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Saturday, July 10th, 2010 at 12:41 pm  |  128 responses

LeBron, Bosh, Wade Take Less Money

by Ryne Nelson

Amidst the hysteria and celebration last night, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh made their reign over the city of Miami official by signing six-year contracts.

According to ESPN, Bosh and James will earn $110 million, while DWade will earn $107 million, with each of them taking roughly $15 million less than the max.

The Heat’s two newest superstars signed matching six-year, $110.1 million contracts, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher. Dwyane Wade took an even bigger discount to stay in Miami, signing for six years and $107.5 million, according to the sources.

Sources told ESPN.com’s Chad Ford that James and Bosh are scheduled to make $14.5 million and Wade $14 million in 2010-11.

Each player took $15 million less over the life of the contract to sign with Miami, but the deals came with a caveat.I t was a party in South Beach on Friday night as Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James donned Miami Heat jerseys at a welcoming celebration.

All three contracts, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, have an early termination option after the fourth season that would allow LeBron, Bosh and Wade to return to free agency in the summer of 2014. Each player also possesses a player option entering the final season of the contract (2015-16).

Other than the three second round rookies the Heat selected this June, the rest of the roster is looking scarce. Not that it won’t or can’t fill out quickly. Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers are more than serviceable pieces who could potentially start. Udonis Haslem will likely be re-signed.

Jason Williams, Raja Bell and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are all possible veteran adds the Heat can make for minimal money.

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  • Overtime

    So this is gunna happen again in 4 years?! Crap.
    Out of interest, does anyone think, when these termination clauses come into effect, its possible the Wade leaves but James stays.
    Not saying theres any reason, but how weird would that be?

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    I still keep asking myself if there will be enough shots to go around. Chalmers hasn’t showed me he can be a good playmaker, so if I were Miami, I’d be offering a better deal to Fisher than the Lakers are. They are gonna need a solid point to go all the way, I don’t think Chalmers is that guy. Lakers are still the favorites in my opinion, and don’t count Boston out.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    My hat is off to all three. I a league where everyone talks about the team and doing whatever it takes to win I have always seen those words take a back seat to the paycheque and pride of being the #1 guy. These three have put their money where their mouths are. I am pumped for next season.

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    Wade leaves for Chicago in his Twighlight years to settle down in his hometown and for the feeling to play for his childhood idols “The Bulls”. James might have a ring by then but it would be an awkward feeling for other teams to show interest in a guy after what he’s done during this free agency. Wonder if Cleveland will take him back if he wants to finish his career there??? I’m guessing right now… maybe not.

    Don’t understand why Wade makes less than Bosh out of all of this. We’re talking about Wade making less money than Bosh in his City? Now that’s sacrifice.

  • Noel

    That’s cool, but smh at Rupaul making more than Wade

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Eboy, Cheryl, can you make some room on the bandwagon for me? ESPN wouldn’t give me the airtime but I’ve decided to follow LBJ down south.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Also, Wade is the biggest winner out of all this.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    Wade is going to finish his career with 7+ rings.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I know they’re all rich, but it’s a matter of principle — Why is D Wade making the least of the 3?
    I don’t get it.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    @tealish – wade chose to make the least.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    @hoop — the question is why? Why can’t they all make the same? I don’t get it.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Who cares, they all diminished their careers in the long run especially James. He will not reach top 10 all time now. BOOK IT!!!

  • slamfan4life

    Good for them, I really wanna see them play the BULLS

  • Nashty

    I don’t care how talented Wade and Bosh are. But Lebron is still the number 1 player on this team. If it weren’t for Shaq and Pau, Kobe would still be ringless. And certainly Kobe is in the top 10 all time list. I cannot see why Lebron won’t be at that level when he’s 31, 32 years old.

  • Dallas Stokes

    @ Nashty…If it weren’t for Shaq and Pau Kobe would be ringless? So Kobe would never have gone to another good team? Some GM wouldn’t be able to build a good team around him? Other top free agents wouldn’t want to play for the LA Lakers? Maybe he would’ve got a ring with KG when those rumors were goin down. Speaking hypothetically like that is stupid. The fact is, Kobe has 5 rings. Shaq has 4, Pau has 2.

  • bill breedley

    deciding you can’t win on your own at 25? that is the weakest thing i have ever seen. no way a ledouche jocker can defend that. sure its all about winning a ring, but coming to realize you can’t be the man at 25?!?!?! WTF sad. no one ever compare this chump to kobe or mj ever again!!! i vomit in my mouth when i see his name in the same sentence as real winners.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Dallas – Nashty’s point was that nobody wins rings on their own. It is a team game and those with great teams win the championship. LeBron, Wade, AND Kobe will go down as some of the greatest players and scorers of all time. Everyone should sit back and enjoy the show.

  • http://www.facebook.com Kurt

    They should have LeBron run the point.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    I don’t think LeBron has ever said he would never have won a chip without this move. NO PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF BASKETBALL HAS EVER WON AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ON THEIR OWN

  • james

    oh no they’re taking all of $2mil a year less. if they all took 8 mil a year they could sign nice role players and guarantee a championship. taking 2 mil a year off a 10 mil salary isnt anything, theyre still gonna have problems filling their roster out

  • Fat Lever

    One important point that has to be considered. While they took $15M less over the life of the contracts, they aren’t paying any state income tax, which based on their salaries is a huge amount. NBA players taxation is unique, due to the fact they are subject to whatever state’s tax laws they play road games in. It gets much more complicated than what I said, but that’s pretty much the short version of it.

