The Games Are Already Underway


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Who says you have to wait until training camp starts for the elbows to start flying?

The Magic and Heat are kicking things off early with some verbal sparring that we usually have to wait until the playoffs to enjoy. And the players on both teams haven’t even chimed in yet. All the scrapping going on now is coming from Magic GM Otis Smith (above), Heat boss Pat Riley and Magic (and former Heat) coach Stan Van Gundy.

It’s a soap opera befitting an unprecedented summer of free agent activity that will no doubt shape the league for at least the next six years.

My main man and colleague Shaun Powell provides some of the highlights while also forecasting what is sure to be one of the league’s most heated rivalries in the coming years:

Smith said he thought LeBron was “more of a competitor” than someone who would join a stacked team, repeating sentiments expressed by Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. (My take: Magic and Jordan didn’t jump from their teams because those teams had Kareem and Worthy and Pippen and Rodman.)

Riley, in a conference call last week, said Smith “never made any kind of comment like that when he signed Rashard Lewis (to a) $126 million contract.” (My take: I’m not 100 percent sure, but sounds like Riles snuck an additional zinger in there, reminding everyone how Smith vastly overpaid for Lewis.)

Van Gundy, in an interview now up and running on the, said, “Pat getting on people for making moral judgments made me laugh. I was with Pat when we had all those Knicks series and he had no problem making moral judgments on my brother.” (My take: Don’t mess with family. Blood runs thick among the Van Gundys, the First Brothers of Basketball.)

While you can expect Smith, Van Gundy and Riley to suddenly tone down the rhetoric — only because that’s what people do almost by reflex — we know what bubbles underneath. We know there’s no love lost between Van Gundy and Riley partly because of what went down in Miami during the 2006 championship season. We know Smith, calm by nature, is feisty inside and ultra competitive. We know Riley just put together a potential monster threesome with [LeBron] James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and he feels the world wants to see the Heat crumble. We also have a fairly strong suspicion the road to the NBA Finals will travel down the Turnpike. Or up the Turnpike.

With so much attention on each other, we’d advise both the Heat and Magic to look out for the actual reigning Eastern Conference champions up in Boston.

They didn’t exactly take the summer off, though they have managed to stay out of the name calling parade … for now (Celtics big man Shaquille O’Neal has history in both Orlando and Miami as well, and you know he loves to trade barbs with anyone willing to step into the ring with him).

Training camp can’t get here fast enough.



  1. computer says:

    1st of all the heat did not trade for lebron or bosh.They were all FAs that exercised their option.I never heard hypocrite magic whine about the lakers getting gasol for free.allen and garnett were pretty much still in their prime and nobody cried over them joining pierce.Last but not least,the league is scared of the heat without even playing a pre-season game OUCH

    • Lakers 3peat says:

      This is response to Fred

      Dude I want you to just shut up, because you are just as bad as the analysts on ESPN. Now you saying the Cavs were a bad team with a bad coach, WOW!!!! All season long everybody from ESPN to TNT was saying this is CAVS YEAR, they have the deepest team and will be able to challenge the Lakers. The Lakers lost a couple games, Kobe gets hurt and the media eat us all up. Until the playoffs came all the media said was the Lakers cant repeat a championship, they aren’t playing like champions, there is no chemistry, and ect. Then we win the championship, the CAVS get put out by Boston and everything flip flops. WE WIN, now everyone want to say “oh yeah we knew it from the beginning” yet we had so many doubters since February. CAVS GET PUT OUT, then everyone who was saying the CAVS going win and are so good start changing saying LBJ had no help, his team was sorry, Mike Brown cant coach. Just remember that before you start talking about how bad his team was and oh yeah? Mike Brown is so terrible like you claim how did he win COACH OF THE YEAR not too long ago, yeah please STFU!!!

