t offer him a similar contract his price point was beyond the Heat mean’s, they only had $10 million available, that’s why Riley was gonna have to convince players like him to take crumbs and we knew that wasn’t gonna happen especially not with the CBA as it is

            Riley could only offer him, a similar contract if the Big 3 opt out and took massive paycuts, it was the same plan for Melo, rumors were LeBron might take a paycut, than came his public demand of a Max Contract.. Wade/Bosh discredit reports of them talking massive paycuts..

          • Ryan Smith

            If Miami knew LeBron was leaving when free agency began, they would of had well over the $12 million a year Lowry got in Toronto – that was my point. It wasn’t that the money wasn’t there to be spent, it was the money was there for LeBron but he left it on the table.

          • Josh Melton

            Sigh, LeBron leaving does not stop the Heat from offering Eric Bledsoe a max contract, if healthy, he’s probably the best player still available. if I were Pat Riley I’d offer him a contract and dare Phoenix to match…

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Phoenix seems pretty committed to keeping him, and the move would tie up the entirety of Miami’s cap space for several days which could hurt the pursuit of other free agents.

            If you can get him, great. If not, you just messed up big time.

          • Josh Melton

            Well Phoenix doesn’t sound committed, the just signed Isiah Thomas for a bargain at under 7 Million a year, and drafted a PG. Obviously this means the Suns will move either Dragic or Bledsoe this summer, you can’t have 4 PG’s on a roster and keep them happy…

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Let me rephrase. Phoenix seems very committed to matching any offer in order to at least get equal value out of him. Miami doesn’t have the assets to be a sign and trade candidate for that type of player.

          • Josh Melton

            Yes, that’s what makes Bledsoe move a possibility . Drafting Ennis then signing Isaiah is so unusual that we have to believe something is up. You can’t roll our a team with all PG’s. How can the Suns afford to match a max offer for their PG when they already have 3 other ones they’ve invested it? I mean I know they like playing two of them in the backcourt but a max contract to Bledsoe might push Sarver too far.

            Robert Sarver has a notoriously reputation for being cheap, and Riley should used that to his advantage even involve a 3rd team..

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            You match because Bledsoe is an asset. Even if you don’t need him on your team, other teams do need him. That means you can trade him for pieces that you do need.

            The only reason you let him walk for nothing is if you already have a free agent target to fill that cap space and turn you into a long term contender. That isn’t the case right now.

          • Josh Melton

            Maybe so, but if get a max offer sheet signed with a trade kicker and a player option after 2 or 3 years then the Suns might be inclined to S&T for Cole- keeping them stocking up on PG’s( Hornacek likes to play with 2 PG’s),but at a much better cap number

          • Josh Melton

            Also if that’s the case, they shouldn’t have offered Bosh a max contract, Monroe, Dang, Stephenson, Thomas are all available, problem is Miami isn’t making a run at most of these players. they should have gotten Thomas at a steal, before PHO signed him…

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            If you let Bosh go, you literally have NOTHING to build around. Wade by himself isn’t making anyone think Miami is a good career move right now.

          • Josh Melton

            Agreed, Bosh always said” he’d take less for the betterment of the team and he could have took less and still be making a pretty outrageous amount of money. For some reason Riley overpaid Bosh which will cripple them..

            if Bosh and Wade took a paycut, they could’ve had Monroe/Stephenson

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Van Gundy has said that he will match any offer for Monroe, so that was never realistic. As far as why Riley gave Bosh the max, when LeBron left Bosh was going to go to Houston. Riley simply did what he had to do to keep Bosh in a less advantageous situation.

          • Josh Melton

            Exactly it was a desperate move by the Heat, but the had to do whatever it takes to keep Bosh, if they had tried to have him a low-ball offer, he probably would’ve signed with Houston. Sadly this move will come back to haunt us, Bosh will be 31 next season, past the age Big men decline…

            Plus, I don’t think Bosh can play as a number 1 option again. He’s been accustomed to playing a smaller role for 4 seasons now. it’s been a long time since he had to be CB4, they should have added more depth to front court, to save Wade knees for the long season, since they can’t get Monroe..

          • Ryan Smith

            I agree, that’s why I specifically mentioned Lowry in the article. I have no doubt Lowry would be a member of the Miami Heat if LeBron made this decision 10 days ago.