  • hardwood classic
  • Stillballin

    Heat need to sign ai.. This is ai last chance for the ring.. Go heat!!

  • Clay

    While Florida lacks a state income tax, it has every other tax known to man.

  • Pingback: Lakers Nation | News From Around the League- July 10, 2010

  • JTaylor21

    The seed you dustya** clown i still see that you won’t keep kobe’s name and ball sack out your mouth huh. So now kobe is the man we compare all players to. Kobe has been carried to 4 chips. Name one great player that has been babied that much. I dont care what kobe did against Sac, Por, Phx and the west. It is all about what you did in the finals and kobe was not the deciding factory for those chips. He is nothing but a high volume low percentage bad shoot taker, overrated defender, and overrated scorer. MJ/Wilt/AI/Bron/West/Baylor/Wade are all better and more efficent scorers than your man crush. BOOK IT.

  • Elias

    OH MY GAWD WHAT A SACRIFICE only making “a little” over a 100 million in 6 years.

  • hoodsnake

    let the kids play!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Can’t wait for next season. Great move by LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. People make the argument that “It takes more than 3.” This is true, but if anyone can find a great supporting cast with very little money to work with, it’s Pat Riley. Say what you want about him–he’ll probably cut Spoelestra out–but he knows how to build a team. Showtime Lakers, ’90s Knicks–two very different teams he was able to construct and coach to their full potentials. Really, the Heat need only solid defenders to fill the rest of their roster. They have a good shooter in Mike Miller and a gritty forward off the bench in Udonis Haslem. They’ve got pieces to work with already–now they have to put those draft picks into use and sign D-League and undrafted talent.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Good defenders come cheap compared to good offense.

  • Kap

    Doesn’t matter how little money the Heat have left. Players will want to go to Miami so they can get their rings, even if it means at a smaller role and with significantly reduced pay.

    They’ll find their filler players easier than people think.

  • http://www.clownpenis.com Tarzan Cooper

    Mike miller is officially on the team now?……… And everyone needs to just shut their wordhole about jordan. Quit comparing kobe, bron, wade, durant, dickau, to jordan, just stop

  • kd

    Sorry they’re not taking “less” money. It’s dishonest to use the $10 million figure to say that they’re sacrificing, because that’s the number for the entire lifetime of the contract. You need to look at the per year sacrifice, which is only $2 million. Wow, what a sacrifice, especially when they don’t have to pay any income tax, which would come out to be more than $2 mil if they played elsewhere. Which means they have effectively sacrificed NOTHING to play in Miami. It’s the perfect con job, making people think they’re sacrificing to win a ring.

  • vtrobot

    thank christ that bosh finally got rid of that wack jar jar binks look and cut those braids. i hate MIA a tiny bit less now.

  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal

    J Taylor : stop sucking lebron di$k!!!!!!!!!!!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I’m sure no state income tax in FL, those endorsement dollars, and South Beach will help them sleep at night. I wish I was that selfless. Ha ha.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @vtrobot…so true about Bosh, however, he still has that RuPaul of Big Men gaze. lol, jk

  • BostonBaller

    This makes it tough to win the east now but don’t give The Heat the Chip yet, don’t even give them the Eastern crown just yet. Other teams are still maneuvering and will have a say on who reps the East. I for one still think Boston will take it (surprised about that? lol) The Laker mega team of Shaq, Kobe, Malone & Payton couldn’t do it so this mega team isn’t a shoe in either. IMO

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Thank you Tarzan. I can only dream of the day people will give that a rest.

  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal

    Aha that comment at 6:13 wasn’t me ….but after reading jtaylors comments I might have to cosign :-)

  • AT33

    Taking less money so you can win a ring is the same thing as paying your team money to enable you to win a ring. What I’m saying is that LeBron just made the worst decision of his life, he basically told the whole world that he’s not a competitor, that he’s weak, he told Wade: if I can’t beat you let me join you. The real winner here is the Miami Heat organization. Next you’re gonna see is Karl Malone and Charles Barkley coming out of retirement and join the Heat so they can get their ring. WHAT GOOD IS A RING IF YOU DIDN’T EARN IT YOURSELF? PATHETIC.

  • Mark Jack

    these 3 will hopefully win the chip next year, white hot heat!!

  • Oli

    if wade retires before lbj (which he probably will), it’s gonna be interesting to see lebron try to get a(nother?) ring to match wade.

  • rainman10

    haha J Taylor said AI was a more efficient scorer than Kobe.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    For those who did not see all the comments:
    NOBODY HAS EVER WON A RING BY THEMSELVES.
    It is a team game and every competitor wants good teammates. I seem to remember many people calling Kobe an idiot for letting his ego get in the way of a dynasty with Shaq.
    Are MJ’s rings tainted because he never won one without Pippen?

  • T-Money

    You guys kill players when they want all the money they can get and kill them when they leave money on the table? That’s classic hating. 2 mil a year is a LOT of money. 15 mil over 6 years is CRAZY money. 2 mil a year would change my life, you guys are crazy. Doesn’t matter if you’re already rich or not.

