When LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to join Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat in 2010, the entire NBA changed. Never before had the league seen three superstars take less money to create a “super team.”
Although they had a rocky start and failed to live up to expectations in their first year together, they did win back to back championships in 2012 and 2013. And even though they will attempt to three-peat in 2014, the trio already knows that this season will likely be the last time they all play together.
The big three (James, Wade and Bosh) will all have to opportunity to opt out of their current contracts at the end of the season and most people expect them to cash out and seek the most money possible. That’s understandable considering they all took a pay-cut to join forces in 2010.
If the trio did the unthinkable and decided not to opt out of their current contracts, they would make a combined $61.3 million during the 2014-15 season. The salary cap for that season is projected to be only $62.9 million. In other words, it’s likely that this “super team” is about to meet its demise.
Credit to Wade
Most people credit Dwyane Wade for bringing the big three to Miami. He was already an icon with the Heat and had already won a championship. He was willing to swallow his pride and take a backseat to James’ stardom as the face of the franchise.
“That was something we wanted to do, it wasn’t that we had to do it,” Wade said. “At the time, guys like LeBron and CB were searching for their first championship. So you’re willing to get whatever you can to put yourself in position to win that.”
Even though Wade is credited for bringing the “super team” together in Miami, he realizes the chances of them deciding to stay together following the 2014 playoffs is slim to none.
“There are different times and different mindsets that you deal with. That was 2010,” Wade said. “I’m not saying that LeBron James or Chris Bosh, if they get the opportunity again, are going to leave $17 million on the table. No one can say they should do that. You have to do what is best for you.”
The Credit and the Blame
Wade certainly deserves all of the credit he gets for bringing Chris Bosh and LeBron James to South Beach. Without him, LeBron James would have never joined the Miami Heat.
With that said, Wade should also get some of the blame – fair or not – for why they may all go their separate ways next season.
Wade has proven incapable of staying healthy for an entire season which puts an unfair amount of pressure on both James and Bosh. When they decided to join him in Miami, they assumed he would carry his own weight on the hardwood.
Wade is still capable of playing in spurts every now and then, but it has become apparent that his best days are behind him.
Disappointed, but Understanding
Fans of the Miami Heat will be understandably disappointed that their days of a dominant “super team” are coming to an end. Then again, they should also understand why the trio is breaking up.
Even if the big three only lasted for four seasons, that’s four seasons that no other franchise in the league will ever be lucky enough to have. Fans must realize that LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade could have joined forces anywhere, but they chose South Beach and they all took a discount in the process.
The trio has won their championships and now they want to make their money. That’s not to say they aren’t all millionaires already, but nobody can blame them if they seek the most money possible.
As the old adage goes, all good things must come to an end.