Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/11/13
When did Miami Heat’s legacy start? Did it start when LeBron James ,Chris Bosh, and Ray Allen joined the team, or did it start when Dwyane Wade led the Heat to their first NBA title? Opinions vary, but in my opinion, I think Dwyane Wade along side Shaquille O’Neal, started the foundation for Miami’s legacy. The year of 2006 was the first NBA finals appearance by the Heat where they played the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat trailed the series 0-2 but came back to win it in game 6 led by Wade who was the finals MVP. Shaq didn’t do much in the series but he grabbed enough rebounds, and added a lot of attention because he was trying to win another title before Kobe Bryant. This championship victory sparked the Heat as a franchise but they never seemed to reach that mark of being a championship caliber team again until they got LeBron James and other key players. Miami’s owner Pat Riley, who has had success as a owner, player, and coach knew he had to make a change. I honestly think Riley is currently one of the best owners in the NBA.  He’s learned from one of the best owner’s ever Jerry Buss and has implemented what he learned from Buss into his own work and it’s definitely paid off. Riley had a vision 18 years ago about the Heat winning championships and I’m sure he plans to win more. One of the key components for winning more championships are the players. If a team in the NBA doesn’t have dynamic, dominant, and great players then they most likely won’t win a NBA title. The league has changed. Some people say it’s rigged, some say teams buy championships now by building up their rosters with multiple all-star athletes, but I love how the league is. I’ve grew up watching the NBA transform from teams having one star player to having multiple star players. I’ve seen teams like the 2001 Phildelphia 76ers go to the championship led by a fearless 6 ft. guard named Allen Iverson. In today’s league that most likely wont happen but is possible if point guards such as Chris Paul of the L.A. Clippers continue to dominate. Legacies are built all around the NBA and the most prominent one is Miami’s. Wade and Shaq built the foundation, but LeBron James took the Heat to another level by helping them win back to back NBA titles, and winning himself back to back MVP’s. Riley knew he had to match what other teams in the NBA had such as the Boston Celtics with their “Big 3″ and L.A. Lakers with the “Big 3″ they had. He knew he needed to put together a combination that other teams where scared to do, by putting two great players with the similar style of play on the same team. Who would’ve thought LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would play together, and to throw Chris Bosh and Ray Allen in the mix makes it even more unbelievable. The legacy these guys have started is incredible and if the Heat can keep these players together, the legacy will continue to live on. Wade, LeBron, and Bosh will be free agents after this season. LeBron will be the most valuable player on the market. Talks around the league are teams will offer $120 million or more for James. Teams such as the L.A. Lakers who have room for two franchise players and also the Cleveland Cavaliers who would love to have LeBron back. As smart as Pat Riley is, I believe he’ll put it all on the table to keep LeBron. Maybe he’ll get rid of Wade and acquire a younger star for less money or maybe LeBron won’t take as much money. Who knows, but according to Chris Broussard of ESPN, LeBron said “I have absolutely no idea” about if he’ll leave Miami or not. The only thing the Miami Heat organization is worried about is winning another NBA championship but once this season is over, their legacy could be in jeopardy.
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