  • JTaylor21

    rainman10 u got me on that one, i meant to say Dominique Wilkins. But kobe did shoot 40 percent from the field against the celtics so maybe there’s not that much of a difference. Kobe avgs 25ppg in reg. season and 25ppg in playoffs, while bron avs 27ppg in reg. season and 29 ppg in playoffs. So much for that false notion that kobe plays better when the stakes get higher and bron doesn’t. women, men, and kobe ballwasher lie but numbers dont.

  • kudos

    Scoring more doesn’t mean anything, except an early exit.

  • Andre Pruitt

    All this talk about Mario Chalmers though I am sure he is better than Rondo was when the C’s won the championship. I’m sure

  • FnuLnu

    The best way to describe these 3 is “corny.” It’s not only about winning, but also, how you win. To be the best you have to beat the best. Even in the way that they describe what they’ve done you get a sense of juvenile non-competitiveness. It’s akin to kids at the park picking teams and one saying, “I pick the first 3 and you can pick 5 and have the ball out.” Also, let’s kill the nonsense about monetary sacrifice. With the no income state tax and other Riley dealings they’ll come out close, if not exactly, where they would elsewhere; home team for Shebron and Bush not included.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Okay, so let’s check out the team:
    The definites: Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Mike Miller, Chalmers, Haslem, Joel Anthony, the three-second round draft picks
    Okay, so hypothetically, the Heat have an actual team. Seven NBA players (more or less) and three second rounders who MAY be able to blossom into five minute players (Although the only one I think who will is Jarvis Varnado, and he’s a power forward)
    So who do the Heat need?
    The possibles: Derek Fisher, Jason Williams, Raja Bell, Quentin Richardson, Juwann Howard, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas…. anyone I’m forgetting?
    Out of all of those guys, I’d say grab one point, BOTH Howard and Big Z, and Raja Bell… and yer set. For good. Really.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Jukai meant to say “grab Big Z if you’re looking for a traffic cone to use in practice”

  • JTaylor21

    All this talk about CB being overrated is funny. this was the same guy that was drafted before wade, same guy who put up 39/15 against DHow in GM4 08 playoffs, same guy who played more and crucial minutes in the 08 olympics than guess who DHow, and the same guy that was the 3rd best player overall in the olympics behind guess who wade and bron. So kill that noise about bosh being overrated. Only people that are scared of what this heat team can acomplish say that bull.

  • ClydeSays

    ‘Less’? Well, they’d have to if they want to fill out the roster with decent role players.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Anton: That’s all they really need, in fairness. I guess, ideally:
    Starting five: Fisher, Wade, Lebron, Bosh, Joel Anthony (Substitute Fisher with Mike Miller if Lebron wants to play the point)
    Bench: Jason Williams, Raja Bell, Mike Miller, Udanis Haslem, Juwoan Howard
    Injury/cheerleader guys: Chalmers, Big Z, those three second round draft picks
    I say Joel needs to start cause, well, with Wade/Lebron/Bosh, you want a lineup that can run as fast as humanly possible. Joel Anthony can run— matter of fact, that’s all he can do, since he’s offensively dead and defensively, he makes more mistakes than George Bush in a 10th grade Math class (ie a lot). Perhaps Riley can find a dude in the D-League who can run the floor, rebound, protect the paint, and throw down wide open dunks— that’s all they need!
    That’s a solid team.
    If it happens.

  • kriz

    instead of cle bringing players to leb to win a chip bron went elsewhere to have the players. its not like he isnt competitive or anything. he just has friends elsewhere. and jamison and mo will is not good enough

  • BostonBaller

    I was enjoying the above back and forth fighting until someone lit a crack pipe and later said Chalmers is better than Rondo was when we won the chip. Oh well, let the smoke clear then rethink it. jk. lol

  • http://slamonline.com Ghost

    The 2010-2011 NBA Champions…your Miami Heat.

  • bill breedley

    How people love to deny lebron gets so babies by David stern. Minus the daily pu$$y calls that go his way the queen’s shooting numbers would obviously dip. Check the stats on number of fouls called against ledouches defenders. It makes it look like mj and recently d wade was treated like a role player with how big disparity in number of calls were. If michael moved to detroit back in the day, unanimously people would say he was a chump who gave up being the man. Too bad today’s NBA followers are too weak minded to understand you just don’t quit on your team at 25!

  • WangChung

    @T-money: I agree that the ‘Bron hate has reached epic proportions, but saying 2 mil a year is huge for him is ridiculous. This guy is the face of the NBA, and aside for Kobe and MJ, the most recognizable basketball icon internationally. And Wade isn’t trailing too far behind. If anyone’s taking a financial hit, it’s gotta be Bosh.

  • Billy Sunday

    I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY NO PLAYER HAS WON A RING BY THEMSELVES. PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT WHEN AKEEM OLAJUWON WON IT BY HIMSELF DURING THE 1993-94 SEASON. HE MAY HAVE WON IT WHEN JORDAN RETIRED BUT STILL YOU GOTTA GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    cosign bostonballer, Chalmers is not bad defensivly, other than that forget about it..its just stupid to putt him in the same sentence as Rondo…and to the Lebron dicksu(ker JTaylor 21: Chris Bosh IS OVERATED, people call him superstar and like Simmons put, its like this: 7 years, 3-8 in playoffs, obviosly no scond round, took the Raps to 5 lotteries, about 200-300 W/L, etc..he will thrive cause hes good but hes no superstar.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    and bron quit as being the man…no shame at all at being Scottie Pippen..hes no leader, Flash is the top banana clearly.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    ^ bill breedley is a hater.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    everyone that says kobe wont win any without Shaq and Pau is an idiot hater.

