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Mario Chalmers: Heat took a ‘back seat’ in NBA Finals

mario-chalmersThe Miami Heat were unable to win a third consecutive NBA championship this past summer because they ran into a much better team. The San Antonio Spurs simply had better coaching and were more complete. And the way Mario Chalmers played certainly didn’t help Miami.

Chalmers knows that. He also feels that the Heat didn’t put him in the best position to contribute and that the entire team took a “back seat” in the NBA Finals.

“Everybody in my ear, talking about, ‘We need you, we need you to do this, we need you to do that.'” Chalmers told Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report. “And then when it comes to the game, I didn’t feel involved. Like, you all talk about how y’all need me, but y’all didn’t put me in position to do anything. In previous years, if I was in that position, I would make sure I would go get the ball, I would put myself in position to score. I felt like this year, we all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals.”

Chalmers said he sat at home and “pouted” after the Spurs went on to win the series. He also acknowledged that his 4.4 points, 2.0 turnovers and 3.2 fouls per game hurt the Heat. When Miami decided to draft former UConn point guard Shabazz Napier, Chalmers wasn’t confident he would be back.

The former Kansas star is sticking around, but LeBron James did not. However, Chalmers feels LeBron’s departure could open up opportunities for him to show he can compete at a high level in addition to allowing the Heat to go overlooked.

“I feel like I’ve finally got a chance to shine, show my real game,” he said. “Me, CB, D-Wade and the rest of the guys, we’re going to pick it up, we’re still going to play Miami Heat basketball, and we’re still gonna be a competitor.”

It will be tough to compete with LeBron, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites in the Eastern Conference for obvious reasons, but I agree with Chalmers that the Heat aren’t getting enough credit. If Dwyane Wade can get healthy during the offseason, they should still be in the mix come playoff time.

Chris Bosh staying with Heat on five-year, $118 million deal

Chris-Bosh-Thunder-fans-normalIn a somewhat unexpected turn of events, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Chris Bosh has agreed to remain with the Miami Heat on a five-year, $118 million contract.

It was widely assumed that Bosh would sign with the Houston Rockets after LeBron James announced he was returning to Cleveland. The Rockets had already offered Bosh a max contract and clearly have a more talented roster than the Heat now that LeBron has moved on. However, the Heat stepped in almost immediately after the LeBron’s announcement on Friday and made Bosh an aggressive offer.

The Rockets could offer Bosh no more than four years and $88 million, so he’s better off taking the deal with Miami for financial reasons. As a bonus, Bosh will also now be the star of the show. Dwyane Wade is aging and he would have been the third biggest star in Houston behind Dwight Howard and James Harden.

Bosh has already won two championships with the Heat, and it’s not like he will ever be compared to someone like Tim Duncan. He has said in the past that he loves Miami, and who wouldn’t love it for five years and $118 million? He’s not chasing rings.

Woj also reported that the Heat are now pushing hard to complete a deal with Dwayne Wade, who has been garnering some interest from the Chicago Bulls.

As for what the Rockets will do, we’re guessing they will now turn their efforts toward Carmelo Anthony. Houston has already agreed to trade Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers to clear cap space, so they have money to spend. It may be too late to land Carmelo, however, who is reportedly deciding between the New York Knicks and Bulls.

LeBron James jersey burning starts; mural also defaced (Video)

Miami Heat fans are reacting to the news of LeBron James signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers the exact way you would expect them to. Many of them are angry, and they’re taking out their frustrations with jersey burning and vandalism.

It’s one thing to burn your own jersey. If that’s how you want to spend $100, by all means. However, you hate to see fans vandalize artwork that took hours upon hours to complete. Unfortunately, someone took black spray paint and covered Lebron’s face on a massive mural in Miami.

LeBron-James-mural-defaced

According to WPLG, the mural took artist Serge Toussaint two years to complete. The artwork is incredible, and it really sucks that people have to overreact like that.

And then, of course, there were the fans who chanted “f— LeBron James’ at newscasters as they were riding by.

[Read more...]

Report: Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger agree to sign with Heat

Josh-McRoberts-BobcatsPat Riley has some work to do before he can convince LeBron James to return to the Miami Heat, and he took a step in the right direction on Monday. Free agents Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger have reportedly agreed to sign contracts with the Heat.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that Josh McRoberts has agreed to sign a four-year, $23 million deal with the Heat. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that Granger will sign a two-year, $4.2 million contract.

McRoberts has bounced around the NBA since he was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers out of Duke in 2007. He has averaged 5.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game throughout his career. However, McRoberts averaged a career-high 4.3 assists per game with the Charlotte Bobcats last season and was considered one of the game’s better passing big men.

LeBron is at his best when his team can play inside-out and create open looks, so some would see McRoberts as a solid compliment. Others would say he might even be insurance if Chris Bosh decides to accept that max offer the Houston Rockets have reportedly presented him with.