      • Lakers 3peat says:

        Also Boston aint the same, both Ray Allen and KG were traded for first off and on top of that they were not in their primes with the same skill level, youth and athleticism….they were still good but at the twilight of their careers, soon about to retire so now they were just chasing a ring before they hung the sneakers up…..BOSH LBJ and maybe even WADE have at least 7-10 years left in their careers

  2. webbtman says:

    Let’s put this in prospective. The Cavs were in the same place the Bulls were the year prior to winning their 1st Championship. They had the best record in the league and couldn’t get over the hump (Detroit), with Pippen. Even though MJ was arguably the best player in the NBA at the time and he was not the highest paid. He took less money to get help. The help they brought in at the time was not one of the top ten players in the NBA let alone in the top 5.
    The Bulls brought in role players, defensive specialist, 3-point shooters and some serviceable centers. Most of these players they drafted or signed as free agents. The top players in the league at that time were Magic, Bird etc. The Bulls won six championship with only two players that spanned all of them. Pip and MJ were the main characters both drafted and groomed in-house. All the others were role players and interchangeable obviously because they were changed out for others.
    So let’s keep the discussion real and stop comparing the heat with the Bulls. One or two things happened. Firstly, the players conspired long ago to play together. Two of the top three players in the league, and one of the top 5 power forwards joined in to form what they hope is a super team. Second theory is Pat Riley masterminded one of the greatest offseason signings in NBA history. Regardless of the case the former or the latter, it is still not comparable to how the Bulls were built and created the dynasty of the 90’s.

  3. fred says:

    Yes they had the best record, but never the best team or the best coach. all they had was lebron. If you were to take lebron and put him on the lakers team with phil jackson , then take kobe and put him on a team where the second best player is mo williams, and mike brown is the coach… i dont think theyd have the best record in the league and they’d never win a championship.. you’ve got to admit that. But the bottom line is, lebron has alot of help now, so does dwyane wade and so does bosh. bosh will look as good as gasol does if not better. because i dont remember anybody in love with gasol before he had a superstar teammate. bosh is gonna be a beast without 1 single double team

  4. fred says:

    I wonder why nobody complained when garnet and allen joined the celtics. nobody called it a punk move and they were the franchise player for their teams and they won a championship. Gasol, Artest, Odem, have all joined the elite team, and won a championship.. why are people so mad at lebron and bosh? and why assume that these 7 year verterans who are good friends and saavy players wont be able to figure out what to do as if they are rookies?

  5. basketball fan says:

    Kobe is the type of person either you like or don’t like. But one thing people always say is that he is a competitor. He hates to lose and I’ll take that type of person on my team in a heart beat. People always say that Lebron did have a team. They didn’t say that during the season when they had the best record 2 years in a row. The team just choked during the playoffs. That is the bottom line.

    I’ll be glad when Lebron’s era is over. He is a really good player but until he is more humble in life, people will continue to talk about him whether they are a fan or not of his.

    Let’s talk about others that are more humble like Kevin Durant. That is humble and I’m not even a Oklahoma fan.

  6. Jefferu says:

    How many Lebrons, Kobes, Duncans were on the Detroit pistons team of 2004. They won as a team with a great coach. The point is if Eric Spoelstra is that coach then everyone should be worried.

  7. Phizzy says:


  8. wildo says:

    if there is someone in last season who deserve credit is wade this guy is just amazing in miami he’s like our michael jordan but with no help even with his injuries he managed to take the heat to the playoff no one thought he was gonna make it that far, but he prove people wrong.. now he finally got some help and is a hell of a help with good players playing as a team they would be a very hard team to beat.. kobe is just very lucky he got gasol and ofcourse defensive player artest. no one talks crab about them so why don’t you all just relax and enjoy this season with the heat taking over stop the hating is bad for yourself and ego