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    I like the Heat. But for the comparison’s and arguments that LeBron needed a stronger supporting team.

    Cav’s had the best record in the league twice. 61 and 65 wins. You don’t get that with a weak supporting cast. Lakers were 2nd and 4th in the leauge for the regular season but still won the Championship. I really like LeBron and Wade, when you think about it though if this was in the planning for a couple of seasons since 2006 in which they’ve mentioned at times. During that period LeBron needed a shooting guard. They have been decent shooting guards available throughout that period that the Cav’s could have picked up. Even Ray Allen could have been swept up prior to him going to the Celtics.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    ^billy sunday did hakeem played that series 1 on 5? did he played all five positions at the same time? He didnt have a legit superstar beside him, but the help around him was enough to win the chip.. So basically he did NOT done it alone he did have help.

  • http://slam Kid Canada

    good for them they really took one for the team/sarcasm. if they really wanted to win a championship they would sign for like 10 mill a year each and then they could get a lot of good role players

  • bill breedley

    J with the crap the chump has pulled these last 3 or so years with nothing really to show for, just can’t be helped buddy. Hate is strong in me indeed for that hype job

  • bill breedley

    Still no one can deny that bron got the most foul calls called made against his defender in league history. Made the 2005-2006 dwade and mj calls look fair. Had Dwight been given the same treatment, he would be dominating like shaq in the last decade.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    people are trying to discount kobe’s 1st 3 rings because he wasnt the man, but will hold pippen to a higher standard because mj wont win any w/o him.. STFU! they were both a BIG piece of why they won! So Pip should be ringless? Or kobe should only have one? You are still a winner even if you are second banana or 6th man. It doesnt make you much less. CHAMPIONSHIP IS WON BY A TEAM NOT 1-3 PIECES!

  • billymagnum

    knuckleheads….what more can you say about anyone hating on this move (unless you’re from cleveland)? LeBron quit on his team? I’d quit on those heartless morons too. if you think that subpar playoff performances,sleeping with the superstar’s mom, old knees, and a jackass for an owner are worth staying for because of his “Legacy” then you’re the idiot (or a purple and yellow ball slurper ala the seed). If you had the chance to ball with your friends, who btw happen to be very good to great as well, why wouldn’t you? I hoop with good players all day, but I WIN a lot more when I hoop with my friends b/c they know my game and vice versa and I’m just your above average old guy that everyone in the neighborhood knows can hoop. Imagine the feeling of winning an NBA chip with your buddies. So now he’s not the man? That’s ludicrous. He’ll sell the most jerseys, have the most endorsements, and crush people on court. And let’s not forget that if not for a Gary Payton twenty footer to seal game 3 in the 06 finals, we may not even be discussing Wade’s title. Success comes when preparation and opportunity cross paths, and that’s what happened here, period.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    nobody is sure whats goin to happen! knowing lebron being an EGOMANIAC that he is, he might as well steal this team from wade! who knows they havent even started playing!

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    I love supporters of this new Miami new bringing up the “NO ONE HAS EVER WON RINGS ON THEIR OWN!!!” argument like it’s a trump card.
    -
    ^true statement. But there’s a difference between winning with a grade A sidekick, or winning with a good/great supporting cast….as opposed to THREE superstars (2 of the top 3 of the L, and 3 of the top 10) in their PRIME, making a collective decision to use free agency, to play altogether on the same team, forfeiting the opportunity to lead a city to a championship as the guy.
    -
    Is there anything inherently wrong/pathetic about making a choice like this?
    Of course not.
    But does it separate the truly legendary players (Jordan, Magic, Kobe, etc) from the really talented ones (LeBron) who are great, but not really GREAT?
    Yup, you bet. I don’t think anyone who really follows basketball would disagree with this, and I’m probably stating the obvious…but it feels necessary based on some of the comments on this site of late.
    2010 season can’t come fast enough.

  • bill breedley

    No one ever compare 2nd banana lebron James to mj and Kobe ever again. Dwade is in the conversation but not the overhyped powder blower

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Good points tealish.
    I think it’s silly to write off LeBron’s, (or Wade’s), legacy so early though. They both, (I hope), will have long carears that any fan should enjoy watching. Why not worry about their legacy’s when they retire.

  • bill breedley

    Lebron’s got no heart. So what if west rides your momma? Keep playin boy. Get rid of the guy, but do not leave the team that gave you everything you asked for

  • bill breedley

    Legacy just won’t be the same as mj’s. Second bananas are not included in GOAT discussion

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Magic and Bird would have ditched the moment they had more than two losing seasons in a row. BOOK IT!!!

  • ciroqobama

    Chalmers better than Rondo when the C’s won the chip?!
    LOL wow
    @Andre Pruitt- Do you even watch the nba ?