Granger was once one of the Indiana Pacers best players, having averaged 21.7 points per game from 2007 to 2012. However, knee and leg injuries have limited Granger to just 46 games over the past two seasons. He is a major health risk at age 31.

McRoberts and Granger are solid role players. Will they be enough to tip the scale before Riley meets with LeBron to discuss his future this week? With all the rumors swirling about James potentially returning to Cleveland, I’m not so sure.

Chris Bosh throwing a kink in Pat Riley’s plan?

Chris-Bosh-Thunder-fans-normalWhile the world continues to obsess over the possibility of LeBron James creating a new soap opera and leaving the Miami Heat, most people assume that Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are not going anywhere. While that is likely true for D-Wade, who opted out of the two years and $42 million remaining on his contract, Bosh’s situation may not be so simple.

According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, Bosh’s future may represent the “tipping point” in Pat Riley’s overall plan. With several teams like the Rockets, Bulls, Mavericks, Lakers and Cavaliers working to clear the cap space needed to sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, a max contract market may be emerging for Bosh. The Heat would not be able to afford giving LeBron and Bosh max contracts.

When LeBron and Carmelo make their decisions, several other teams could have a surplus of cap space from their failed attempt to lure one of the two big prizes. Berger reports that there is a growing belief Bosh would prefer a four-year max contract from a new team over taking a discount to return to Miami.

While we still believe LeBron will ultimately remain with the Heat, there is a reason we have heard so many reports about his agent meeting with teams. James is trying to pressure Riley to improve the roster around him. That would be incredibly difficult to do if Bosh decides to leave. LeBron may even start meeting with teams himself next week if Riley is unable to make some moves before then.

Again, LeBron returning to Miami is still the most likely scenario. That said, it sounds like Bosh’s situation could complicate matters for Riley.

Pat Riley to Heat Big Three: ‘You have to stay together if you have the guts’

Pat-Riley-My-Girl-KaraokePat Riley held his end-of-season press conference on Thursday morning, and the Miami Heat president was in a sour mood. His frustration seemed to stem more from the questions he has been facing about the future of the Heat than losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.

“You want to trend something?” Riley began as he addressed reporters, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I’m pissed. Get that trending. I think we need to have a perspective about things. I’ll do everything I can to retool the team, but I think everybody needs to get a grip.”

Riley used the phrase “get a grip” multiple times during the session. When asked about the potential of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh opting out of their contracts, Riley made it clear that he is not going to be doing any ass kissing this time around.

“I don’t think we need to recruit Dwyane, LeBron and Chris again,” he said. “I think all those guys that have come here have got exactly what they wanted. And we hope that all those guys want to come with us. What cements a forever-bond is going through what we went through this season and staying the course.

“You gotta stay together, if you’ve got the guts. You don’t find the first door and run out of it.​ I’m not dropping championship rings on the table for those guys. They can drop their own.”​

These are all negotiating tactics. Heat owner Micky Arison recently said there is a “100 percent” chance the Big Three stays put. Then there was a report about the Big Three only being willing to take a pay cut if Arison spends the money elsewhere, which makes sense.

Simply put, this is a game of chess. LeBron can opt out and sign a max contract wherever he wants. He has more money than he could ever need between salary and endorsements, so right now his priority is putting himself in a position of strength to make sure the Heat are committed to improving their roster. Riley, on the other hand, can’t be pushed around.

In the end, my guess is they all live happily ever after.

Heat Big Three reportedly will only take pay cut if Micky Arison spends

Bosh Wade LeBronIf LeBron James is going to take less money and advise Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to do the same, it will only be so the Miami Heat can surround him with more talent.

The New York Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence says the Heat’s “Big Three” are only interested in taking less money if it helps Pat Riley bring in more talent.

Via the NY Daily News:

As team insiders have maintained for months, James isn’t interested in reducing his salary from $20.6 next season and $22.1 million in 2015-16 just so that team owner Micky Arison can avoid paying luxury taxes. As they say, been there, done that and all it got James was second place.

Bosh, who makes identical money to James, and Wade, who makes slightly less, at around $41.5 million for the next two seasons, also don’t want to rework their deals solely to give Arison another tax break. They want the money put to good use, meaning adding talent so that Miami can return to the Finals for a fifth straight season.

That makes complete sense. They’re not there to do Arison favors; they are only taking less to help the team win.

As it stands, Arison is likely facing a large luxury tax bill next season. The Heat paid James, Bosh and Wade almost enough money this season to make up the salary cap for the 2013-2014 season. After filling out the rest of the roster paying guys the minimum or thereabouts, they were up to over $80 million in salary commitments, which surpasses the luxury tax threshold. As repeat offenders next season, the Heat will likely have to pay at least double the amount of money they’re over the luxury tax as a penalty. Because the penalty is calculated on a multiplying scale, owners often have to draw a line somewhere to avoid exorbitant luxury tax costs.

I completely agree with the Big Three’s stance on this issue. If they’re going to take big discounts to help the team win, Arison will have to spend to give them more help. It’s only fair that way.