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Friday, June 21, 2013

James, Heat repeat as NBA champs; Chalmers wins second ring

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— LeBron James and the Miami Heat remain atop the NBA, and not even a proud push from the San Antonio Spurs could knock them down.

James led the Heat to their second straight title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense Game 7 that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute.

Winning the title they needed to validate their best season in franchise history — and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it — the Heat ran off with the second straight thriller in the NBA’s first championship series to go the distance since 2010.

photo

Associated Press

From left, Miami Heat players Mario Chalmers, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade celebrate after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win their second straight NBA championship after Game 7 of the NBA basketball championships, Friday, June 21, 2013, in Miami.

Chalmers joins two-ring club

With the Miami Heat’s win on Thursday night, Mario Chalmers joins a small group of former Kansas University players with two or more NBA championship rings.

Mario Chalmers — Miami Heat (2012, 2013)

Jo Jo White — Boston Celtics (1974, 1976)

Wilt Chamberlain — Philadelphia 76ers (1967), L.A. Lakers (1972)

Clyde Lovellette — Minneapolis Lakers (1954), Boston Celtics (1963, 1964)

“It took everything we had as a team,” Dwyane Wade said. “Credit to the San Antonio Spurs, they’re an unbelievable team, an unbelievable franchise. This is the hardest series we ever had to play. But we’re a resilient team and we did whatever it took.”

Two nights after his Game 6 save when the Heat were almost eliminated, James continued his unparalleled run through the basketball world, with two titles and an Olympic gold medal in the last 12 months.

“I work on my game a lot, throughout the offseason,” said James, who was MVP for the second straight finals. “I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I’m at a loss for words.”

He made five 3-pointers, defended Tony Parker when he had to, and did everything else that could ever be expected from the best player in the game.

The Heat became the NBA’s first repeat champions since the Lakers in 2009-10, and the first team to beat the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

Players and coaches hugged each other after the game. The respect between the sides was obvious from the opening tipoff of Game 1 through the final buzzer.

Fans stood, clapped and danced as the clock ticked down, when every score was answered by another score, each stop followed by a better stop. The Heat pushed their lead to six points a few times midway through the fourth but San Antonio kept coming back.

The Spurs, a whisker away from a fifth title two nights earlier, couldn’t find a way to win it all in what was perhaps the last shot Tim Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili will ever get together.

“In my case I still have Game 6 in my head,” Ginobili said. “Today we played an OK game, they just made more shots than us. LeBron got hot. Shane, too. Those things can happen. But being so close and feeling that you are about to grab that trophy, and seeing it vanish is very hard.”

They were trying to become the first team to win a Game 7 on the road since Washington beat Seattle in 1978, but those old guys ran out of gas just before the finish.

Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, but missed a shot and follow attempt right under the basket with about 50 seconds left and the Spurs trailing by two.

James followed with a jumper — the shot the Spurs were daring him to take earlier in the series — to make it 92-88, sending San Antonio to a timeout as Glenn Frey’s “The Heat Is On” blared over the arena’s sound system.

He then came up with a steal and made two free throws for a six-point lead, and after Ginobili missed, James stalked toward the sideline, knowing it was over and that he was, once again, the last one standing.

Wade had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who overcame a scoreless Chris Bosh by getting six 3-pointers and 18 points from Shane Battier.

Streamers fell from the arena ceiling onto the fans for the second year in a row, but this one meant so much more. A narrow escape in Game 6 was still fresh in everyone’s mind.

They were down 10 in the fourth quarter of that one before James led the charge back, finishing with a triple-double in Miami’s 103-100 overtime victory. This one was nearly as tight, neither team leading by more than seven and the game tied 11 times.

Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Spurs, who had been 4 for 4 in the championship round. Ginobili had 18 points but Parker managed just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

The Heat and coach Erik Spoelstra collected the Larry O’Brien trophy again from Commissioner David Stern, presiding over his final NBA Finals before retiring next February.

He couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out.

James avenged his first finals loss, when his Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the Spurs on 2007. That helped send James on his way to South Florida, realizing it would take more help to win titles that could never come alone.

He said he would appreciate this one more because of how tough it was. The Heat overpowered Oklahoma City in five games last year, a team of 20-something kids who weren’t ready to be champions yet.

This came against a respected group of Spurs whose trio has combined for more than 100 playoff victories together and wanted one more in case this was San Antonio’s last rodeo.

Duncan is 37 and Ginobili will be a 36-year-old free agent next month, the core of a franchise whose best days may be behind them.

Meanwhile, it’s a potential dynasty along Biscayne Bay, but also one with a potentially small window. Wade’s latest knee problems are a reminder that though he came into the NBA at the same time as James and Bosh, he’s a couple of years older at 31 with wheels that have seen some miles.

James can become a free agent again next summer with another decision — though hopefully not another Decision — to make. He’s comfortable in Miami and close with Wade, and the Heat have the leadership and commitment from owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley to keep building a championship core around him.

Why would he want to leave?

San Antonio’s most recent title came at James’ expense. The Spurs exploited the weaknesses in James’ game though knew someday they would be gone, Duncan telling him afterward that the league would someday belong to James.

And James simply isn’t giving it back.

He came in averaging 33.8 points in Game 7s, already the best in NBA history, and was even better in this one.

He can’t be defended the way he was six years ago, too strong inside and too solid from the outside. He drove Danny Green back like a tackling dummy to convert a three-point play in the second quarter, then knocked down a 3-pointer for the Heat’s next score.

Heat fans, criticized over the last two days after many bolted before the finish Tuesday and then tried to force their way back in, weren’t going anywhere early in this one. The game was too good.

And there was another celebration to watch.

The Heat had the classic championship hangover through the first few months of this season, too strong to lose at home but not committed enough to win on the road, where they were just 11-11 following a 102-89 loss in Indiana on Feb. 1.

They won in Toronto two nights later on Super Bowl Sunday and didn’t lose again until well into March Madness, running off 27 straight victories before falling in Chicago on March 27 and finishing a franchise-best 66-16.

The small-market Spurs have always been a ratings killer, but interest grew throughout this series in their attempt to toppled the champs. Game 6 drew more than 20 million viewers, a total that Game 7 was expected to top.

And the games got better, too. Games 2-5 were all decided by double digits, neither team able to carry its momentum from one game to the next.

This one was back and forth for more than three quarters, with Mario Chalmers’ 3-pointer at the buzzer giving Miami a 72-71 lead heading to the final 12 minutes of the season.

Game 6 could have shaken the Spurs, who were so close to holding the trophy that officials were preparing the championship presentation before Miami’s rally. The Spurs held a team dinner late that night, figuring the company was better than having to dwell on the defeat alone in their rooms.

The pain of that game or the pressure of this one had little effect on their veterans but brought out a change in their leader, the subject of some rare second-guessing for his rotations near the end of the collapse.

The famously blunt Gregg Popovich was in a chatty mood pregame, actually preferring to stay and talk even when there were no more questions, saying the busier he was, the less he’d worry.

“It’s torture,” he said of Game 7s. “It’s hard to appreciate or enjoy torture.”

But it sure was beautiful to watch.

The sport’s most pressure-packed game had a nervous start, each team making just seven baskets in the first quarter and combining for seven turnovers. The Spurs took an early seven-point lead, but a pair of 3-pointers by Battier during an 8-0 run helped Miami take an 18-16 lead.

The Heat nursed a narrow lead for most of the second quarter, and after San Antonio went ahead in the final minute of the period, James tipped in a miss before Wade knocked down a jumper with 0.8 seconds left to send the Heat to the locker room with a 46-44 edge.

Comments

KUFan90 1 year, 2 months ago

This is one of the longest articles I've ever read on this website. I dont think there was a single reference to Chalmers other than the title (yes I know it was an AP feed).