  • truthbetold

    Stop whining. Were you complaining when he jumped ship on Cleveland to come to you? Did you not want him there? Highly doubtful, so it’s weak and hypocritical to slam him for doing the same to you. I’m not a LeBron fan, and i think he’s a frontrunner. But you heat “fans” complaining about this is laughable.

    • Ryan Smith

      You can’t compare LeBron leaving Cleveland in 2010 to LeBron leaving Miami in 2014. Cleveland accomplished nothing during his seven years with the franchise, leaves because the roster was a complete joke and he was never going to win anything there, and joins an organization that can really do some damage. So he goes to four straight NBA Finals, captures two world titles, then leaves? The two situations couldn’t be any different. You don’t leave championship organizations.

      • truthbetold

        Did anyone say anything about comparing the two organizations? No. The comparison is in LeBron’s actions. He cut and ran on them, and then he cut and ran on you guys. You all were quick to celebrate what he did to Cleveland because it benefited you, but now that the shoe is on the other foot he’s a villain. Lol stop it. That is called hypocrisy, and nobody feels sorry for you guys at all.

        • Silence

          Well said, there is no better way to put it.

          • truthbetold

            Thank you.

          • Ryan Smith

            But he also said that they aren’t championship ready right now. Additionally he’s said he wants to be known as the “greatest of all-time.” So you’re in the prime of your career, coming off two titles and four straight NBA Finals appearances, and now you’re returning to a team that isn’t anywhere close to championship ready like the group in Miami was… but you want to be the best of all-time? Going to need another 2-3 titles to be in that conversation.

          • truthbetold

            LeBron James will never be known as the greatest ever in my opinion. I’m not even a LeBron fan. The issue is the heat “fans”. Regardless of anything else, the bottom line is that if you guys cheered him bailing on Cleveland to come to you, you have no right to try to cast him as a villian now. As I said, it’s hypocritical and
            weak. A large number of them are fake bandwagon riders, and they are getting what they deserve now. We’re talking in circles, so I’ve said All I need to say to you. Take care.

          • Andy Andrews

            By definition the bandwagon is now gone. So the Heat fans that are mad that he committed to not three, not four, not five, not six…are actual Heat fans. The Heat are going to be fine. Lebron will be out of Cleveland(after he remembers what a dump it is) in two years.

          • Ryan Smith

            If an athlete who has failed year after year with one organization (LeBron in Cleveland) leaves to come to your organization and wins titles (LeBron to Miami) then YES, Heat fans should be upset that he left because the organization PROVED they are WINNERS – something the Cavs have yet to prove. If the Heat didn’t win the titles or reach the potential these last four years I would have no problem whatsoever with him leaving to pursue the ultimate goal. The fact that he is leaving after all that success in my eyes is a joke – like I said, anything short of reaching the NBA Finals the next few years and the decision to leave Miami is a failure as far as basketball reasons go – there is no other way to argue it. The Heat made the finals the last four years – Cavs fail to do at least that, he was wrong. Period. If they do and he wins more titles, good for him but that’s not going to be easy.

          • Clifton Larsen McGilvray

            The butthurt is strong with this one.

        • Ryan Smith

          He left a loser in Cleveland. He left a winner in Miami. The comparison and reasons for leaving are not the same. He left Cleveland in 2010 because the organization was a joke and he was never going to win a title in that situation. He left Miami in 2014 because he’s what, homesick? NOT BASKETBALL REASONS!

          • truthbetold

            He said he’s driven to bring a title back to Cleveland. That IS a basketball reason. But feel free to tell yourself whatever you want. The reality is that it’s still hypocritical.

          • http://www.blakfistmusic.com/ harlostyles

            Sorry Pottner Miami was NOT a winner…They lost in this last finals and if you are honest with yourself, if it werent for coach POP bad substitution in taking Duncan out of the game in Game 6 Spurs would have won that game

      • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

        Ryan, allow me to quote from your article…

        “the accomplishment of making it to the NBA Finals is nothing to take for granted.” Yet you say the Cavs accomplished nothing during LeBron’s 7 seasons there?

        He decided to return home to try to bring a championship to a city he apparently feels very strongly about. Only in sports do we fault people for choosing where they want to live and who they want to work with.