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    bill breedley, either way around you will still hate and you know it. whether he stays or not. you will say he wont win in cleveland, wont be number 1 in miami,. You want the guy to fall just so you could prove everyone “i told you so” and so it doesnt harm your ego. Youre an egomaniac too YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN LEBRON. LOOK. I hate that he left because im a cavs fan. IT HURTS SO MUCH. but i respect the guy’s decision of WANTING TO WIN NO MATTER WHAT. and i respect that HE FEELS in Miami has the best chances! though i dont agree with that. But you, you cant even give the guy a little credit by doing that.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Did Magic not direct many passes to a pretty good center?

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    and maybe he doesnt care being MJ or KOBE anymore! AND I RATHER NOT CARE THAN HATE. and again knowing lebron as a SUPER EGOMANIAC, i wont be surprised when this team will be his team soon.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    dirty frank: See, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone did EXACTLY what Lebron did… Jabbar was PO’d about losing constantly in such a crappy town, and demanded a trade to LA. Milwaukee traded him, and Kareem won five more championships. With Magic. People use those championships to explain why Kareem is a top-5 caliber playing and best center of all time.
    Moses Malone is WORSE. Malone did EXACTLY WHAT LEBRON DID: Right AFTER his MVP award, Malone SIGNED WITH PHILI who ALREADY HAD TWO SUPERSTARS IN DR. J (ie wade) and ANDREW TONEY (ie Bosh) and WON A CHAMPIONSHIP! No one holds this against Malone, who needed two other stars to win a championship. People consider Malone a top-10 to top-15 caliber player all-time.
    Bird, Magic, and Jordan have ruined the perception of stars in the NBA. Magic and Bird had championship caliber teams since they entered the NBA. Magic played with legends like McAdoo, Kareem, Worthy, Cooper, Nixon… Larry had McHale, Parish, Dj, Archibald, Ainge… They never HAD to be on losing teams. I think Bird had one or two losing seasons but it was never continuous, and Kevin McHale even admitted that Bird might have bolted if he wasn’t winning.
    Jordan may be another case entirely. I think Jordan was going to die a Chicago guy, cause Jordan was originally more obsessed with STATS than winning… but Jordan signed an eight year deal two/three years into his rookie contract and never was in a POSITION to test free agency.
    So, really…. some of you guys need to cut the crap.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Let’s not forget, LeBron isn’t leaving a crappy team where they’re miles away from success.
    He’s leaving a team that finished with the BEST regular season record in back to back seasons….
    It’s not a sh*tty team. They were perennial contenders…
    So this isn’t the same as:
    -AI’s “how the hell am i going to make my teammates better”
    -Kobe’s “ship his ass out”
    (^both bad attitudes, both bad ways to go about it, but those were worse situations, don’t even pretend otherwise)
    -
    Things got a little tougher in Cleveland than he’d imagined, that’s all. Regular season dominance that didn’t translate into ultimate success. 7 years, no ring — wasn’t in his plan.
    Got a bit tough.
    He could have fought through it. He chose not to.
    This isn’t hate, his legacy isn’t “RUINED” like he’s no longer a HOFer. He’ll likely go down as one of the sport’s most talented players with a couple titles under his belt. 1st ballot, no problem.
    He’ll be remembered among the greats. Just not the greatest.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    @Jukai, differences:
    1) No one ever argues Moses Malone as the GOAT.
    2) Did Kareem leave a team that was a (or one of the) perennial favorite(s) to win a championship?

  • http://twitter.com/darrellma dma

    I’m am not thrilled with how the media is trying to spin this. I don’t care of they took less money, they’re still taking the easy route in my opinion.

  • JTaylor21

    So bill breedley, kobe better not be included in the Goat convo because he was as big a second banana as anyone else. Speaking of bananas, i bet u, the seed and all the numerous kobe nut jugglers would like nothing more than to go nuts over the black mamba’s banana.

  • Weapon X

    Why is Bosh #1 and not #4?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I’m happy for all three of them, and the only player of the three I remotely like is Wade.

  • bill breedley

    Jtaylor Kobe entered the league with shaq obviously the man on that team. Ask your daddy about it if you were not around then. With the first 3 rings, no way Kobe would be in the GOAT conversation. Even how great Kobe was then, as your daddy would tell you, it’s a fact that shaq was the man back then. Still you can’t deny Kobe has been the Man when he won the 4th and 5th. Ask your daddy about it if you need confirmation. Now I have no idea why you boys are so excited about a loser who got swept in the finals, has won nothing and now the youngest ever “superstar” to give up on the chance to be the man. MJ must be tossing in his grave

  • bill breedley

    There is a reason why Malone and Kareem are in no ones top 5 all time lists. Because they quit and went on other team to win a ring.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Tealish:
    1) NO ONE SHOULD CONSIDER LEBRON THE GOAT. Maybe that’s the issue so many people have? Lebron’s ceiling was Larry Bird. That was always it. When Michael was in his third season, people were already proclaiming him the best ever— causing people to raise Bird and Magic crosses and shout that whole title nonsense. No one ever said that about Bron.
    I think Bron can possibly be top-5 all time… that will be determined by him winning a title without Bosh and Wade, just to show “he could do it” (just like Kobe now). We’ll see how his career plays out.
    If you just release this stupid f’ing notion that Lebron could ever be better than Jordan, maybe you’d be happier
    2) Lebron’s team wasn’t winning a championship. Bottom line. It was a team that was built for the regular season and its STARS (Delonte, Williams, Varjao) wilted under pressure TWICE when the stakes were the highest. Shaq was gone. They just weren’t gonna win jack, not with the Lakers getting better every year.
    So yeah, Kareem left a crap team, but he went to a damn good team that unfortunately faltered cause of injuries and terrible coaching, until Magic came over and changed everything. You’re nitpicking though, my point still stands… these guys left for greener fields and escaped relatively unscathed. It wasn’t until Magic/Bird/Mike when people started getting bashed for switching teams. Like at Shaq!