  9. Sosay says:

    kobe would have won with mo, jj hickson, varajao, shaq and them too

  10. Mr Sensible aka the new zzanzabar says:


    Your theory of the players you mentioned, is similar to your spelling…..GARBAGE. I will start with “Kobe cant do nothing without Shaq”…(or in your spelling…SHAK)….Shaq, is arguably one of the most “Dominant” or the most dominant big-man to ever play the game right? then why is it that the year after he left the Lakers where he was the number 1 option, did all his numbers go drastically down, and he was the number two option behind Dwyane Wade for every year until he left? Why is it that two seasons after everybody talked about how Shaq will bring multiple titles to Miami, were those same people saying “Age” has caught up with “The Big Diesal”??? Before all you that knock Kobe by saying its Shaq’s Lakers….lol, learn the game, and study the behind the scene as well instead of JUST the “OBVIOUS”. When Shaq was on L.A, he was the main scoring Option…true….His team….ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Shaq said himself numerous times….Kobe is the best in the Nba…that was while he was there, when he left….and till this day says it. But along the way, media, and Shaq himself had everybody fooled by calling Kobe “selfish”, and had them thinkin that L.A was losing the original nba “Superman” because Kobe refused to give Shaq the ball. But, why is it that on Miami, Shaq called Wade the best player in the world, but then when he went to Pheonix, he claimed that “Steve Nash and the Pheonix Suns on paper is the best and the deepest team I have ever played for”? Oh but wait, what about the infamous “win a ring for the KING” slogan……..the most dominant ever calling a man with no ring and 1 finals appearance KING?? LMFAO…. really? Jordan and his wrinkley ass at 40 came back and still thought he was the man, and was number 1 option in Washington. Whose is the man in Pheonix past 5 years?? Nash right?? but why? Amare has been the leading scorer and rebounder….so why isnt it Amare’s team? oh yeaa…because Nash sets up the plays, and Amare is the recipient of Nash’s brilliant playmaking!! and the team is nothing without a brilliant playmaker right?? sorta like Kobe (number 1 playmaker) Shaq (main recipient??) Shaqs comments about those particular players and teams that he went to, was just Shaq trying to deflect attention from the fact that Kobe was putting up unGodly numbers (35ppg, 81points, 4 straight 50plus games, 62 in 3 quarters, 55 on Jordan to officially send the legend to his basketball grave, a 4 games of 60 plus, 9 straight 40 points or more, god knows how many games of 30 or more,OHHHH and missing the playoffs 1 time since Shaq left…1.) Kobe was tamed under Phil Jacksons system, and Shaq knew it, and Kobe didnt mind for the sake of championships, and he won them. But after the third ring, can you blame the man for wanting to chase Greatness now that he had the rings? Shaqs career was over when he left L.A, but everybody including him was too blind to see it….and because everybody was so blind, Kobe got snubbed a few different seasons for the MVP BECAUSE THE HATE THAT SHAQ MADE EVERYBODY HAVE FOR HIM……You gave Nash 2 Mvp’s before you gave Kobe 1…and Nash has never a)lead his team in scoring, steals, or rebounds. b) never got out of his conference c) wasnt even the best pg at the time….it was Jason Kidd?? for the past decade or more Kobe has been the best and most lethal at his position, and the most lethal in the nba, and is still considered as the number 1 in the nba….and it was still Shaqs team?? hahahaha no…Shaq is and will always be the Lapdog that shined while Kobe got primed to take over NBA History and not just the Nba…and when Shaq said trade me or Kobe…why wasnt it Kobe that got the boot then? in the words of elvis…..thank you, thank you very much.

    • LaK3rs 3peat says:

      I fully agree wit u bruh, finally someone on here that makes sense….Shaq wasnt winning any championships with the Lakers until Kobe got their, Kobe was the one cleaning up the messes in those championship games. I dont know why people hate Kobe so much, it actually sickens me, its not going hit people until the man retires and you cant see this greatness LIVE anymore. And you are right they robbed Kobe of 2 years he should’ve had MVP, they gave LBJ two straight and I dont see anything he did differently than Kobe at that time except have the best record

      • AC says:

        You guys are under the spell of the new Fakers, led by Kobe.. A true team player/playmaker was Magic Johnson, not some guy who habitually jacks up double-teamed, fade away threes in pressure situations with open teammates waiting for a shot. I repeat, game 7, six for 24. What happened to his scoring? Did he have 15 assists? Magic, a true playmaker, would only take 24 shots if he were so hot that he made 14 to 20 of them. Kobe a playmaker, come on!
        Also, age caught up with Shaq more quickly than most because he took a savage beating, as he was unable to make teams pay at the free-throw line. He was the most dominant player in the league for many years despite that.
        The truly indispensable Laker leader is Phil Jackson, without whom Kobe has not, and likely will not, win anything.

    • Eddie says:

      Mrs Sensible I didn’t use spell check but I think you get the point. My point was that NO ONE has done it by themselves. I do belive Kobe was the man. But he still cant do it by his self a point that you make as well.
      The proof is in the numbers why did Kobe not get any other championships after shaq left? He did not have worthy players until a couple of years ago.
      Thank you for agreaing with me on my points.
      Are you sure you are a MR. the way you picked on my spelling when you knew what I was refering to, seems to me like maby you are a MRS trying to vier from the point.

