If you can count on Mario Chalmers for anything, it’s that he is usually the most confident man on the Miami Heat’s roster. Despite a poor performance throughout much of last season’s playoffs, it seems like that hasn’t changed.
Chalmers recently re-signed with the Heat, agreeing to a two-year deal that is worth just over $8 million according to reports. With his free agency settled, Chalmers was able to focus on his other efforts, like hosting a two-day basketball camp at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami. The camp began Saturday and concludes the following day.
But there was speculation that Chalmers may not ever play for the Heat again, in a turbulent summer that began with Miami’s crushing loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the pursuit of free agent guard Kyle Lowry and the departure of LeBron James to Cleveland. Chalmers discussed all this with reporters before the start of camp, including the Sun Sentinel‘s Shandel Richardson.
Of his forgettable performance in the Finals, where he shot 33% and averaged just over 4 points per game, “Rio” answered as confidently as one would expect of the six-year veteran:
“I’m past the Finals. Over and done with it. You just take a couple of days to think about it and then you get over it.”
Chalmers is reported to have been courted by other teams in free agency, including the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.
“I had conversations with other teams. Everybody was waiting to see what LeBron was going to do. In my heart, I wanted to stay, but at the same time if I felt like if I had a better position somewhere else I was going to take it.”
Eventually, Chalmers stayed with the only team he has ever played for in his professional career, joining the likes of other Heat veterans Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem.
And what of James? Chalmers said he’d spoken to the Cavs superstar since his announcement just over a week ago.
“I talked to him a couple times. I’m not mad at him at all … He had to do what was best for him and his family. We were surprised. I never thought anybody would want to leave Miami for Cleveland but you grow up and you move on. That’s what happened and there’s no love lost.”
Chalmers also discussed the team’s decision to draft point guard Shabazz Napier out of the University of Connecticut, but added that “it won’t affect (him) at all,” adding that he expects to be the starter from day one. Of the Heat’s reconfigured roster, Chalmers – in typical fashion – was confident about the team’s chances:
“We still got D-Wade and C.B. We still got people on the team that can help us get back to where we were … We’ve got a lot of good pieces that can help fill that spot LeBron left. We got a team that’s going to work together.”
While much of that may depend on Chalmers taking his game to another level, at least his confidence, misplaced though it might be, is already in mid-season form.