        I don’t know his interactions with the Heat, Haslem, and Wade. I have no idea what he did or didn’t say he would do. I do know that the act of leaving in and of itself is no betrayal regardless of the time frame so long as he was honestly deliberating in the interim.

        The Heat are my favorite team. Wade is my favorite player. But I think it is the height of irrational foolishness to intimate that he betrayed the team or panicked in light of his thoughtful letter.

        • Ryan Smith

          “I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team & great organization as we compete for championships.” -James in 2013. This to me is turning your back on the organization – no other way to put it.

          • Ryan Smith

            And yes, making the NBA Finals is an accomplishment in itself. However, making the finals one time in seven years in Cleveland Vs. four times in four years in Miami is literally not even comparable. Are you trying to be the best of all time or make your friends and family happy to see you play closer to home?

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            Maybe he decided that the latter is more important and that he would attempt to do the first on his own terms.

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            I think that can be true even as you realize you want to go home. I’ve been torn before.

          • Donald Harris

            Lets face it Wade’s knees will not allow him to play at the level needed for a season and playoff run. LeBron had no help during the finals and he didn’t see any coming. The Heat protected Wade and left Lebron wondering. He knew Wade was going to be taken care of at his expense!

          • Brian

            Players make statements and guarantees while they are in the moment all of the time. I’m sure he said the exact same thing about Cleveland at some point, like most players do about their respective teams. You’re holding what he said in 2013 against him. You’re reaching.

          • Ryan Smith

            I’m holding what he said for YEARS against him. He also did an interview at his HOUSE in Miami right around the All-Star break this year – they asked him flat out about free agency and returning to Miami. He responded with something along the lines of “Miami is home, this is where I want to be.” If he wasn’t sure or wasn’t dedicated to staying, he could have done what 99% of athletes do in that situation and gave a vague non-committal answer.

          • Brian

            It’s kinda like, “damned if I do and damned if I don’t”. If he would’ve been non-committal, giving the “we will see what happens after the season” line, the media would’ve not only crucified him for his non-answer but it would have been a distraction all year. You think the Lebron network at ESPN would have let that fly? “Miami is where he wants to be…” I understand all of that, but can’t someone change their mind? I want to be in the city I am in currently but I couldn’t tell you what would happen even three months from now if I got a better job offer. You can’t hold athletes to promises like that because they probably meant what they said at the time they said it. It doesn’t mean it is true down the road. Like I said… you’re reaching.

          • Ryan Smith

            Of course they can change there mind, but when Pat Riley is stunned he even had to fly across the country to meet with LeBron more than a week after free agency began, it’s clear he was stunned at what was going on. He was under the impression that LeBron was going to be back with no problem whatsoever – if LeBron truly was leaning towards leaving at the very least the President of the team he is playing for should have been given SOME kind of hint to prepare to move on without him. Riley had none. Wade had none either, otherwise he wouldn’t have opted out of $20+ million a year contract for the next two seasons (something he will never come close to again). Udonis Haslem wouldn’t have opted out just like Wade trying to make it work to bring LeBron back at the price he wanted (max) – all factors considered the Heat organization feels as though LeBron left them hanging despite what they say publicly because we know how they feel behind closed doors and off the camera is different (see Haslem’s comments today).

          • Brian

            With any situation, things could’ve been handled a bit differently. But when it comes to free agency, everything and anything goes. I don’t know how much better Lebron could have played it without tipping the whole league on his intentions (remember, it wasn’t all about Miami and their feelings). Being a fan, you have an emotional attachment (and investment) and thought there was a betrayal but he was under no obligation to stay. You have to look at this from a business standpoint and not a fan’s standpoint. Once you do, everything makes sense and Lebron made the right decision. He could’ve done things a lot worse… like make an hour long TV special dedicated to his decision.

          • TheDonald2

            I’m sure you know the game better than me, but what I seldom hear in all this is that Lebron has constantly been criticized for joining Miami with the big Three and that he couldn’t do it without them “the way Jordan did.” Well, now we will see. While Jordan did indeed have a strong team around him, if Lebron can win it all in Cleveland with less proven players who he will mentor and elevate their game that nagging criticism will be made moot.

          • Baruch Hai Yakubov

            LOL, Jordan never played and won championships with three other first overall draft picks!

