Miami big 3 – the complete list of opinions
Who likes the Miami big 3 and who hates them?
Who is afraid of them and who is not?
You are about to find out!
Let’s start with the Van Gundy brothers because their opinions are very similar. Both Jeff and Stan think that the Miami Heat is not just a very strong team and a serious championship contender. They expect them to become one of the best teams in the history of the NBA. Jeff says that they are going to break some NBA records while his brother compares them to the legendary 1996 Chicago Bulls.
Jeff Van Gundy
“They will break the single-season win record of 72 and I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers’ 33-game winning streak in 1971-72, as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year. They have put together a much better roster than anybody could ever have expected. There is now no good way to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that they will score at will. And with Erik Spoelstra coaching, they will be in the top three defensive teams in the league, as well. The other 29 teams better hope the lockout gets moved up a year.”
Stan Van Gundy
“If I look at what the Bulls did winning 72 games and I look at the Heat roster, I am going to tell you that the Heat roster is better than any roster that Michael Jordan played with the Bulls. I don’t think that people predicting them breaking the win total and being in the 70s and the whole thing, I don’t think those are expectations that are out of line based on their roster… Dwyane Wade is certainly, in my opinion anyway, as good as he was, is better than Scottie Pippen. Chris Bosh is better than Toni Kukoc. Mike Miller is every bit as good a shooter as (John) Paxson or (Steve) Kerr or anybody they put there. Plus, he’s 6′8″. If you start going down the list, I don’t think there is any question that the roster the Heat have is as talented a roster if not more so as any roster there has ever been in the NBA.”
Eddie House is also excited but he plays for them so his thoughts could be biased. It would be interesting to hear his opinion if he played on another team (especially if he had stayed with potentially Miami’s biggest rival – the Celtics)
“I’m extremely excited about this opportunity. In Boston, everybody was after us every single night. We were playing hard-fought games every night. This is going to be even crazier. We’re anointed champs from the beginning, and we’re not the champions. I compare it to the year I went to Boston when the Big Three got together in 2007, but this is going to be even bigger. This is going to be Boston on steroids.”
Another person who is excited about this situation is …………
none other than rapper Lil Wayne. Being in jail didn’t stop him from expressing his thoughts.
“I believe that this Miami team will be explosive as intended. Anything less than an NBA championship title will be uncivilized. 72-10 anybody?. Well with Wade at the 1 and Lebron at the 2 or vice versa even, or Mario Chalmers at the 1, Wade at the 2, and Bron at the 3… Wow! Not to mention that I didn’t mention Bosh, who can live at the 4 or 5. Zone defense will be a must against this team. That’s 3 players on the court that commands a double team. Just imagine those guys on a fast break, the defender back peadaling… Wade can take it to the hole or throw it up and you know Bron. Bron is going to get it… or dish it back to a trailing Chris Bosh who will definitely finish at the rim… again, wow! Or how about Wade at the 3-point line, Bosh setting the pick, and Lebron in the passing lane. And if you collapse on them, don’t forget that Chalmers can knock down the shot. I bet that they lead the league in alley-oops. And they’re all young! Scary! Hey, what if Pat Riley returns to the sidelines and it ends up being the Lakers vs. Heat in the finals? Riley vs. Jackson! Epic! Gasol on Bosh, Ron-Ron on Bron-Bron, and Kobe on Wade… wow!”
Steve Kerr believes they are going to be good but he doesn’t want to believe that they are going to beat the 1996 Chicago Bulls 72-10 record (obviously because he was on that team).
“I’m not trying to be Mercury Morris and root against anybody, but I don’t think it will happen again. There are too many variables, too many meaningless games, too many bad shooting nights, too much playoff preparation.
If anybody has a shot to do it, Miami does. If everything comes together perfectly, maybe they get to 70.”
Not everyone is predicting that Miami will take the league by storm but there are many who are happy with this situation and think that the new-look Heat can get it done. Ramon Sessions for example.
“I was happy for those guys. I mean, LeBron, he’s been in the league for a while and has done everything that’s been asked of him. It was his decision and I’m not mad at him, ending up with D-Wade and Chris Bosh. I’m happy for them. Miami is gonna be really good. Fan-wise they’re probably the favorite, but they’re going to have to work for it. It’s gonna be a great season, man. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Jason Kidd is on the same page with Sessions but he still thinks the Lakers are the favourites.