  • olddirtyphil

    All i know is money was a big factor in all of this. seriously u gotta think if they win championships and always sell out they make more money in the long run off of endorsements and merchandise and being championship team cause your so big your on everything this is so much exposure they will make more money the contracts don’t mean anything they are trying to make really large money off the court from this all. but i don’t think that’s cool i think they want to be number one for the wrong reasons and if they do win dwade is gonna be laughing secretly cause lbj could never actually have more rings than wade now you know what i mean cause he already has one…this is a side note but either the cavs should get AI cause he needs a team they need a star Jesus might work a miracle and hook them both up or AI isn’t touched in any way and he just is his same self but the heat sign him and he totally messes everything up for them.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    @Jukai
    I’ve never thought LeBron could be the GOAT, but go back 4-5 months ago, MANY people had those sentiments, with a select few (pundits, even) who already proclaimed him to be the greatest, or the destined greatest.
    -
    All I’m saying is that this move to Miami, should give a hint to those people who think that way.
    -
    Re: NITPICKING– it’s necessary, when discussing the greatest players of all time. It does make a considerable difference between leaving a crap team, and leaving a team that was good enough to run through the league in the regular season.
    You can say his supporting cast wilted away when the stakes were the highest. Yeah, very true. But they’re the SUPPORTING CAST; you’re one of the greatest, right?
    OK, so if you’re a TOP 5 player of ALL TIME, and you’re running with a crew that was good enough to dominate the regular season, you better step the eff up and carry that squad when it MATTERS.
    That’s just my take.
    -
    And Shaq, I acknowledge his dominance but don’t rank him nearly as high as SLAM does.

  • bill breedley

    Not even AI quit this early. The tiny man had a bigger heart and the cojones than the “chosen one”

  • bandwagonpg

    iverson as starting pointguard, shaq as starting center, jordan comes out of retirement for a season to be 6th man, and why am i not the gm?

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    olddirtyphil, Allen Iverson? NO FREAKING WAY IN HELL! JUST NO! id rather see my team tank than that idea. I swear cavs are cooking something, maybe not spectacular, but great enough for the now and certainly for the future.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    bill breedly.. Again? even if he quits at 28 or 32 you will still hate him because that is the only way you could continue your life.. By hating someone.. sucks doesnt it?

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Tealish:
    Selective memory. Very, very few felt he was the GOAT. Far more people though Kobe would surpass Jordan over Lebron.
    Ask Jordan what happened when his team wilted against the Boston Celtics and Pistons, and he was the only one scoring… Ask kobe what happened when he needed his TEAM to beat the Phoenix Suns in game 7. You’re looking at things in a vacuum and it’s annoying. A player simply can’t step up like that at any whim. We all remember Jordan taking over and saving the Bulls at the tip of a hat, but that same team went to the conference finals without Michael and probably deserved to get to the finals if not for terrible calls. How do you think the Cavaliers will fair?
    Lebron James had his performance “take over”, against the Pistons, and many times against the Magic… his teammates utterly collapsed against the Magic with Lebron doing everything in his power to stop that.
    Whatever, it doesn’t matter.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    so for bill breedley’s nonsense-moronic-cant-be-considered-an-argument statement kobe wont be considered goat unless he gets another at least 5 chips?? how moronic..

  • al

    let’s sign dennis rodman and make this circus official

  • al

    rony seikly to..

  • JTaylor21

    Damn bill you killing me with your moronic talk. Kareem is in no one’s top five? What more does Kareem have to accomplish for him to get more love. He has done more than anybody in history has even the great MJ would look at kareem numbers and say damn. Why are clowns like you so quick to gas up MJ as the so-called greatest, kobe as even anywhere near the greatest but downplay what that captain did for two decades. There is no one SINGLE GREATEST player, never have never will be. U want stats, kareeem got em, rings, got em too, awards, that too. Also moses was a straight beast don’t forget that. A automatic top-5 center in league history which says alot. Maybe your true papi (the black serpent) can tell u that.

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    LeBron could have signed for another 4 yeas with the Cav’s and they could have won it. They would have won it after the questionable play from LeBron in the 3 last games against Boston. Remember this was the same Cav’s team that beat the Lakers by almost 30 points on Christmas Day. LeBron didn’t beat that Laker team on his own. If he had signed a 4-5 year deal with the Cav’s and he hadn’t won people wouldn’t have minded it if he had left Cleveland at still a young 30. Kobe is still arguably an MVP at 31 even still a few more years.

  • bill breedley

    I love the Cap and all, but who gives him the respect that goes to Russell and the likes. He may be alltime scorer with a bunch of rings, still an unfortunate fact that he isn’t in the GOAT conversation. He should be but he ain’t. Sad fact of life.