    • Jack says:

      It is spelled PHOENIX, not Pheonix. Let he who has never misspelled cast the first stone.

  11. Amani says:

    The real problem in the NBA isn’t making ‘super-teams.’ The problem is that there aren’t enough great players to go around. Really, who wouldn’t love to see the Big 3 in New York Happen and compete in the absolutely STACKED East?

    Solution to this problem: THERE ARE TOO MANY TEAMS IN THE NBA. We can do without the Clippers and the Warriors and the Nets, etc. Get rid of those teams, so we have a stronger, more competitive League. The Playoffs are the most important and most watched bit of the season anyway, so would a few non-playoff teams really be missed? Really? Just my 2 cents.

    • LaK3rs 3peat says:

      Alot of you guys just do alot of talking and aren’t really knowledgeable on the subject. You people keep saying “well MJ Magic and Bird had him, him, and him.” Basketball in the 80s and early 90s was different from now, there was more talented players spread all over the league and their were fewer teams. It was ok for Bird and Magic to have Worthy, Parish, Kareem, ect. because the talent levels on the teams were for the most part equal, so the games were still competitive. This NEW BIG 3, is basically like a bully to every team in the league expect for a few, and thats because were in an era of basketball where there are fewer STAR PLAYERS, so the ocncept has been established every team has its ALLSTAR, with a sidekick and good complement pieces/role players. I dont blame Bosh for going to Miami, but LBJ i just thought was overkill.

      And another thing I’m getting tired of hearing is this Kobe/Shaq and Kobe/Gasol nonsense. I think people forget Shaq was on the Lakers before Kobe and he didnt win a thing before that, Shaq won those championships because he had KOBE cleaning up the mess when it counted most. Its goes the same for DWADE, they won the finals against the mavs because DWADE took care of business when it mattered, so stop glorifying Shaq and give Kobe the credit he deserves. Same about Gasol, I love the guy, but he complements Kobe’s game, the Lakers is KOBE’S TEAM, he “is the guy” they give the ball to in critical situations, before 2008 nobody knew who Gasol was back in Memphis

      • AC says:

        Please, Kobe never won anything without Phil Jackson, Shaq or no Shaq. If you really think Kobe is the driving force/world beater, I have only five things to say, game 7, six for 24.

      • Jesse W says:

        You are right, Kobe shot 6 for 24 or something horrible like that. The bottom line, he has on that championship ring. Believe it or not, basketball ia a team sport, and even Kobe is thrilled to share the spotlight with the Spaniard, the looney one-Artest, and others. Kobe is thrilled that he won his 5th championship. And you can take this to the back – it’s much sweeter to shoot 6 for 24 and win the crown than to go 20 for 24 and lose. Just ask Paul Pierce if you think I am lying. He will agree. Paul might even tell you that as far as Kobe’s game 7 v the Celts, an ugly win beats a pretty loss any day of the week.

  12. tenki says:

    Pat Riley has his rights to be angry because he needs too do so. If you put yourself in a position where you made your team formidable in every aspect possible, you would want to treat it as an asset. if you play basketball in your home turf and some punk attacks your teammate, you would step up against the unsportsmanlike bully and beat him up, or at least break the scuffle. Imagine if you are the unlucky guy who gets shoved by your opponent and your teammates does nothing in your behalf, what would you feel? Are you just singled out? Isolated? Frustrated? Bullied?