“Well, I think it can work you know. Everybody is going to sit back and wait and watch but the big thing is we are all professionals so for us we have to be ready to play in Miami. I think everybody knows they will be the favorite but you cant look past the Lakers. I mean they are the champs and LeBron, Wade and Bosh got together and came up with this idea and we will all sit back and wait and see if this idea works.”
Just like Magic Johnson
“You got to give him credit. He wants to win a championship. When you put LeBron James with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, you put yourself in a position to do that. The Lakers still have the most talent. They’re the best team in the NBA. You’ve got to remember they’re going to have new guys. They lose this year; Lakers win. I think that team may win two or three in a row” later.”
But when he was asked whether he would have joined with Bird to form a superteam back in the days:
“We didn’t think about it because that’s not what we were about. From college I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird”
Jerry Reinsdorf (the owner of the Chicago Bulls) defends the Miami super-trio but he is not afraid of them and believes that his team is more than able to beat them.
“Those three guys apparently had a dream where they wanted to play together and it’s their privilege to do it. I don’t side with the people who are critical of them for getting together. I think it was clearly their privilege to do it and I don’t think there was any obligation on LeBron’s part or Chris Bosh’s part to stay where they were. I believe we will be better than Miami this year”
Pudge Rodriguez is excited. He doesn’t talk about wininning a championship (championships) though.
“I’m a Heat fan and I love to watch the games, and I go to the games. To see LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh there on the same team it’s going to be unbelievable games to watch. For me, and the whole city of Miami, it’s great. It’s great for basketball.
When you’re at that level, when everybody wants to hear from you so those things (criticism) are going to happen. Tiger Woods get some coverage like that, A-Rod, Jeter. Big-time players get some coverage like that. He’s a superstar. He’s an unbelievable player. Everybody around the globe knows who LeBron James is, and wants to hear from him so I was fine with it.”
Then there are some who are trying to stay polite with their statements and just admit that the Heat is good but we should wait for the season to actually start. Paul Pierce is one of them.
“You know it could come together right away for them, like it did when we brought our whole new team together, but it’s all about the sacrifice, it’s all about dropping the egos, and it’s all about communication.”
Kevin McHale kept it as short as possible
“There’s every bit a chance this doesn’t work as it does.”
Then there is Spike Lee who is upset that the Heat has the super-trio but his team has not. He, just like many others NY residents, thought that Bron should have chosen the Knicks.
“This is nothing but a pure Corleone gangster move. It was laid out. This didn’t happen by happenstance. They made people look like idiots. They had the thing planned out two years ago.
The man did not want to come, so how can you be disappointed? He wanted to be in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. These guys get in front of Pat Riley, and he shows them those rings and they lose their mind. Pat Riley gets people in his spell, and it’s, ‘Whatever you want to do, Coach.’
He’s a self-appointed king. We’re not bowing down. Uh-uh. Not bowing. I don’t care who they got.”
While Clyde Drexler, who has never won a championship, isn’t surprised about what happened in South Beach. He says that these kind of things are nothing new and similar trios are the reason why he never won a ring back in his playing days.
“Basically what they’ve done is what the Celtics and Lakers have done for years, assemble four or five great players at the same time who can compete in the prime of their careers. If you look back on that, history will tell you that those are the team that have the most championships. I used to tell Magic all the time in the ’80s and ‘90s, when they were ‘Showtime,’ that if we switch teams, you would see what it’s like over here. I told Bird the same thing. … They had four or five Hall of Famers playing with them at the same time. C’mon. You gotta win when that happens. That’s what Miami has done. There’s nothing new about it.”
Gary Payton talks about his experience playing together with both Wade and Bryant. I guess he is not overly optimistic about Miami’s chances but he is not bashing them.
