On this day, ten years ago, ESPN aired “The Decision” by LeBron James. After spending seven years in Cleveland, James made the decision to move to South Beach, along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. This gave birth to a new super-team in Miami, and the trio were christened the “Heatles.”
The trio of James, Wade, and Bosh was expected to win from day 1. They started the regular season strongly, going 58-24. In the postseason, they went 12-3, as they matched into the NBA Finals with ease. But in the Finals, they were up against Dallas Mavericks, who had blanked the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers on their way. After being 2-1 up, they lost three games on the trot and the Mavs won their first-ever title. A disappointing end to the season for the Heat.
With revenge on their mind, the Heat had a strong showing in the next season going 46-20. However, they had a tougher time in their postseason journey. After beating the Knicks 4-1 and the Pacers 4-2, they were up against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. After a back and forth that lasted seven games, the Heat came out on top. The series included one of the greatest playoff performances when LeBron went on a tear during Game 6.
In the Finals, they were up against Oklahoma City’s young and talented trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. But the Miami Heat were too good for them as they won 4-1, and with that LeBron had his first ring.
In the 2012-13 season, the Miami Heat finished with the best record in the league, going 66-16. Everyone expected them to repeat their success after the strong regular-season performance. After some hiccups initially, they managed to successfully defend their title. Ray Allen came clutch in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Spurs and LeBron finished it off. The Heat won 4-3 over the Spurs, after being down 2-3 initially. In three years, LeBron won two rings.
With a three-peat on their mind, the Heat started strong yet again. After winning 54 games in the regular season, they went on a 12-3 to get to the NBA Finals for a rematch with the Spurs. But the Spurs had come with revenge on their mind. After two games, the series was tied up at 1-1. After that, the Spurs showed no mercy, as they won three games straight, each by at least 17 points. The Heat missed out on a three-peat and lost their second Finals in four years.
A lot of critics have said that the Heat underachieved, saying with the quality they possessed, they should have won at least three out of the four years. Paul Pierce is one of their loudest critics, having regular swipes at them for no reason. But if a team makes it to the Finals four years in a row, and wins it twice, is not an easy job. To say it wasn’t a success is just under-appreciating their achievements.