          • TheDonald2

            True, but I don’t see a Pippen, Rodman, or Kukoc (best 6th man award). He also had good role players around him like Grant, Paxson, and Kerr. There have been a lot of busts lately that were first overall draft picks. I’m not saying Lebron is as great as Jordan, but if he wants that argument to ever fly it seems he needs to do it with an unproven group as that in Cleveland currently.

          • Baruch Hai Yakubov

            In your response to my previous comment, you just showed how GREAT Jordan is. He made the aforementioned players CHAMPIONS, players who, for the most part, entered the league as role pieces to the puzzle, not the future of the franchise. Jordan was a great leader mentally, too (something James wishes to be). Michael bettered his teammates and made them feel as essential to the team. MJ never faltered in the Finals, something “King James” did more than he triumphed…

          • Clifton Larsen McGilvray

            He promised us a Championship and then he left. He didn’t even let us know he was leaving. If he did I am sure we would have went out and gotten other players to put around Kyrie. You got rings. Be thankful, and stop being a little bitch about it.

        • 9blackdog

          Labron years ago walk off the court without shaking hands to the magics after losing the series. He exhibited that same attitude and behavior again after losing to the celtics in a series. After the last game of each series he gave up on his team. That same behavior and attitude reared it’s ugly head again after the last game of the spurs this year. I knew he was going then. I’ve seen it before and it was written in his face each time. Labron is a great player. However, he indeed is a quitter. How long before he gets frustrated with his new team before he wants to bail out. I did not agree on how the heat over used him this year. However, he had the cache to demand changes. If he had already demanded changes prior to this year and the heat did not adhere, then it falls on Pat Riley and he should shoulder the blame for Labron leaving as well.

    • Mike

      Smh your a Cleveland fan so u blind. Your a LeBron fan stop lieing. You happy he left Miami for yall. But yall never gonna win anything. LeBron. He a dumbass

      • truthbetold

        Lmao! Sorry bro, I’m a Kobe fan. I’m all about the black mamba, and I personally don’t give a damn about Miami or Cleveland. I’m just telling the truth, and I stand firmly by what I said. You heat fans need to quit whining.

  • supereddie68

    Good story , and trouth be told , your an idiot lebron is a follower . Follwed d wade right?
    And now following others back to Cleveland.

    • truthbetold

      Learn to spell and punctuate before you insult me. Seriously, your message is almost unreadable.

    • robert franklin stroud

      Your post reads like it was written by someone incapable of forming a proper sentence. If you paid even a dollar for your education you need to have the school charged with theft.

  • Mario Wheeler

    Stopped reading after..”He single-handedly destroyed an opponent on the biggest stage (2006 NBA Finals Vs. Dallas Mavericks) in route to a championship; something James was never able to do in Cleveland.” DWade will look back on the 2 Titles He won in 2012 & 2013 & be very thankful of Lebron & co.!

    • NESports237

      It works both ways, LeBron and Wade will appreciate each other for what they accomplished TOGETHER. The author’s point was Wade was able to accomplish this feat BEFORE LeBron, something LeBron himself has yet to do.

      • Mario Wheeler

        Championships are Won on a team!

    • Ryan Smith

      Why would you stop reading after that? Wade DID win a title without LeBron – LeBron has yet to win a title without Wade. That’s basically all that is being said there, it’s a fact not an opinion.

      • Mario Wheeler

        Basically .. that’s not what is being said.

    • Lannie LaRose-Desravines Thoma

      Mario, I agree with you. D Wade will be grateful for those two extra rings he got alongside LBJ. But, D. Wade won a ring on his second year in the league, or maybe it was his 3rd. I am not sure of you saw the Dallas series. But to appreciate what D. Wade did against Dallas, you would have to on youtube. Trust me, LBJ will look back on the 2 Titles he won in 2012 & 2013 and be thankful for D. Wade. After all, he had to leave his town to go to a champion to learn how it is done. How soon do we forget?

      • Mario Wheeler

        DWade is a champion! He was no.1 on the Title winning team, I appreciate what he did in Miami! He didn’t Single handedIy destroy Dallas though! I have him as the 4th best S/Guard in NBA history!! I don’t think He “learned” Lebron James as to “how it is done” though. In 2010/2011 they both played under-par!!

  • robert franklin stroud

    Any organization that would resign Bosh to a monster-max deal is too stupid for anyone to want to associate with. Let’s hope they give Wade the max too so that they finish dead last for the full extent of Bosh’s contract.

