Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 6/26/12
MIAMI -- After a championship is won comes the celebration. Then the revelations. Some of the things the Miami Heat didn't talk about during the postseason were discussed Monday, when the team held a parade and a victory rally four days after topping Oklahoma City to win the NBA title. After shrugging off questions during the playoffs, Heat guard Dwyane Wade talked about his ailing left knee. If he's hurting badly enough, he'll skip the Olympics later this summer in London. Miami forward LeBron James said losing big man Chris Bosh during the playoffs for nine games due to an abdominal strain turned out to the "best thing" that could have happened since it enabled the Heat to find out something about their lineup. Of course, that's easy to say after the Heat had claimed the Larry O'Brien Trophy. A series before they hoisted the trophy, Heat president Pat Riley had forgotten his tie before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at Boston, and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra provided one of his. After the Heat won to save their season, Riley wore his lucky charm each game the rest of the playoffs. Since the Heat won, Riley no doubt has no problem with Spoelstra not telling him about a motivational technique he used throughout the postseason. Spoelstra had made a replica of the Larry O'Brien Trophy, and players signed it to assure they would work hard. Back to the most pressing issue, one that could affect Team USA at the Olympics. Wade's knee had been hurting during the playoffs, and he said he had it drained the day of Game 3 at Indiana in an East semifinal. Wade let it be known some reports were wrong that it had been drained after that disastrous Game 3, when he argued with Spoelstra on the bench, shot 2-of-13 for five points and the Heat were pummeled 94-75. "That probably was the smartest decision I made," said Wade, who also revealed Monday he plans to work with a shooting coach this summer for the first time in his career. "There was so much swelling and I wanted some relief. The relief just didn't come until a couple of days later." That's when Wade broke loose for 30 points in a Game 4 win that tied the series 2-2 and might have rescued Miami's season. Wade looked good more often than bad the rest of the postseason while playing at an estimated 80 percent. Players are due to report to Olympic training camp July 5 in Las Vegas. Whether Wade, a finalist along with James and Bosh, will be there remains to be seen. "I'm going to sit down and make what I feel is the best decision for me, and the most important decision for my career, and then go from there," said Wade, who joined forward Udonis Haslem as the only two holdovers from Miami's 2006 title team. "We all can speculate but I won't know until I sit down with (the doctor). "My left knee is my power knee. It's my explosion knee. When you're dealing with knee issues, you're dealing with lateral quickness I thought at times I did great with it. I thought at times I didn't do so great at it. But I did what I could to make sure I helped my team win." Also ailing was Bosh, a big man who sat out the final five games of the Indiana series and the first four of the Boston series. James said the injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the Heat inserted Shane Battier at power forward in place of Bosh. Then Bosh played center after his return. "I thought it was the best thing that happened to our team, which was the worst thing at the time, was Chris Bosh getting hurt," James said. "When (Battier) started at the four, (because of his outside shooting ability), it takes one of the bigs out of the paint and really opened up the floor for me and D-Wade and also (provided) an unbelievable defensive lineup." The Heat lost the first game in which Bosh returned, putting them behind 3-2 entering Game 6 at Boston. That's when Riley had forgotten something. "He came in screaming, 'I don't have a tie,"' Spoelstra said. "Do you have a tie? I said, 'As a matter of fact, I do. Wear this one.' It was one of my worst ones. We won and he wore it for Game 7. He continued to wear it for each one I think he's actually putting (the tie) up in his office." The Heat were 6-1 with Riley wearing the reddish tie. The only loss came in Game 1 at Oklahoma City. Overall, the Heat went 16-7 in the playoffs. But they trailed in three series, the first time that has happened to a team that won the title. When Miami was down, it was time for some motivation. It came in the form of Spoelstra bringing out a black scale-model of the Larry O'Brien Trophy he had made prior to the playoffs. "God bless, I love you, but I didn't tell Pat," Spoelstra said. "We didn't tell management It was a covenant that we made to cach other, the coaching staff and the players, and that we would commit to a handful of things each and we had to do those things if we want a real opportunity to win and to play for the title We signed our names to make a guarantee we would bring those things, and when we weren't, that trophy would come out." The trophy worked its magic as the Heat stormed back to beat the Pacers, Celtics and Thunder. That made it a moot point as to whether Riley ever would have been told about it had Miami lost any of those series. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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