  • bill breedley

    Hence bron is going to be treated the exact same way

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    @Jukai… Way to plagiarize Scoop Jackson word for word @ 12:19

  • james

    despite taking “less” lebron and bosh are still earning more than they would if they took max in cleveland/toronto because of floridas lack of income tax. so really no, they aren’t taking a pay cut at all. probably wouldn’t have been so keen to take a paycut in another state methinks.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    LeBron James and Dwayne Wade can be entered into the discussions of MJ/Bulls lore and considered as great a duo as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen ….ONLY after 6 championships. Cut the hate.

  • Ed LOmax

    Those Laker / Celtic teams of the 80′s were PRETTY STACKED, no? Kareem, Magic, Worthy etc, Bird, McHale, Parish…. These teams regularly had multiple representatives at All Star games, top 50 listers, Hall of Famers. All in their “peaks”. IMO Mikes first 3 rings were won with fairly weak squads (obviously discounting PIP). I think that as GREAT as they were, Magic and Larry Legend both had GREAT support. Even Detroits championship teams in the late 80′s were pretty deap. I guess my point is that dynastys like the Celtics and Lakers were built on securing the best of the best, and then get cheered by few and hated by many.

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    To BE the best you have to BEAT the best.

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  • I am the walrus

    Oh poor, spoilt millionaires. Only making $14,000,000 next season (Note the sarcasim). Seriously, the NBA should lower the salary cap because no athlete is worth that kind of money…

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    if they were really about this championship ring stuff, they’d each take 80 mil and use the rest to beef up the roster…..just saying. #gohardorgohome

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    …did i just use a twitter hashtag on Slam expecting it to work??? *slaps myself* :(

  • Sean Whitley

    I suppose you can compare the situation at the Heat to that of the Celtics a couple of years ago. I vividly remember reading that the Celtics would win 3 or 4 chips, but they didn’t did they? So unless they get a solid PG who ISN’T Mario Chalmers I refuse to believe the hype. (I’m a Lakers fan by the way)

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @walrus, its a free market baby, thats capitalism. Your worth what they’ll pay

  • Str8in It Out

    Just want to say Jukai’s full of it. Kareem didn’t leave LA to play with Magic, Kareem was already there when Magic was a rookie. Magic was huge in the chip clinching game in his first year. LBJ is no Magic. And Magic, Bird, Isiah Thomas played in a great era where there were no big 3′s. Each young star had their own team. Magic was picked up by a vet team and Boston built quickly around Bird. Bosh, DWade and LBJ have chosen to team up in their primes. This could mark a new era in NBA. And if it works and works quickly, it could change the league and what owners will have to do to win is follow suit. But I highly doubt it. There aren’t enough superstars for the league to be competitive if this became the norm. There’d be like 4 teams with big 3′s. And what would u do with the rest of the country’s teams? lol

  • Str8in It Out

    Re Magic/Kareem/Worthy and Bird/Parish/McHale…Magic and Bird were young. Magic won as a rookie and Bird shortly after. Kareem and Parish were the old guys. Vets. Already established. Worthy and McHale were the high-level role players who would have languished as leaders of their own teams in that era had they not had the fortune to be picked by the teams they ended up with. In the draft. They were both picked in the draft, they did not sign as free agents. So the comparisons are bullshyte.

  • Aristotle

    After reading many of the comments placed, here’s what I think:

    1. No player coming through the league should be compared to another. Each player is his own. Rate him by his merits. Look at Robert Horry? 7 rings? Don’t need to be a superstar, and he’s had enough finals performances to put him amongst greats with what he’s won.

    2. Cleveland created the monster called LeBron that escaped them, like in Frankenstein. Would Cleveland have picked LeBron as the number one pick if he wasn’t from Ohio? I think they would of went with a NCAA Champion named Carmelo Anthony. However, they drafted him, fed him and gave him everything, and when he learnt to ask for more and saw they still kept giving it created who he is. The media added it’s sauce on top too. In the end he’s become selfish and wants that ring that they kept pressuring him to win for them. Now he’s doing it for himself, with friends. Joining a friend who won a ring already and wanted to win more or leave himself.

    3. Loyalty? That’s Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Reggie Miller, Malone and Stockton, and Tim Duncan to name a few. All their lives with one team or for most of it, only to chase that ring when they knew they couldnt give anymore to that franchise, and the franchise blessed those few that moved (Garnett) to go and chase it. Some won it, some didn’t. LeBron isn’t that anymore, but Wade still is. It doesn’t mean though that loyalty falls as a form of measurement on what a player will achieve in their career. Keep it seperate.

    4. Taking a pay cut? They all earn millions and will continue to do so. Sacrifcing would be to take way less, for better talent. But if they do that, then will they get the recognition as the Superstars they are, or will they say your bench players were better than most of the other NBA bench rosters? The key point is to be smart with whatever money they get paid, because how many athletes become broke. This is no sacrifice. I call it a budget cut. An organisation has asked them to save money to achieve the goal they all seek.