But congrats to Mario on his 2nd ring! The Heat don't win this without him.

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Kyle Neuer 1 year, 2 months ago

This one was back and forth for more than three quarters, with Mario Chalmers’ 3-pointer at the buzzer giving Miami a 72-71 lead heading to the final 12 minutes of the season.

That shot looked REAL familiar.

2

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm a member of the three ring club... Please do not ask.

1

akgjenkintown 1 year, 2 months ago

Barely can tell that Chalmers even exists. After this series, the Miami "Big 3" should read James, Chalmers, and Wade in that order. Without Chalmers, the Heat would not have won the series and he is a mere afterthought and gets zero props. Bosh is so overrated and was again a no show in game 7.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 2 months ago

Couldn't agree more. Chalmers is the punching bag for Dwade and Lebron until crunch time and they are shaking in their boots, then they let Chalmers go make a play.

0

jc1306 1 year, 2 months ago

Um, James and Wade didn't appear to be shaking in their boots last night. They made every play down the stretch.

1

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 2 months ago

Just wondering if the coach or the players should get the credit for making the adjustments...

To be fair to Chalmers, in games two and four, without his play the Spurs win the championship. His three-point shooting in game two kept Miami close before they went on that fantastic run to beat San Antonio.

I'm still amazed that at every level, so many championships and playoff games are decided at the free-throw line.

0

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah, I noticed I don't even remember seeing N. Cole in the game last night.

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Brad Farha 1 year, 2 months ago

Norris Cole didn't make the floor in Games 6 or 7, and very limited prior to that. That's some serious credit to Chalmers.

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Brad Farha 1 year, 2 months ago

Isn't Mario making something like $4M/year? Not bad for anyone, but especially good considering he didn't get guaranteed 1st round money to start.

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JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

Miami has an option for $4M for the upcoming season and I am sure they will exercise it, since that salary for starting PG in an NBA team is a bargain, let alone for the repeating champions. His next contract will likely be at least twice that much per year, provided he continues to improve.

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JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

About a dozen of us, all KU fans, watched the game at my home last night and only one was rooting for the Heath, the rest of us rooted for Marion and San Antonio.

At the end of the game we tried d to locate Mario and we could not; the entire coverage was about LeBron and Wade; I believe they also had a one or two question interview with Battier. The only time they showed Mario for more than a couple of seconds was when he and LeBron were walking back to the bench and LeBron was lecturing Mario.

As far as Bosh, from reading different sports publication, I believe that he will likely be traded (Orlando?), Haslem and Anthony will be let go ($25M combined salary) and the Heath will try to get a proven center. If they keep Andersen, he will likely get a big bump over the $340K he makes now.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 2 months ago

Bosh is the worst. He and the other two members of the "big three" represent different aspects of everything that is wrong with the NBA today.

Bosh represents someone who is physically gifted but lacks the mental will and drive to use his gifts to their potential on a nightly basis. Yeah, once in awhile he shows up and commits a ridiculous foul on a three-pointer that doesn't get called and is temporarily noted to have lived up to his hype, but most of Bosh's contributions are like they were in Game 7: 0 pts, 7 rebs, 5 fouls, 2 TOs in 28 minutes.

Wade represents the superstar who, at one point in time, had a reputation of a stand-up guy, and is allowed to coast on that reputation because of his "stardom" in spite of making many plays late in his career that suggest that his is a spiteful, pouting, dirty player.

And Lebron represents the elite talent--the guy who has the skills to be able to carry any bunch of rummies to the promised land--but shrinks from the harsh realities of the spotlight to share the pressure of expectations with two other players who should be the top dogs on their own teams. He loves the spotlight when everyone is fawning over him (the Decision, the absurd welcoming party where he proclaimed the Heat would win 6 titles), but gets moody when the focus is negative. I respect him a lot more when he's going out and destroying a team single-handedly to silence the doubters (like he did to my beloved Celtics in last year's playoffs) than when he's whining about how the media treats him.