    Pat Riley doesn’t disrespect his colleagues because he is a true professional, and that is the way the Miami organization sees it at him. The reason why Rashard Lewis was mentioned in his verbal arguments against Otis Smith is because the executives in Orlando didn’t do their job well. Yes, Lewis is a focal point in Orlando’s gameplay, but with the attitude that he brings on the court with a formidable superstar in D12, he should really help his team. LeBron is an exception in this case. Fans clearly think that Cleveland owe the Celtics Game 5 of the playoffs, but he had an off-night. He had no-show teammates. Shaq? He was barely there in Miami after winning a championship with D-Wade, and never returned to his dominant form. The rest of the Cavs? Where were they when their then-heart-and-soul player had an off-night? Are these things can be said about Kobe and the Lakers? Nope. When Kobe had his off-night in Game 7 of the Finals, his teammates were there for him, ready to fight to the finish. Maybe Artest was lucky, but he had the guts to contribute for his team. As so does Gasol, Fisher, and Odom. And who would question the heart of a champion in Andrew Bynum? He even postponed his surgery just to help his team win the coveted Larry O’Brien trophy, sacrificing his own body for the benefit of the team. Now why did I mention this Laker team that won last season? Because they exemplify the way basketball is played, the cream of the crop. THEY did it. Now where are the Heat this season? They are halfway there, even if the season is just underway in a couple of months away. Why? A superstar like LBJ and CB1 had the guts to accept to themselves that they can’t win on their own team, so they joined their friend, D-Wade. Is that wrong? No, because they swallowed the bitter pill to become key players behind a multi-talented star in his own right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not degrading legitimate NBA superstars. They realized that to reach the ultimate goal in team sports, you have to make sacrifices, even if it takes to become role players. Besides, superstars really have to do their own role to win championships, right?

  13. BE.water says:

    Talk about the 80’s teams all you want. You’re comparing teams that were built for the most part, not traded for.

  14. DieLawn says:

    My problem with what the Heat have done has nothing to do with these guys wanting to be on a super team together, it has to do with competition. This move pretty much guarantees the Heat and the Lakers in the championship game with little chance for underdogs to make a real push. No competition equals a lot of blowout games equals a boring NBA season. The Heat have essentially become the Harlem Globetrotters. There will be tons of flashy moves, but little real competition. Actually that might be insulting to the Globetrotters, those guys rule!

    • Zzanzabar says:

      @Die Lawn

      There are just no ‘guarantees’ when it comes to professional athletes and competition. The FIBA championship USA team is proof of that. True competitors rise to the challenge, and if anything, the NBA is chock full of some of the most competitive people on the planet. Boston, Orlando, and a host of others will something to say about how easy the road to the finals will be for Miami.

  15. Laker 1 says:

    I know exactly why everybody is sooooo upset with the heat…. they are scared!! First of who else will make a choice to play not only where but with who they want to. but let’s be real this is not new. Let’s start at the top with M.J. he never won anything by himself and every year someone (free agent ) would come along to get a ring. Like BARKLEY did with Houston or did he forget that part of his career?? Magic come on Worthy, Kareem, Vlade Byron Scott, and the same for the Celtics. Name two other people from the starting line-up when Lebron took the Cavs to the finals. yeah I though so, where is his co-star. Now he will get what every graet Dynasty had a TEAM!!!!! AND whe will be waiting in the finals. lakers in 7

    • Zzanzabar says:

      Laker1, I don’t think it is fear, more like envy or jealousy. I can remember some of the very same people PLEADING for LeBron to join their particular favorite team. Every team from the Clippers to the Knicks and some unlikely teams like the Lakers and the Hornets were all thrown into the speculative whirlpool. True fans of the NBA cannot WAIT for the new season to start and the Heat to go into action, just to see if it will work. Almost every true fan wants their team to have a shot a the Heat, which have now become the new measuring stick for a team to have ‘arrived’ if they defeat them.
      What is truly weird is that many fans don’t like the perceived WAY they came to a decision…the fact that they might have decided before hand to take a hand in their perspective futures.

      When an owner decides to cut loose a loyal player after YEARS of service (Garnet), no one bats an eye or cries ‘foul’. Or if a coach is fired after bringing a team to the playoffs year after year after year (Johnson, Brown) then the sentiment is ‘oh well they never really did anything’, no one bats an eye. But let a group of young, talented and gifted players decide to maybe steer their own course through the NBA then so-called ‘fans’ get up in arms. “THEY CAN’T DO THAT!” They shout, “It will unbalance the League”…yeah, right.

    • Laker 1 says:

      oh I almost forgot
      PF – JJ Hickson
      C – Shaq

      Look I saw what happens when u are the only star on ur team ( KOBE minus SHAQ ) and it doesnt work u need stars to win and more than 1 – ask Paul Pierce or Alonzo or Glen Rice or Ron Harper shall I go on????

    • Eddie says:

      wow what a great year this will be for basketball………..

