Miami Heat MiamiHerald.com Miami Heat Home Delivery

« ROLLING IN DALLAS: LeBron James Gets 42 as Heat Top Mavs 117-106 | Main | With sense inside front office that something is lacking, Heat deals Roger Mason Jr. »

HEAT NOTES: LeBron's Comments to NBA-TV; Wade Returns; Birdman Changes Look

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

DALLAS -- A number of Miami players said LeBron James' comments during a taped interview Monday didn't offer a relief to building tension in the team locker room.

That's because there is no tension nor, at least as far as future plans go, any concern.

James, speaking to NBA television analyst and former Heat guard Steve Smith, said he couldn't picture himself playing anywhere else but Miami at this current time.

As echoed by the likes of Chris Bosh and Shane Battier on Tuesday, James said his sole focus right now is getting the Heat a third straight NBA title.

"It's going to take everything we have to win a championship,'' said Bosh, who like James and Dwyane Wade, can opt out of their current contracts this summer and either re-sign new deals with the Heat or move on to another team. James can also opt out next summer.

"We realize what lays ahead. It's going to be extremely difficult and you don't have room to think about anything else. If you're giving something else attention, you're not fully committing what you need to win it all. There's chatter outside the team about the summer, but we're not. We're looking at right now.''

In an interview that ran on NBA-TV Monday night, Smith asked whether James could "picture yourself someplace else.'' James said he couldn't -- although that could change.

"At this point I can't,'' James said. "But we don't know what can happen from now until July. So, what I've been able to do this season up until this point is what's at hand. And that's winning a championship.

"Hopefully at the end of the year I can put myself in the position where I can hold that Larry O'Brien Trophy once again and then I'll assess what I have to do with my future after that.''

On Tuesday before Miami's game against the host Mavericks, James said he didn't watch the interview but said friends gave it good reviews.

"Winning is No. 1, of course, and that's the reason I came down here,'' James said. "The organization speaks for itself.''

Smith brought James back to his first season in Miami, one in which the 'Big 3' didn't get off to the start they had hoped for. James admitted that he and Wade didn't click at first, with Miami's 9-8 start bringing up some serious self-doubt. And playing the role of villain wasn't something James felt comfortable with.

"At one point in the season we were 9-8. We weren't playing good basketball, we were out of synch,'' James said.

"Me and D-Wade, we looked at each other like 'did we make the right choice, man? Is this what we really wanted.' That was that moment. Two guys who held franchises on their shoulders, we gave one shoulder to each other. D-Wade came to me and said 'in order for us to be great, you have to be the guy. I'll take a step back'.''

Coach Erik Spoelstra certainly remembers that time, one in which there was plenty of clamoring for team president Pat Riley to replace his coach and take over the team as he did early in the 2005-06 campaign when Stan Van Gundy stepped down. The Heat won its first championship that season.

Spoelstra stuck around and is now in his sixth season as Heat head coach. Being in Dallas, he said Tuesday morning, often brings up those memories of the lone failure of Miami's 'Big 3' era.

"Some of our best times with this particular group came through adversity,'' Spoelstra said. "The tough things we had to go through; the Finals loss against this team. There probably would have been a lot of coaches fired that year. Even after 9-8. We were able to stay the course and grow. .-.-.

"That was a very humbling time for us. We had to re-invent ourselves, had to improve. The game we were playing wasn't good enough. We came back more committed. That pain? We'll never forget that. Coming to this arena, we'll never forget that.''

-- Wade was back in the lineup after missing Miami's final two games before the All-Star break.

-- Dallas rookie Shane Larkin has gotten off to a slow start after the Mavs took him with the 18th overall pick last summer.

Larkin, who led Miami to the Sweet 16 as a sophomore last spring, suffered a broken ankle in July and missed Dallas' first 10 games.

"We've been a fan of his since he was at the University of Miami, got to know him a little bit,'' Spoelstra said. "The slow start is because of the setback with the injury. He'll have a fine career in front of him.''

-- Miami's Chris 'Birdman' Andersen looked a touch different Tuesday after buzzing his spiked mohawk. Spoelstra smiled when asked if he was worried the multi-colored tattooed forward would still be recognizable without his painted coif.

"No,'' Spoelstra deadpanned, "I think he still has quite a few other things people can look at.''

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Well...once again Lebron was on fire! He was at his total dominance last night doing EVERYTHING. Yeah...he's right - he's in a zone right now. What a great performance...catch the replay if you didn't see it.

Well, do much for my theory of a trade including a 1st round pick...Courtesy of the best reporter on the planet...
### Though a lot of names are said to be available before Thursday's trade deadline (Aaron Afflalo, Glen Davis, Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner, etc.), many teams want first-round picks back, and the NBA tells us the Heat cannot trade any of its first-round picks in the next five years (through 2018) because teams cannot trade picks consecutive years and Miami owes Cleveland one first-rounder in either 2015 (if it’s not in the top 10) or 2016 (if not in top 10) or 2017 (unprotected).

Well, that hand-wringing in December about just 'giving away' home court in the playoffs might have been a bit premature.

Heat a game in the loss column behind the Pacers.

Could it be that an 82 game schedule, stretching over 6 months, is a marathon and not a sprint?

ESPN takes every opportunity to make subtle jabs at LBJ and the Heat. World wide leader in what?

I honestly don't know how Lebron deals with it to be honest. I have been to many arena's and I just don't understand why fans scream obscenities at him. What did he do to these people? Just don't understand the hatred. When Michael Jordan was playing I highly doubt fans were screaming as much as they do towards Lebron. A real head scratcher.

Anyway, BIG GAME tonight! And Westbrook is back. Should be interesting to say the least!

I heard the dude on the Numbers Don't Lie show (it's Micheal something) the other day, when talking about Lebron's legacy say - it doesn't matter how many championships LBJ wins, he'll never be as good as micheal jordan. Now that's keeping an open mind.

Hope RIO has a little something something for Westbrook tonight. Maybe a little break-your-ankles-crossover.

Just three of us left on this blog? Guess we got to continue carrying this thing until playoff time.

I see we sent Roger Mason, Jr to Sacramento, who will release him.

Thanks for your 15 minutes with the Heat, and good luck RMJ.

I hope and am sure Lebron could care less what some of these so called fans in other arenas say about him. He is the best, will be the best when it is said and done!

Like Adrian Peterson said at the ESPN awards show

A small mind cannot comprehend a big spirit! And Lebron has a big spirit so LBJ you keep keeping on!

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
About MiamiHerald.com | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | Copyright | About the McClatchy Company