I almost hate to admit this but here we go: Stephen A. Smith was right. LeBron James is joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to play for the Miami Heat.
Conventional wisdom says that this move has shifted the balance of power in the NBA to South Beach. Forget about the Los Angeles and the Boston Celtics. Sorry Orlando Magic. Maybe some other time Phoenix Suns. Everyone must cower at the feet of the Miami Heat.
Or maybe not.
This was possibly the worst decision that LeBron could have made. Make no mistake; the Miami Heat is Dwyane Wade’s team. LeBron will be the Number Two man on this team. He’s Scottie Pippen. He’s Pau Gasol. Now, that’s no slight against Scottie and Pau but no one is mentioning them in the same breath as Michael Jordan. You don’t see Scottie in those Hanes commercials do you? LeBron is supposed to be the next Jordan. He’s supposed to be the Greatest Player in the Game. He wears #23 for God’s sake.
But in order for him to be the Greatest he has to be The Man where ever he goes. He would be The Man in Cleveland or New York. He could even push Derrick Rose aside and be The Man in Chicago. But in Miami he’ll be just another sidekick. At least he’ll be wearing #6 and leave #23 for superstars.
I know people are already salivating over the potential for a loaded team like this. This is going to be the New Dream Team. The question isn’t IF this team will win a title but how MANY titles will it win? How can this team possibly lose, right?
Just remember the 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers. They had a starting five that consisted of Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Gary Payton and some other guy (I’m just kidding, it was Rick Fox). Take a look at that lineup: Hall of Famer, Hall of Famer, Hall of Famer, Hall of Famer and Rick Fox’s hair gel. That’s a Dream Team if I ever saw one. So what happened? They got beat down by the Detroit Pistons in the Finals and lost 4-1.
To be sure, having another Big Three in the NBA will be a great thing. That hype machine will keep every sports writer employed for the next five years. They may even win a title or two.
But mostly this move will diminish LeBron’s stature.
Maybe we should all start calling him Prince James.