But to your point--there's no way the Heat win this series without Chalmers. His game-high 19 points in Game 2 kept them from being on the ropes and going to San Antonio with an 0-2 deficit, and his solid play kept them from being eliminated in iffy circumstances in both Game 6 and 7.

I wish the Heat would trade him so that I didn't have to unintentionally root for the rest of them while rooting for Chalmers.

ALSO: I read a nickname for Ginobili last night that was too great not to share--Chernobly, because of the way he pretty much melted down in this series. In each of the last two games San Antonio lost, Chernobly made key errors and turnovers by playing stupid.

0

Steve Gantz 1 year, 2 months ago

I think that's what makes Mario a perfect PG for that team. He just wants to win and doesn't mind feeding the superstars egos to make it happen.

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Mike Bratisax 1 year, 2 months ago

I will agree that Bosh is one of the most overrated players in the NBA. Both James and Wade could carry the team on their shoulders at this point in their careers but Bosh should not even be mentioned as part of any Big Three.

He is a good player that many teams would like to have but he is not an elite player.

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John Randall 1 year, 2 months ago

I think MC should thank the press for their ignorance of his contribution, and hope they keep it up for another few years. Riley and Spoelstra know the value of team players.

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ParisHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

So how many KU alums have more NBA rings than Mario?

0

gdkadjayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Clyde Lovellette, with three rings in '54, '63, and '64. (Info above)

0

KemDooKU 1 year, 2 months ago

They heat should let Bosh go - what a waiste of $20 mil -

1

Jason Keller 1 year, 2 months ago

Chalmers plays 40 minutes a game and attacks with the basketball when no one else has the guts. He simply is not given credit for the role he has played in these championships. He creates so much for others because defenses NEVER have a clue what he is going to do. He might shoot a half court three in your face or he might try to get to the basket.

If the Heat want to keep Mario, they need to up his salary. 4 million for 40 minutes a game is not fair. I expect his wages to double, at least.

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dylans 1 year, 2 months ago

Maybe LeBron wouldn't be at a loss for words if he'd gone to college and learned a few more.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

He would have only learned one year's worth of words.

1

John Randall 1 year, 2 months ago

But remedial Algebra would have shown him that 1 > 0.

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Watching that game - rooting for Spurs & Chalmers. Strange.

The more that game played on the more I kept hating the Heat...maybe moreso their fans.

One time they called "You sukk ref!" on one that was probably THE MOST OBVIOUS foul of the night on LeBron on a reach-in foul.

2

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 2 months ago

NBA full of egos and disrespectful boys. Sadly, Chalmers is joining right in.

0

thedudelovesKU 1 year, 2 months ago

How many points did Wiggins have? The dude abides.

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 2 months ago

And Mario hollered "The bank is OPEN" on the 45 foot 3...I couldn't believe no one face guarded him on that shot, plus it looked good the second it left his hand. Have we seen that stroke before, or what? One helluva player who as accurately stated, isn't getting proper credit for his contributions-in your face, Jay Wright.

1

VailHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Watching Wade always makes me smile cuz of his last game in college

4

jayhawkinATL 1 year, 2 months ago

Was at the game...nice blowout win for us.

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VailHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

My buddy Judson was at the game, too and shared a funny story about a security guard outside a bathroom in the dome. It wasn't long after 9/11 so security was heightened and Black Hawk Down was in the theatres. A rather drunk Jayhawk fan fell down right in front of the guard. So the guard says into his walkie talkie, "WE'VE GOT A JAYHAWK DOWN, JAYHAWK DOWN!!!"

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Steve Gantz 1 year, 2 months ago

That game should be next to the definition of blowouts. A FF game in which we led (if memory serves correct) 70-30. That's the kind of score you expect to see when we're playing Northern Idaho or Southern Guam or something.