  16. Sosay says:

    Jebron Lames is a punk.
    You have to look at the facts. When Michael Jordan won his FIRST championship, he did it with Bill Cartwright and BJ Armstrong in the starting lineup. Pippen was awesome, yes and tuned out to be a Hall of Fame player. The next best player was Horace Grant, an ill player for sure, but no Chris Bosh. Gotta think of the years he struggled to get to the top of the mountain, scoring 63 against the C’s, gnawing, gnashing…. as THE MAN. look at it this way.

    PG – Mo Williams
    SG – Michael Jordan
    PF – JJ Hickson
    C – Shaq

    Magic, Bird, anyone on the dream team (sans Laettner) probably would have won with that ill cavs team that had the best record 2 years straight b4 their king gave up in the playoffs.

  17. Jefferey says:

    I can’t believe people are still bashing Miami like this. How do you the Lakers, Bulls, Celtics and all the other teams won all of those championships over the years, its because the stars on those had HELP. H-E-L-P. Michael couldn’t do it without Scottie and Kareem and Magic couldn’t do it without each other. That is exactly what the Heat did get HELP. So you guys shouldn’t be criticizing them. Especially you Michael.

  18. Sainaa says:

    Maimi has already haters hahaha They can not win championship i think… like 2006 :p lost for Greece lol!

  19. siri says:

    Dynasty, I hope you are right, because FIBA 2006, Greece 101-USA-95, dynasty players Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and a few other NBA Superstars played Greece terrible that year. What happened? We had to seatle for bronze. The fact of the matter the Heat will be beat by a few teams this year, if not a lot of teams. The question is who will beat the Heat. Who will the heat meet in eastern conference and finals. That grinding out game after game in the eastern conference and finals has proven in the past to fatigue, hurt and slow down Lebron body as if has before. FIBA 2006 USA NBA team was rolling. Looked unstoppable. Then, Greece came along and upset our World. D. Wade, L. James and company missing free throws. USA Committing fouls. And L. James and C. Bosh had no answer for Sofoklis Schortsantis. Sofoklis just ran down to his goal and put the ball in with ease. USA didn’t play Greece this year. This year Greece looked older and slower. But 2006, Lebron James was 21. Due to make his 22nd birthday in Dec. This year Durant same age L. James went to FIBA, bringing home the Gold. Lebron, D. Wade and company couldn’t beat Greece. Maybe team USA 2006 party too hard. Were just fatigue after playing so hard to beat the previous teams. But no gold for team USA FIBA 2006. If NBA teams are afraid of the Trio maybe they should draft Sofoklis and some his team mates. Because Greece put a beating on 2006 Team USA at FIBA.

  20. Eddie says:

    Mr. Otis Smith, and Van Gundy you forgot to say the truth,
    Charles Barkley joined a veteran team that included Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks, players who took Philadelphia to the 1983 NBA championship and beyond.
    Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen,Cartwright and Dennis Rodman.
    Micheal should not be talking like this cause he just Intruduced his friend and co player Scottie as a hall of famer. So what are you saying Micheal you were lying at the inditment of Pippen and you relly think he is no good and it was all you. Well I will remind Michal of his earlyer years and the struggle to win(or lack there of) alone.

    Kobie Bryant, we all know that when Shak left LA He couldn’t do a dam thing by him self for years. It wasn’t untill they got Fisher ,Gasol Odom and of coarse Artest to work together with Bryant that they started seeing light at the end of that tunnel.
    So when I hear this ignorant bastard (Otis Smith) say Kobie is the only power I am reminded of his ignorance and why he will never win an NBA championship.
    All these great players had help winning and I don’t mean a little help, most of the help came from players that are in or will be in the Hall of Fame.
    We all know Barkley couldnt have done it alone but I will allow him to talk crap because that is his job now as a comentator.
    So befor any one else talks crap about the Heat and how they did it alone, all I say is check your self, you are forgeting that basketball is a team sport and no one could do it by them selfves.
    Funny how now a days we teach our children to share and to remember there is no I in team yet all these so called hall of famers are taking credit for and spelling Team with an I.
    Wake up and smell the calling, Miami has a team and no mater what any one says they will still have to play like a team to win. I think all this comes from the simple fact that Miami is here to win and win for years to come.

    • Sic k of Miami already says:

      None of the players mentioned set up contracts or secret deals to make a “super team” of 3 of the top 10 all stars in the league. None of the players set up a TV spot to show how arrogant they are. This is why people are bashing Lebron James, and by extension Pat Riley. (Although, Pat isnt doing himself any favors by being so cocky about the whole thing) I sincerely hope that Miami will not be successful because I dont want other players following in these guys’ footsteps and wrecking the level of competition in the league with other so-called “super teams”.