    The Heat will suck this year. Bank on it like Bosh did.

  • equilobi

    The author is NOT from Miami and he does not represent the community’s feelings. He is speaking from an outside perspective and should have included this in his essay because being a fan of the Heat and living in a different city is noble but simply not the same. Miami Heat fans in Miami are extremely grateful to have had LeBron and most everyone even understands his decision. As a loyal Heat Fan from Miami who attended their first games in the old Miami Arena, I assure you we have nothing but love and complete understanding for LeBron. He made the right decision….twice.

    • fidel305

      You don’t speak for anyone but yourself.

      James and his entourage were losers when the heat took them in and got them rings and they’ll never sniff a championship again now that they’ve cut and run. But James is fine with that. He’ll have fewer big games where he’ll get exposed for coming up small

      And, many of us are glad to be rid of queen james and his crew of Hs dropouts. The IQ of Miami wade county just got a big boost. They were never part of the community and we are glad riley kept them out of the locker room, off the team bench and off the team plane. All things that irritated james’ crew of hanger ons.

      ,And I’m happy to.say,.what many long time heat season ticket holders feel: we’re well rid of James and crew . Cant wait to see what happens next year when the NBA supposedly is finally going to conduct tests for HGH. A Rods biogenesis cheat reportedly had another client, named ” L. J. ” whose monthly supply was picked up and paid for by a guy with the same name as james’ agent. A primary side effect of HGH is leg cramps, another is a big head with a receding hairline. No symptoms there, right?

      • 9blackdog

        I appreciate most folks comments. However, yours border on ignorance. I thinks you need and education on life and common sense. Your coded words suggests that your intelligent level is antiquated to prehistoric proportions. You must have experience a shelter life in some type of privilege bubble. Get out this closed bubble and expand your intellectual content. It’s funny how folks do not realize how ignorant they can sound.

        • fidel305

          personal attacks on me don’t constitute a response, much less a refutation, of what I say.
          so fell free to try again. in English this time.
          bordering on ignorance would be a major improvement for you.

          • 9blackdog

            In the process of submitting a comment, often times words are misspelled and also errors occur due to the fact you are submitting online. As in your case “so fell free to try again. in English this time. I will excuse someone who seem to have a grasp on writing and content. You failed in content. You expose yourself to ignorance seen by others when make those kind of comments that are in the same ballpark as the statements made by Donald Sterling. Ignorance is a a lack of understanding. Sometimes folks live in their own litte environment and therefore are naive and ignorant to certain facts. Maybe diversity training will broaden your scope and you will not be easy identifiable.

      • Lannie LaRose-Desravines Thoma

        Wow! I told my husband that one of LeBron issue was the fact that Pat Riley ran the Heat as a classy organization. His homeboys couldn’t run the show like they did in Cleveland. They (along with his wife) were unhappy with Pat Riley’s style. Dan Gilbert felt betrayed because LeBron got whatever her asked of them but it wasn’t the same in Miami. I am grateful for the 4 years and 2 championships but I have to admit that I am beginning to see a pattern of LBJ running away when things get a little rough. I wish him the best. But, I am proud of D. Wade and the kind of a person he is. If it wasn’t for him, LBJ would still be chasing a ring. I wish LBJ the best, but Miami will be fine for they were champions way before LBJ came to town.

    • NESports237

      While I can appreciate your comment, just because the writer is not a native of Miami, it does not mean he cares any less deeply about the team he writes and roots for. He is someone who has been to Miami multiple times, and seen multiple Heat games. So while he DOES have an outside perspective, he still has credibility. That cannot be questioned.

      As for the point behind this article. I don’t recall once reading about how the writer was ‘ungrateful’ for what LeBron had accomplished during his tenure in Miami. More so, this article questions LeBron’s motives for making the decision, and in a basketball sense, asks us to consider whether this truly is the best move for ‘The King’ from a successful ultimate standpoint. Only time will tell.

      The primary basis of the writer’s article is not being ungrateful for what LeBron did for the city of Miami, but rather why he left the way he did (taking eleven days to make his decision and bolting on friends and teammates who sacrificed to play with him and help him achieve his goal). I’m am more than sure the writer appreciates what LeBron helped to accomplish in Miami, to question otherwise means you are focusing incorrectly on the true main theme of the article.