0

Greg Lux 1 year, 2 months ago

Congrats Super Mario on your second ring. Putting up with all the abuse you get you earned it twice over. I predict you will see Bosh gone next year and possible Wade. The Heat need a dominating center. There rebound stats were awful this year. I think Mario is safe but you never know in the NBA.

Rock Chalk

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 2 months ago

Hard to watch a game and root for the spurs and for Mario at the same time. I hope he gets traded and that no Jayhawks join the Heat until lebron is gone.

1

Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

HATE THE HEAT...LOVE THE MARIO!!!

That is probably the headline that is going through many Jayhawk heads right now.

The anagram for NBA means " Not Basketball At All."

Who knows what happens if Duncan makes that two foot chippee over Wade to tie it up with 38 seconds to go.

No doubt...the Spurs blew this series while the Heat just blows!!

0

BainDread 1 year, 2 months ago

Ditto on the first two lines of your post OJH, but you are confusing anagrams with acronyms. In this case, an appropriate anagram would be BAN NBA, but I'm not ready to go that far with my lack of enthusiasm for pro basketball.

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Joel Thomas 1 year, 2 months ago

NBA is an initialism, not an acronym.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 2 months ago

They had a little help "blowing" the series.

I have NEVER seen a three-point shooting player get slammed in the body and not be given a foul call. Heck, I've seen three-point shooters get foul shots on MUCH less egregious contact than the contact Bosh created with Green at the end of Game 6.

The funniest part is comparing that no-call to the two four-point plays that Ray Allen completed earlier in the series.

0

Bill Anthony 1 year, 2 months ago

It was nice that in post game chat on ESPN Magic Johnson said he believed the tipping point in the game for the Heat was Mario's shot at the end of the 3rd quarter giving them a 1 point lead and momentum to start the 4th rather than a 2 point deficit and doubt. I didn't see it because I don't care much for the NBA, but hearing about it reminded me of another critical 3 pointer Mario made in a championship game 5 years ago. His team never lost the momentum after that shot, either. I'm with those who don't like the Heat but root for Mario, one of my all-time favorite Jayhawks, and all former KU players.

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 2 months ago

So a few notes. 1) LeBron has never won a championship without Mario

2)Mario will have something LeBron can never get...an ncaa championship ring as a player

3). Mario has at least for rings if high school and college count.

4). I wish/hope Mario could land on the Olympic team to add a gold medal to that list would be a very short list....if it even exists

0

Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

YEP..Magic Johnson, Jerry Lucas and Clyde Lovelette

0

wrwlumpy 1 year, 2 months ago

Clyde and Jerry were not in the NBA when the $ was there.

0

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 2 months ago

The money was there if you adjust for inflation..Well at least by the old definition before they took food and fuel out of the equation.

0

Brad Farha 1 year, 2 months ago

All good points, but I'd still rather be LeBron ; )

0

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 2 months ago

Mario has at least "for" rings? Really? Really? Good grief, get it right. FOUR. FOUR. FOUR.

0

jhawkrulz 1 year, 2 months ago

Sorry about the typo; by the way you only typed four, three times...unforgivable.

0

Ian Emerson 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't hate the heat. Learn from them. In reality the Heat are almost a picture perfect prototype of what our team will look like next year. Surround Andrew with loads of 3 point shooter, Wayne is the college version of Dwayne only taller and perry is a much more post effective Bosh. The only thing that puts us over the top is we have depth at center.

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Brad Farha 1 year, 2 months ago

I was not a fan of 'The Decision,' but when I heard it raised $1M for the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, it became a non-issue for me. I agree it wasn't handled well, but when the end results is money for kids who are in need, perspective settles in.

0

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 2 months ago

not cleveland, somewhere in new york or ct, prob in bristol ct due to the proximity to the 4 letter network.

1

Sam Constance 1 year, 2 months ago

That's garbage. Lebron could have just donated $1M to the Boys & Girls Club. The ONLY reason they did that was to take some of the heat off of the inevitable backlash for putting on such a primadonna, egomaniacal joke of a "press conference".