    5. Let’s look at teams with dynasties… Chicago’s first 3peat (Jordan, Pippen, Grant), Chicago’s 2nd 3peat (Jordan, Pippen, Rodman/Harper), Boston 80′s (Bird, McHale, Parish, Johnson, etc), Lakers’ 80′s (Magic, Jabbar, Worthy, Scott, etc), Boston’s Big 3(Pierce, Garnett, Allen), Detroit (Thomas, Dumars, Laimbeer), Spurs (Duncan, Parker, Ginobli), Lakers Present (Kobe, Gasol, Fisher, Odom). ALL have AT LEAST 3 go to guys, with good supporting casts. Now Miami did the same thing… Wade, James, and Bosh.

    LOVE THE GAME. IT’S WHERE AMAZING HAPPENS.

  • m3kw

    I like the way Wade was signed, meaning he is not looking to be taking the lime light, he wants to win Championships, not self glory (scoring). James is probably going to be the main man on the team. Bosh will give Heat the edge over most(if not all) team on scoring chances. Wade will the the ass kicking point guard, like Rondo is, bossing the flow. I see them go almost all the way, and win a couple in 6 year span.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I don’t care how much money you make, $15mil is a lot to give up. For these guys (mainly Bron/Wade) to take less money and ‘credit’ in order to win championships, I applaud them. I don’t like they way they did it with Bron having a prime-time press conference and not talking to his former team earlier, and Wade/Bosh having camera crews with them for a future doccumentary. But these guys want to win and put themseleves in position to do so. In no way does this effect my opinion of LBJ being the greatest ever or not – we’ll have to wait and see what his stats look like when it’s all said and done. Judging what’s in somebody’s heart or thier ‘will to win’ is just ridiculous to me. MJ, Magic, Bird, Russel, Oscar etc were all great players who can be considered as the greatest ever (along with LBJ and Kobe someday). Who had the biggest heart or desire is subjective and the stats are ‘hard evidence’ but would have to be compared with consideration to era etc because that matters too. However, Rings still don’t mean a lot in the determination of greatest ever because it’s a team sport. Bill R has more than anybody and a lot of people don’t even put him in the disccusion. Horry has a boat load but no other stats to go along with them. Anyway… Bron/Bosh/Wade will be fun to watch with whomever else they get. The fact that they directly influenced and decided their destiny with FA shouldn’t take away from thier ‘perceived’ greatness on the court. The other greats had teams around them by either luck, devine intervention or just good general managers. These guys (at least in the case of Bron and Bosh) didn’t have that ‘luck’ so took advanatage of today’s rules and created thier own. I don’t have a problem with that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Straight up, let’s consider the scenario.
    Wade puts up 25, 5 boards, 4 assists.
    Bron averages 18-20 points, 10 boards, 10 assists.
    Bosh gets 18 and 10.
    The rest of the supporting cast gets in where they fit in.
    I’m curious how that hurts anybody’s legacy. I mean, yes, I wanted to see Lebron lead a team as “the guy.”
    But, as I’ve thought about this, Lebron was not cut out to be the main scorer on a dominant team. Maybe he just doesn’t have that game.
    What he can do is become the greatest big point guard since Magic, and possibly surpass Magic because of his defensive ability. He could be like a Magic/Pippen hybrid.
    And, what you all are saying is that even if he does that, his legacy is still shot because he did it while playing with D Wade and Bosh?
    Please.
    Magic did it with Kareem, Worthy and several other good players.
    Bird had McHale and Parrish.
    Jordan had Scottie, Horace and Rodman.
    If you beast out, people are going to respect it.
    And if Lebron averages the triple double I just mentioned and wins multiple rings, his legacy will be just fine.
    So will Wade’s.
    Yes, their decision was kinda shady, but it’s not like it can’t be dealt with.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tealish
    You mentione people who “really” follow basketball.
    You know damn well nobody who really follows basketball felt like Lebron had a championship contender in Cleveland after the last two playoff performances.
    Jamison and Mo Williams don’t have it and likely never will. Period. The rest of the cavs are scrappy, but they don’t match up witht he other best teams in the league.
    I know you know this, regardless of their regular season record.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I hear it all the time but it’s hard for me to understand why the playoffs are so differnt than the regular season. The Cavs with LBJ and scrubs won 60+ games two years in a row and couldn’t make it to the finals. Is it the ‘pressure’ of the playoffs that some teams can’t handle? Is it that matchups are somehow exploited in series that aren’t understood during the regular season? Or could it really come down more to coaching and the ability of coaches to make game to game adjustments in the playoffs that can only be considered by playing multiple games in a row versus one game and then move to the next team like during the regular season? I personally beleive it’s more about coaching adjustments but the ‘pressure’ has limited validity to me. LBJ’s lack of success in Cleveland can be more of a blame game on Mike Brown than on LBJ’s play. It would have been interesting in Bron stayed in Cleveland with a differnt coach. Now, we’ll have to see if he can win some rings in Miami and see how that impacts his ‘legacy’.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The Nupe
    You could be right about the coaching. But, it’s also that teams have more time to game plan to take away strengths and players with obvious liabilities are more likely to get exploited in the playoffs. You have to have a more well-rounded game, and you have to be able to adjust. Plus, you have to be able to deal with pressure, and NOBODY on Cleveland’s team was great with pressure. Not Lebron, not his teammates and not his coaches.
    The Phoenix Suns are another team that killed in the regular season, but has had trouble in the playoffs when the style of play changes. Not as much trouble as the Cavs, but stil trouble.

  • http://jayemmbee.blogspot.com/ ClutchPerformer

    No Duh. they taking less money

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