      • heatfan says:

        magic had 2 hall of famers: kareem and worthy. bird had 4(walton, parish, mchale, djohnson). and jordan had pippen. why would these greats jump ship? barkley miserably did it twice but with 0 rings. maybe sir charles forgot this headline when he was in philly: “TRADE ME!”

    • Truth Spittin says:

      Hmmmm…you forgot a couple things. Barkeley was drafted in ’84, so he was not the MVP award-winning Barkeley on the team with Malone, Erving, and Cheeks. Same case for Kobe. For his first three championships Shaq was hands down the best player in the league and on his team. Jordan did have Pippen, a very talented player, and Rodman, the greatest rebounder of his time, but Jordan had almost all the highlights of the 90 Bulls, except for Pippen’s dunk on Patrick Ewing. Pretty much, a superstar needs a supporting cast with talent to compliment him not to run straight to another superstar to beg for a championship. That’s Lebron, who has shown children its ok not to work hard for something that is valuable, but you should beg and cede to the competition. Lebron gave up this year which is inexplainable and cannot be justified. A great ahlete must compete and hold his team on his shoulders, along with a good team, unto glory. Lebron may be the most highly talented star in the history in the NBA but has the competitive nature that is a disgrace to NBA and pro basketball players worldwide. Barkley should be angry because never once did he beg Michael to please win him one…

      • AC says:

        LeBron was always a pass-first guy. Before his first season, a reporter asked him what his favorite shot was, and he replied, “an open layup.” One reason Magic was so great on the Lakers was that he did have scorers to pass to. Do you think we would be talking about him today if he had been the leading scorer on his teams from the beginning of his career? Like Magic, LeBron has always understood the team concept of basketball. Perhaps you do not remember that he had to be consistently cajoled into shooting more early in his career (pre-Spurs finals year). It is no mental leap to see why he wanted to be on a team with other scorers, because he is, by nature, a point guard. Furthermore, the Heat and the Cavs never had a rivalry, so the Heat, and Wade, were not really his “competition.” If he had joined the Celtics, Spurs, or Magic, you might have a point there. As it is I see no reason not to believe that the chemistry on the court will be a sight to see in Miami.

    • Rip Greenfire says:

      It’s humorous to me how many people are getting worked up about this. It’s just like the weather, you can never predict who’s gonna win (look at Cleaveland, many people thought they would win the eastern confrence chapionship for the past three years, well?) Just let the boys settle it on the court, then we’ll see what happens.

    • Rip Greenfire says:

      Sorry, didn’t mean to reply to your comment. Please don’t think anythng I said was an attack on you.

    • Jake says:

      You make some interesting points but you’ve got your facts all wrong. I hate to break it to ya but Charles Barkley never won an NBA Championship. Also, Kobe Bryant’s name doesn’t have an “i” in it.

    • dave says:

      Eddie, youre an idiot. that team was drafted or traded for, not built out of free agency. Jordan didn’t play with Rodman until his 9th or 10 yr. Your only valid point is that jordan struggled in his early career, but did he leave or demand a trade. no, do a little research befor you post

      • AC says:

        He did have Horace Grant, a perennial All-Star, before Rodman. Do your research before yoou try to down Eddie.

      • Eddie says:

        Jordan didn’t leave because the Bulls, constantly worked on getting some talent on the team so Jordan could get the help he needed. Cleveland didn’t do a darn thing, they got washed up talent and had no room in there salary cap to buy anyone else. It is still a team sport the last time I checked, right?
        Dave you must be a Cleveland fan…lol “sorry”. I don’t have a team as a favorite I like straight up good basketball, period.
        Welcome to the new millennium and if this is a sign of things to come ( I love it) this means we (the fan) will benefit in the long run cause we will get not good basketball but great basketball….. Thanks for all your comments and opinions all are valid and interesting points. It is good to talk to intelligent folks……

    • paul says:

      your a smart guy eddie…just had to let you know i think u got brains bro

    • Jack says:

      Hey Eddie, I can get you a good deal on spell check software – cheep.

  21. HEATSUCKS says: