Are We There Yet?
Originally published in SLAM 142
The 6th Man: Well, that was interesting. Having shrewdly structured his last contract so that he’d be a free agent when multiple teams would have money to spend and there’d be other big-name players on the market, LeBron James said peace to Cleveland and passed on the chance to play for teams such as the Bulls, Clippers, Knicks or Nets. Instead, he chose Miami, because that’s where he felt he’d have the best chance to win. But don’t take our word for it. In one of the only interviews he gave all summer, LeBron tells Lang Whitaker (pg. 44) what went wrong with the Cavs and what’s gonna go right with the Heat. It’s a great convo and a refreshing read.
While many fans and pundits have already penciled in LeBron’s Heat and the Lakers for the NBA Finals, the Heat’s biggest obstacle might be their closest geographic rival, the Orlando Magic. Led by the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and rebounding champion Dwight Howard, the Magic are coming off a 59-win season and are just 15 months removed from playing in the Finals. While LeBron is the one who famously said he wants to be a “global icon,” Dwight is the one who spent this offseason traveling the world, spending time in China and India and readying for a trip to Haiti as we went to press, as well as working on commericals and a movie. Dwight has been so busy, in fact, that some fans wonder if he’s doing all he can to get better as a player. Well, in another great interview in this issue, Dwight tells Aggrey Sam (pg. 40) that he can do it all.
All we know is that once the new season finally kicks off, these two will have much to say about how things turn out. And that’ll sure beat talking about cap room and max contracts.