NBA free agency has been crazier than usual this year, and there’s little doubt that this particular round of it will leave a lasting mark on the league for the foreseeable future. Because of all the big names involved this year (with none bigger than Lebron James himself), there’s been a frightening flow of media on this thing.
Let me keep my musings simple by listing a few winners and losers…
- Miami Heat fans: Most teams were dreaming of landing one of the “big three”. Miami landed ALL of them and instantly goes from middle-of-conference to dynasty-in-the-making. Who joins them next to fill out their roster is now the most intriguing question of the off-season. Let me be the first to say: Watch Shaq make his way back to the beach! YOU READ IT HERE!
- Amare Stoudamire: I KNEW that the Knicks were going to overpay SOMEONE. They had too much money sitting around, coupled with too much desperation to make a splash. Trust Amare to convince the Knicks to give him a max salary. No other team was willing; nor would I have been. But Amare, congrats on the big money. The only thing it will cost you is a firm spot on the “Guys Whose Stats are About to Fall a Bunch” list. Ditching Steve Nash for whoever plays PG in NYC will do that.
- Chris Bosh: He finds himself alongside two of the greatest players of today. You consider that offer and no one can fault Bosh for going. He wasn’t going to have teammates like that in Toronto for at least a century.
- Lebron James: He appears to have gotten exactly what he wanted, though from listening to him recently, I’m not sure he has any idea what that is.
- Dwayne Wade: He gets to stay in Miami AND bring in the most significant reinforcements ever seen.
- Mario Chalmers: He’s the only other guy on Miami’s roster today.
- Cleveland: Slow exhale. Ouch. They lose their best player ever, who decides to make a circus out of his departure. Their GM loses his mind and publishes a let’s-call-it-bitter letter to Lebron. And they go from class-of-the-league to might-make-playoffs in one moment. Ouch.
- Toronto: Not so much, but definitely a hit. Some are griping that this shows Toronto as a place that can’t keep its stars. Then they cite a list of Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, and now Bosh. The counter-argument, of course, is that NONE of these guys went on to do any winning after they left. In fact, poor Tracy and Vince have cemented reputations as guys who CAN’T win. Bosh was never going to LEAD us to a title. He’s not even a max-money player. Life will go on in TO.
- Lebron James: I’ve never actually witnessed a train wreck… until now. He may go on to win many titles. Certainly, the Heat will win at least one in the coming few years. And perhaps that IS what he really wants. But for a man described as calculating and careful in crafting an image and reputation, wow! A human wrecking ball wearing a suicide vest–that was Lebron lately. He spent seven years making the world love him, and undid all of it and more in a handful of days. The worst part? He came off looking like all the good stuff had been a facade the whole time! Ouch again.
What did I get wrong? What did I miss?