Sports: Maybe This Heat Team Will Never Win a Title

A little less than two years after telling everyone who would listen that they would win “titles” (plural emphasized), the Miami Heat are on the brink of playoff elimination again.  They trail the Boston Celtics three games to two in the Eastern Conference Finals. Short of winning two elimination games then winning four more against an even tougher foe in the Finals, the Heat’s season will again fall short of the goal.

Blame shouldn’t go to LeBron James, he was after all the league’s MVP.  Blame shouldn’t go to Dwyane Wade, even if I still struggle to spell his first name right.  Nor should fingers get pointed at Chris Bosh, injuries happen.  Blame should be heaped high on Pat Riley, the Team President of the Heat.  He built a formidable nucleus of a team but he forgot about the rest of the atom.

The Heat will spend 33 million dollars this year on players not named James, Bosh or Wade.  Some of that money goes to players who are old (Udonis Haslem), frail (Mike Miller) or one dimensional (Joel Anthony).  Some of the money goes to guys who don’t even deserve consideration for an NBA roster (Eddy Curry).

Seriously, Knicks fans, if you see Eddy Curry on someone’s roster, doesn’t it raise questions about the competency of the personnel decisionmaking?  It’s enough to wonder if Isiah Thomas is doing mind meld tricks with one of his Knicks predecessors.  If the Heat give Stephon Marbury a tryout this summer, then we know it’s true.

But seriously, 33 million to fill out a roster headed by three all stars.  Let’s look at the other final four teams for a second. 33 million would cover the contracts of Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley and Marquis Daniels and leave 26 million for other amenities.  33 mil would cover the contracts of Dequan Cook, Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison and um, Derek Fisher, and leave plenty of scratch. 33 mil covers Boris Diaw, Danny Green and Gary Neal and leaves more than 30 million.  It’s not that all of these players were available to the Heat, but many of them were and talent of this caliber definitely was.

Wade is 30, James and Bosh are 27; all three are still in their prime, but if this year ends short of a parade, the team should sense that the window of opportunity is beginning to close.  If Miami is to win even one title, then they are going to need significantly better role players and the man at the top has a horrible track record in finding them.

Martin Johnson wrote a weekly NBA column for the New York Sun from 2003-’08, and for from 2008-’10.  His sportswriting has also appeared in the NY Times, Wall St. Journal and the Atlantic Monthly.


About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
This entry was posted in basketball, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBA, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sports: Maybe This Heat Team Will Never Win a Title

  1. I hope they don’t win a title! Only team I hate more than the Heat are the Yankees (coming from a Boston native 🙂 )

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