“The pressure is on Dwyane, LeBron and Chris to show it was worth all the trouble of getting them together. I’ve played with Dwyane and it’s no knock on him but if you compare him with Kobe , there’s a big difference in their work ethic. I played with Kobe, too, and he’d be more from my era. Kobe knows how to be humble. If Kobe loses a game, you’ll see him the next day in the gym, working extra hard to make sure he’ll be better. I don’t know if it’s the same with Dwyane. They’re both great players but Dwyane is more the show type. There are high expectations for the Heat. It’s up to the Big Three to show they deserve to be up there with the best.”
Former NBA super-stars like Micheal Jordan and Larry Bird are stating that they would have never done anything like that.
“There’s no way, in hindsight now, I would have never called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and say, ‘Hey, let’s together and play on one team,’ but things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. That’s the opportunity these kids have today.
I mean, in all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys. I don’t know if they would have been on my team. If they had been on my team … then obviously, if you look at the dream team, they were on my team and it wasn’t too much of a competitive thing.”
“There is no way I would have joined Magic or Michael and play with them. The only time I ever wanted to play with Magic was on the Olympic team, and even then our practices were hard, and we beat each other up in practice.”
Current Boston Celtics players don’t seem to be intimidated by Miami’s new team…
“We look forward to playing Miami. We feel like we’re the better team – the team to beat in the East. We definitely look forward to that matchup.
That’s what happened here, and so much is being pointed to what we did here. The question is are they ready to sacrifice, make the ultimate sacrifice. It’s not about numbers. It’s not about accolades. When we did this in ’07. That’s what we all knew. That’s what we all said.”
“As far as the East, we’re the champs. I do look forward to playing against them.”
“I don’t think anything of The Big Three. We have the original Big Three. We got a nice solid team. WORD AAPP!”
…just like Dwight Howard…
“The Miami Heat is another team like any other, and they all need to win games. They put together an amazing team, and they’ll win a lot of games, but nobody in the league is a sure winner.
You don’t build teams to beat a single team (like Miami). You build teams to win championships.”
…and Jerry Buss (Lakers owner).
“The Lakers aren’t scared of LeBron James and his Miami Heat Superfriends. I didn’t pay much attention to (Thursday’s announcement from James). I was curious to see where he went, and once I found that out that was that…
Somebody in the East will come out, and our job is to beat them, whoever it is. There are a lot of good teams over there. I don’t automatically hand them the title. I think Orlando is very good. I think Chicago is going to be better. Boston, certainly, is tough. We know about that. So let’s wait until things get going.”
Wally Szczerbiak is even more negative with his statements and he predicts that this Heat team will fail.
“Wade/James pairing is not going to work. No way. When Wade’s dribbling the ball up top, calling for a high pick-and-roll, and LeBron’s standing in the corner, no one’s going to guard LeBron. He’s not a floor spacer. He’s not a guy you have to pay attention to at the three-point line. He needs the ball in his hands . . . and there’s only one basketball. As an opposing player, I would be so motivated to kick these guys’ butts.”
And then there are some who are very upset with what LeBron has done, for example, Nick Saban.
“The way (LeBron James) managed what he did just speaks volumes about who he is and whether he is a team guy – not because he left Cleveland, but the way he did. That’s not the kind of trust and respect you’d like to have in a team organization.”
And most notably – Charles Barkley.
“He’ll never be Jordan. This clearly takes him out of the conversation. He can win as much as he wants to.
There would have been something honorable about staying in Cleveland and trying to win it as ‘The Man’ … LeBron, if he would’ve in Cleveland, and if he could’ve got a championship there, it would have been over the top for his legacy, just one in Cleveland. No matter how many he wins in Miami, it clearly is Dwyane Wade’s team.
I heard about LeBron’s little tweet today that he’s remembering everybody who said anything bad about him. And he said ‘everybody.’ Well, I want him to make sure that he puts my name on that (list) … I thought that his little one-hour special was a punk move. I thought them dancing around on the stage was a punk move, and I thought he should’ve stayed in Cleveland. Him joining Dwyane Wade ‘s team was very disappointing to me.
He’s got enough people kissing his ass with his family and all the people who work for him. We don’t have to tell him what he wants to hear all the time … That one-hour special, them jumping around on stage like punks, that wasn’t cool to me. From a basketball standpoint, I wish he had stayed in Cleveland, and if he takes that as criticism, so be it. He knows where I’ll be, I don’t run. I’m on TV every week, I’m easy to find.”