Anyone who follows basketball remembers LeBron James and his “not one, not two, not three” speech during the celebration the Miami Heat threw after bringing together James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. At the time, those claims seemed foolish and unwarranted. Now that the Heat are in their fourth consecutive NBA Finals and could win their third straight title, what’s the future hold for the Heatles?
It’s ludicrous to believe the Heat will win eight championships, but after Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Heat are in the driver’s seat for championship number three. Can they make it four, five or six? There are certainly some things working against them, including some key offseason decisions for each of the stars.
Each of the three have an early termination option for the 2014-15 season and then they have player options for the 2015-16 season. It looks to be one of those situations where if things continue to go well, they could just keep the ball rolling and go for history. Bosh, James and Wade haven’t been very transparent as it relates to their futures, as everyone seems focused on taking care of the 2014 NBA Finals before doing anything else.
We’ve already seen how veterans will flock to this team and take less money for the chance at a championship. We’ve also seen how important guys like Mike Miller, Ray Allen and Shane Battier have been in keeping this dynasty afloat. Having veteran role players who can step in and perform when injuries, foul trouble or general ineffectiveness occur has been an enormous help.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
One of the things going for the Heat are their ages. It’s not like these guys are 34 years old and are trying to hold on for another day in the sun. Mileage (minutes played) is a different story, but based on age, they’ve still got prime years left. James is 29, Bosh is 30 and Wade is 32. For some reference, Michael Jordan won three titles from age 32-34 as the star and the leader of his teams.
The numbers wouldn’t say that LeBron is aging, but we do have to consider the minutes load on him and how other players have seen their careers come to a screeching halt (see: Garnett, Kevin) because of those remarkable amounts of minutes they’ve played. As of this moment, James has played 33,276 regular season minutes and 6,599 playoff minutes. For more reference, Garnett is at 48,910 and Heat teammate Allen is at 46,344.
WILL IT HAPPEN
James never said anything about consecutive championships, but one has to think — and this is just my opinion — that the Heat won’t stick together to try for another title if they don’t win this season. It’s hard to believe they’d pass up the chance to cement their legacy (assuming they win this year) by attempting to win a fourth title in as many years, with five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.
I’ve been saying the Heat win on their home floor in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 17, 2014. It’s the same day that Allen hit that monster 3-pointer from the corner that kept the Heat in the series back in 2013 and I’m predicting it’s the day they’ll win their third consecutive NBA Finals.
After that, LeBron, Dwyane and Chris will sit down and decide history is important. They’ll pass on their early termination option and start the trek again, looking for that ever-elusive fourth championship in a row. It hasn’t happened since 1966, when the Boston Celtics won their eighth title in a row. Of course, none of this happens if the Heat don’t take care of business this season.