The “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh helped the Miami Heat make four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and win two NBA championship titles. However, the “Big Three” era only lasted for four seasons after LeBron James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As of now, the Heat are playing without all of their “Big Three”. After struggling earlier this season, the Heat managed to bounce back and almost earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside are now tasked to continue the Heat’s legacy in the succeeding years.
Dwyane Wade’s departure and Chris Bosh’ health issues
Last summer, the Heat completely lost all of their “Big Three”. Chris Bosh’ recurring blood clot issues made the Heat decide to not let him play in the 2016-17 NBA season. As of now, there is no strong indication that Bosh will still return to the court. The Heat are expected to remove his salary from the book in order to sign a superstar in the upcoming free agency.
Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade didn’t really intend to leave the Heat. However, after being lowballed, Wade decided to play for his hometown team, Chicago Bulls. Heat president Pat Riley expressed some regret over the events that led to Wade’s departure last summer.
“I know he feels I didn’t fight hard enough for him,” Riley said. “I was very, very sad when Dwyane said no. I wish I could have been there and told him why I didn’t really fight for him at the end. … I fought for the team. The one thing I wanted to do for him, and maybe this is what obscured my vision, but I wanted to get him another player so he could end his career competitive.”
Riley recalls their decision to give Bosh a maximum contract in 2014. If he was given the opportunity to turn back time, Riley said that he wouldn’t give Bosh a max deal and give it to Wade instead.
Pat Riley almost pulled a Dan Gilbert after LeBron left Miami Heat
Heat president Pat Riley admitted that he was “very angry” when LeBron James opted out of the final year of his contract and returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Fortunately, when James called him to bid farewell, he managed to contain his emotion. Riley thanked his friend for preventing him from pulling a Dan Gilbert.
“I was silent,” Riley said. “I didn’t say anything. My mind began to just go. And it was over. I was very angry when LeBron left. It was personal for me. It just was. I had a very good friend who talked me off the ledge and kept me from going out there and saying something like Dan Gilbert. I’m glad I didn’t do it.”
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Video courtesy: Youtube/ESPN