And the fact that they donated it to a B&G Club in a fairly affluent area, rather than one of the many inner-city versions in his home state of Ohio, just makes it even worse (and also suggests even more that it was a damage mitigation strategy rather than a moment of generosity).

My problem with the Heat (since The Decision) is the same problem I have with a bunch of HS kids agreeing to gang up on one team together. It defies the competitive spirit of the game. As Bill Simmons once put it before he completely sold out to ESPN, it's like going to the playground and putting all the best ballers on one team. Usually, don't people alternate picks so that there is some semblance of competitive balance?

As far as Dwyane Wade goes.. I don't know if he used to be a standup guy, but over the last 2-3 seasons, he has looked very ugly when it comes to making dirty plays. The worst part is that they are the kind of dirty plays that are just grey enough to allow plausible deniability that he did any of them on purpose.

0

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 2 months ago

You will not hear me bash Lebron with the sole exception of his constant whining about calls not going his way. I cannot find any other player that I would want to build a team around than James.

I wish OKC has been healthy but without James Harden, I don't think they could have done better than San Antonio.

1

Virgil_Caine 1 year, 2 months ago

Mario's buzzer-beater at the end of the 3rd was definitely slop, but that's why you take those from the middle of the floor. Turned out to be pretty huge. He played a very solid series, and at times was spectacular, particularly in games 2, 6 and 7 (all Miami wins). The running joke in South Beach is that Chalmers genuinely believes that he's the best player on that team. That may be hyperbole, but one if his biggest attributes has always been his confidence (or cockiness, depending on how you feel about it). He knows he belongs on the floor, and always wants the ball in his hands.

At that level, there are no bad players, so the things that separate you from everyone else are the intangibles - confidence, hard work, hustle, being a good teammate, and when you're playing with 'Bron and Wade, you'd better defend like crazy and knock down your open looks. Being the PG on that team is a role unlike any other in the NBA, but in my opinion (and Spoelstra and Riley's too), 'Rio fits the job like a glove. We all know Pierce is headed to the Hall of Fame, but other than him, Mario Chalmers is definitely on track to have the best career of any Jayhawk in recent memory.

0

Jace FitzGibbon 1 year, 2 months ago

hating the heat is the trendy thing to do. i've liked the heat since lebron joined them and mario was drafted. if lebron was on another team, id be a fan of that team.

people above saying mario is the best player and lebron and wade take all of the publicity, are you crazy? james scored 37 tonight and DOMINATED the game. Also in game 6 in the 4th....wade did work last night as well. marios an awesome role player and potential stud at PG; but to say lebron and wade steal the spotlight from mario is asinine.

nevertheless, rock chalk mario!

0

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

I did not see anyone above saying that Mario is the best player, he obviously is not; that title belongs to LeBron. However, it is also true that the "big three" take all the publicity; there is no question about it. ESPN had a feature running the entire season on their main NBA web page about the "Big 3." Look a the lead story on ESPN about the game and see how many time players are mentioned:

James 32

Wade 6

Bosh 4

Battier 4

Chalmers 1 - long three at the end of third quarter.

If you think the "big 3" don't get the bulk of the attention; then I would like to know what exactly you are reading that makes you think they do not.

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Jace FitzGibbon 1 year, 2 months ago

kellerman411 9 hours, 38 minutes ago Couldn't agree more. Chalmers is the punching bag for Dwade and Lebron until crunch time and they are shaking in their boots, then they let Chalmers go make a play

this is what i was referencing. i didnt say that they dont get the bulk of the attention because they do and rightfully so. If they werent on the team, they wouldnt win, period. Lebron dropped 37 last night and 30+ in game 6. Wade also played well so of course theyll get the most press. just annoying how people dislike lebron for joining with d wade and bosh.

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JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

I am sure kellerman411 can speak for himself, but I read his post(s) again and I don't believe he said that Mario is the best player. Just saying...

