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Friday, May 25, 2018

Kevin Durant: Miami Heat’s stars aren’t what won them the title

The Miami Heat would not have won a title last season without LeBron James. They probably would not have won one without Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh, either. That is the easy part to remember. Then, there are the forgotten ones — the guys who come off the bench and hit a clutch three-pointer or grab a crucial rebound and make the most of their 10 minutes on the floor.

As a superstar himself, Kevin Durant knows how important those role players can be. In fact, he believes they deserve just as much (if not more) credit for Miami’s title last year as the Big Three.

“(The Heat) didn’t win it only because of them (their star trio),” Durant told Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. “They won it because of the Shane Battiers, the Mike Millers, the Mario Chalmers, the Norris Coles. They won it because of those guys.

“They gave (the role players) confidence from the beginning of the season, and I’m sure being on that stage and having those guys trusting them meant they were able to step their game up. That’s the only thing I’m trying to do now.”

The Heat winning it all last summer was all about LeBron, and deservedly so. King James silenced all the critics who said he was not a clutch player by putting the team on his back throughout the playoffs. But without the contributions of Battier, Miller, and Chalmers, LeBron may not have won that first ring and his legacy could have taken even more of a hit. Such is the case with any deep run into the playoffs. There just aren’t enough people like Durant who take the time to give credit to the little guys.

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