    • Ryan Smith

      You’re right, I’m not from Miami. However it’s hard to say that the Miami Heat fans as a whole are some passionate fan base when they can’t sell out any games that aren’t during the months of April-June. The majority of fans show up late and leave early. I attend the Miami games in Boston every single year and I can assure you I have never once shown up late or left early, even in blowouts. I have been following the Heat since the Mourning days, well before we even know who LeBron James was.

  • Dave R

    This post is replete with stupidity. To prove my point, I’ll just pick a sentence at random: “Riley and Dwyane Wade saved the legacy of LeBron James when his career hit rock bottom in 2010.” GTFO!

    • Silence

      This guy is just grasping for straws. Stubbornness across the board in this article.

      • Ryan Smith

        “I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team & great organization as we compete for championships.” – James in 2013. Please explain to me how he didn’t turn his back on the organization with comments like those THROUGHOUT his four years in Miami?

    • NESports237

      How is this a false statement? Sure, LeBron would continue to accumulate personal accolades, but how can you possibly prove he would have a title by now if he had stayed in Cleveland? How else was joining him in Cleveland. If he didn’t at least have one title right now how would that NOT have any bearing on his legacy? What would the media pressure be like? Would Cleveland become frustrated or take him for granted because he still had not reached the ultimate pinnacle?

      I can pick random sentances and make it sound stupid too. Take the time to actually read the article, then come at me.

    • Ryan Smith

      With the titles James has won in Miami we are quick to forget the “LeChoke” nicknames that he couldn’t escape during his years in Cleveland. LeBron was seven years into his career and ringless with all the expectations in the world on his shoulders. Riley and Wade saved his legacy which is to be mentioned as one of the greatest to ever play the game. No rings = no greatness.

  • Silence

    The thing is that LeBron chose to pick Miami over Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Dallas because Riley had a plan to bring Bosh and Wade together with the best player in the league. Yeah, Riley had the pedigree to lure ‘Bron and Bosh to Wade and company, but to say that he’s now betrayed since he [LeBron] went back HOME OF ALL PLACES is just ludicrous. LeBron owes nothing to Pat Riley, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh or the Heat. He doesn’t owe the Heat the 7 championships he “promised”, because he already gave you two more than the Cavs can say THEY have. LeBron owes Cleveland his all for what he did to their franchise and his fans in Cleveland. The fact that Wade has even come out and publicly said he respects LeBron’s decision 2.0 literally cuts this articles credibility in half. LeBron got Riley and Wade two more rings, and he gave Bosh the opportunity to even win one when he may as well never had the chance to achieve that feat if he chose to resign in Toronto or sign in Chicago. Everything the king said in his letter was what I, and many other fans of sports in general, wanted to hear from him. He made the right decision; you should get over yourself. I think what truly bothers you and makes you claim he is a traitor is the fact Cleveland has a super talented young core, and they couldn’t accomplish that without LeBron taking a 4-year-leave-of-absence to south beach. LeBron was never Miami’s guy, he’s been Cleveland’s guy since the beginning. Be proud that Dwayne Wade is staying, and that LeBron helped staple Wade’s career as one of the best to ever play the game.

    • NESports237

      While LeBron’s original ‘decision’ certainly wasn’t handled correctly, it was partially as a result of Cleveland’s inability to surround him with talent. He gave Cleveland his all for 7 years. When he left (again, not handling the situation in the best of ways) Cleveland replied by ‘burning’ him, and excoriating him with a letter from the owner to the world. While LeBron may not owe Miami anything in your view, I would argue the same could be said for Cleveland. The reason he came back is not because he ‘owes’ them anything, it is because he and Gilbert were able to wipe the slate clean and he desperately wanted to return home. To say it is because he owes Cleveland something and not Miami, is a false premise and incorrectly targets just one small theme, of a large, multi-pronged article.

  • Chris

    Poor Ryan lost his ‘Bron ‘ Bron

  • Chris McLafferty

    I think you need to take a step back for a minute and realize what you’re writing. LeBron didn’t screw you guys over. He left his legacy and millions of true fans (Sorry Miami you’re not that, but that’s not to say if us Clevelanders lived in beautiful Miami we wouldn’t be either) to come join your organization and even took a pay cut. The way he left Cleveland was messed up. He didn’t let us know anything and he left us with nothing. He still gave you time to sign Bosh (I realize this came out before Bosh resigned) and possibly get Wade back and Deng. Your team left him out to dry and it was your owner who made these players take paycuts for the good of the team but wouldn’t pay into the luxury (his own paycut) for the good of the team, as evidence by the cutting of well liked and still valuable (huge on a team that is top heavy and bare at the bottom) Mike Miller. Say what you want about those James Cavs but Dan Gilbert was always willing to spend anything and everything for that team and specifically LeBron and his friends (this is why you see him react with that Letter). Also you can’t compare those Cavs with these recent Heat. You were 13 seconds away from leaving this “dynasty” with only 1 championship. Think about those Cavs. They played against Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard and the still strong trio of Garnett, Pierce and Allen. You played none of that. You grabbed Bosh James and Allen. Howard relocated, the trio broke down and Derrick Rose has been injured the past 2 seasons. You’ve basically got a free pass these last 4 years. So yeah you made 4 finals but those 4 finals aren’t nearly as representative of how good your team really was. I know it sucks that he left your team, but he did It classier this time around and I don’t think he screwed you over in the least. Gasol and Lowry weren’t coming without James anyways Gasol was only talking to contenders Bulls, Thunder and Spurs and Lowry seemed like an extreme long shot from the very beginning.

    • Brian

      This right here sums it up. This is an awesome comment. Miami has had a free pass for the past four years. And people forget about the strike-shortened year that Miami won it all. The Heat could’ve easily been the Buffalo Bills of the NBA going 0-for-4. Lebron didn’t betray anyone. He made the best decision for his career.

      • Andy Andrews

        Best decision for his career? In what way? Lol, He’s about to have the worst season of his career. Cleveland’s biggest star, Kyrie, is a terrible match for James. Irving is a terrible catch and shoot role player, which is what Lebron needs and has had in Allen, Wade, Bosh, Miller. You got a bunch of unlikely question marks in Cleveland…I would follow you with the he went home for his family, cuz he got home sick, but “best decision for his career”? Lebron will realize what he just lost to be closer to home very shortly.

        • Brian

          Worse season in his career? I’m cracking up over here. Did you even
          watch him play in Cleveland? He took a team of stiffs to the NBA
          Championship (which they lost to San Antonio ironically enough).
          Cleveland’s talent may be young but it’s twice as good as to the talent
          that surrounded him when he played there the first time. I remember when
          Lebron went to Miami and it was said that his and DWade’s game was a
          “terrible match” because their games were similar. Looks like they
          figured it out and they’ll figure it out in Cleveland as well. I’m not
          even going to get into the best decision of his career because if you
          look at it rationally and look at it on and off the basketball court, he
          picked a perfect time to make the move.

    • Ryan Smith

      Dan Gilbert was such a great owner but he failed to ever bring in another star to play alongside James for the seven years he was in Cleveland. An old Shaq and old Antawn Jamison were the two best players he ever brought in – that in itself is a complete joke. That is why I laugh when people comment about how Gilbert is some great basketball guy when he could never surround the best player in the world with talent.

      • Chris McLafferty

        I didn’t say he’s a great basketball guy, I said he’s a great owner. The GM is supposed to bring in the basketball talent, the owner is supposed to write the checks and make sure everyone is happy. Mickey Arison didn’t bring the Big 3, Pat Riley did.

    • Baruch Hai Yakubov

      Howard relocated TWO years after James joined the Heat, and Rose started to injure himself badly around the same time, too. The Celtics trio started to break up TWO years after James’ initial decision, and was completely done by the THIRD. Dan Gilbert was always willing to spend anything? REALLY??? The trash he spent his money on during James’ first tenure with the Cavs: Drew Gooden, Sasha Pavlovic, Mo Williams, Delonte “I-Fucked-Your-Mom-Last-Night-’Bron” West, Shaq at nearly 40… I mean, should I really continue with this atrocity, fan boy? NOTHING came to the Heat as a “freebe.” Don’t you recalled your idol’s famous hashtag, #EarnedNotGiven, following every championship he’s won with the Heat? Or is it earned only with the Cavs? Learn facts and unbiased history before you spew your “knowledge” of the game, kid.