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JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 2 months ago

I am sure kellerman411 can speak for himself, but I have read his post(s) and I don't believe he wrote that Mario is the best player...just saying.

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Mike Bratisax 1 year, 2 months ago

Back in the day of Derrick Coleman and Ronnie Seikaly what I lived in Miami, I was a big fan. Now I follow players more than teams.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 2 months ago

Hating the heat is trendy the same way it's trendy for guys who are supposed to be at the top of their profession and better than anyone else at their respective positions to act like clique-minded gradeschoolers on the playground, agreeing to team up and prevent anyone else from enjoying the basketball court.

Now, that analogy is a little hyperbolic, but the core message is correct. Three guys who, based on how they are paid and the attention they get, should be leading their own teams, decided to get cute and not only subvert the actual bylaws in place in the NBA to maintain some semblance of competitive balance, but act like total self-absorbed prima donnas while doing it. Yeah, it's trendy to hate them, but it's not like the hate just appeared out of nowhere--from what I can tell in my many years following the NBA, the vast majority of NBA fans liked Dwyane Wade. The vast majority of NBA fans liked Lebron James. To act as if the hate is just irrational jealousy at their success ignores the disgusting attitudes that they have displayed. The have acted like entitled brats at most steps along the way, and it something that I've learned to appreciate watching teams like San Antonio for--they don't do anything except go out and play basketball. And they probably SHOULD have beat a triumverate of three of the best players in the NBA (in their primes) even though they are comprised of two VERY late-stage career players in Duncan and Ginobili and a wonderful point guard who was playing on 1.5 hamstrings.

The suits in the NBA front office love it, because they know that having the Darth Vader of the league to root against does just as much for NBA interest as anything. Heck, it probably does more. But as someone who likes watching basketball for basketball's sake (and therefore deals with all the obnoxious elements of the NBA), the new-look Heat are the embodiment of why the NBA stinks compared to college basketball.

I don't dislike the Heat because I'm just a "hater". I dislike the Heat because of how they act and what they represent.

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

Now we return to the sport of college basketball ....

1

kay_you 1 year, 2 months ago

I find the college game inherently more exciting. Used to enjoy the NBA but now I find it boring. My only interest is the performance of KU players so even though I did not watch the game or series I was rooting for Miami.

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Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

It's a different animal than it is in the NBA. When KU won it all in 2008, nobody on that team cared who got credit and it seemed that on any night any one of them could step up so the opponents didn't know who they had to double team, or just simply couldn't afford to.

I turned the series on for the first time during Game 7 as I find the NBA far less entertaining than college basketball. It might be because I'm used to seeing a team play selflessly and the players who are worthy of the praises for their play during a given game are given those praises, at least by the staff at the Lawrence Journal World. If you have all 5 starters average between 15 and 17 points a game like in 2008, then everyone of them made plays for others and not just for themselves. It didn't matter who was on the post either, Chalmers, Collins, and Robinson all laid it up on the rim for the big guys and the fliers to go get it. They didn't care who got the two points or the assist, and any one of them could have went off for 30 on any given night and when they were hitting on all cylinders against UNC in 2008, nobody that considered themselves and expert believed what they saw when Kansas was up 40-12, but that's what happens when you play like a team and move the ball to get a better shot for the score.

I still don't like the NBA so much but I'm proud of Chalmers, and didn't Simien get a ring with the Heat early on in his short-lived NBA career?

Let's go get that National Championship ring, as I believe that even at the number 2 recruiting class, this class may be a bit underrated and it is my personal opinion that it's as good as Kentucky's, but maybe even a bit more athletic and KU has more experienced, solid talent returning with a bitter taste in their mouth giving up a 14 point lead in a game they know they should have won in the Sweet Sixteen.

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actorman 1 year, 2 months ago

Well said, jayhawkintx. One thing you forgot to mention is that KU also has a better coach than UK (although I will admit that it's fairly close).

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