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LeBron James Makes Miami Championship Material

Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh form a super team in Miami Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh form a super team in Miami

Basketball fans may be looking at the next NBA dynasty, and it’s a team that hasn’t won a championship since 2006. By landing LeBron James last week, the Miami Heat immediately became serious contenders. James joins superstars Dwayne Wade and the recently acquired Chris Bosh to begin an era already nicknamed “Miami Thrice.”

However, the move is not without controversy. James, Bosh, and Wade, spoke about a plan to play together, possibly as early as 2006, when all three signed contracts of matching lengths, which allowed them to become free agents simultaneously.

The friends were each drafted in the top five in 2003, with James going number one to the Cleveland Cavs, Bosh going number four to the Toronto Raptors, and Wade being taken fifth overall by the Heat.

The trio also played together on the 2008 USA Olympic team in Beijing. It was there that they got their first collective taste of a championship by bringing home gold medals.

All three superstars took less money than they would have received playing for separate teams in order to pursue NBA supremacy in Miami. Each of them reportedly leaves $15 million on the table over the period of their six-year contracts, with James and Bosh agreeing to a rumored $14.5 million per season.

The epicenter of the controversy is in Cleveland, where James, who was born and raised in nearby Akron, played the last seven seasons. Fans have been burning LeBron James jerseys in the street; a giant mural of James in downtown Cleveland was immediately torn down; and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert issued a vitriolic statement that called James’ move a “betrayal” and earned the outspoken owner a six-figure fine from the NBA.

Part of the reason for the furor was a live television special called “The Decision.” After a full season of speculation about where James would play in 2010-11, interest was at an all-time high, prompting James to produce a one-hour television show to announce his new team. James did not inform the Cavs or any other prospective teams of his decision to play in Miami until he made his public announcement on ESPN.

Does the decision by Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James to form a super team in Miami set a dangerous precedent for professional basketball? Maybe. Smaller market teams like the Milwaukee Bucks or Minnesota Timberwolves are unlikely to ever be the destination of choice for free agent superstars. The NBA will suffer if, from the beginning of any given season, only two or three of its 30 teams have a realistic shot at playing for a championship. On the other hand, the Miami Heat and its trio of megastars will generate increased interest in a league claiming a $300 million loss for the 2009-10 season. That’s got to be a good thing.

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Last modified on Friday, 01 July 2011 10:34

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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