For the Miami Heat, it’s all about June. July can wait.
Four years ago, when LeBron James uttered the now-infamous phrase – “not two, not three, not four, not five …” – about how many championships he hoped to win with the Heat, it was almost immediately turned into a punch line.
It rings prophetic in some ways, with the Heat back in the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive season.
How the Heat fare in their NBA Finals rematch with the San Antonio Spurs might dictate what happens in July, when James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can become free agents if they choose. A looming off-season of decisions has been a taboo subject for the Heat “Big 3” this season, and Wade insisted on Monday that Miami’s stars have not said a word to each other about what may or may not happen.
Still, as long as Miami keeps winning, it seems logical its Big 3 will stay together.
“I want to come back. That’s OK to say,” Bosh said after the Heat finished their first workout in preparation for the NBA Finals, which begin on Thursday in San Antonio.
Regardless of the outcome of this Heat-Spurs series, there will be changes to the Heat, which is an annual rite for just about every team.
Winning a third straight title could make some of those stay-or-go decisions pretty simple. And Wade believes Miami’s legacy has been secured.
“Whenever it’s all said and done, this team’s going to go down in history as an unbelievable team not only in South Florida but in NBA history.”
Given that, it’s easy to see why so much attention gets paid to how long this team can stay together.
Bosh, Wade and James all made it very clear in September that they were not going to let the summer of 2014 turn into the circus that the summer of 2010 was, when all three became free agents and decided to bring their talents together.
On Monday, James said he wasn’t going to let himself be distracted by thinking about what impact the result of these NBA Finals will have on the legacy the Heat have created over the last four seasons.
“No, because I live in the moment,” James said. “It’s almost the same with my individual accomplishments. I never really understand them. The only time I’ll be able to appreciate it is when I’m done playing the game.”