Alpha Outlaw wrote: »
Co-sign what Emm holla said bout Dalembert. We been eyein him for awhile now. Some heat fans think we could get nene but that shit aint realistic. We get dalembert and we solve our problems at C bcuz with this team a decent PG is needed but not as important
Miami Heat gets its shot at redemption with end to NBA lockout
By Dan Le Batard
What we’ve learned over the past 149 days without basketball: Soul-sucking acronyms like BRI (Basketball Related Income).
What we haven’t learned: If the Miami Heat has indeed healed.
Fans had zero interest in the former and unrelenting interest in the latter, and that’s why news that the basketball lockout is now over — “Finally,” in the word of Heat star Dwyane Wade — is met in South Florida with a glee and relief and anticipation unlike anywhere else in America.
No basketball team had more to lose if this season had indeed been cancelled while owners and players fought over billions of dollars in a flabbergasting affront to fans trapped in a recession. And no team has more to play for when the season now resumes as a blessed sports gift on Christmas Day.
Last we saw them together, Heat giant Chris Bosh was collapsing in a corridor from a combination of grief and exhaustion, the sad punctuation on an arduous season unlike any South Florida has ever known, and LeBron James was defensively reminding his critics that their lives still had bills and problems, no matter how much temporary joy they got from laughing at his failure.
This famous, interesting, controversial, excellent Heat team merely existing last season was the best thing to happen to the NBA since Michael Jordan.
This Heat team losing at the end, no matter how nauseated it left a reeling South Florida, was the best thing that could have possibly happened for professional basketball, giving the rest of the sport the energy upon which our games run — hope and drama and possibility and story lines.
The young bully favorite winning on its very first try? What fun is that?
The Heat winning last season would have felt good in one basketball city. The Heat losing felt good in all but one.
And so now the story resumes as if bookmarked, with the Heat chasing something bigger than merely a championship: Shakespeare wrote about it, and Bob Marley serenaded it. The Greeks put it in the story of Hercules, and the disciples placed it in the Bible. We enjoy it in a different theater, whether it be in a Shawshank prison or in the real-life travails of a resurrected Robert Downey Jr. Redemption.
The most interesting heroes and the most interesting stories are not without flaws, but merely a celebration of how to overcome them, and so it is in sports now with the Heat, humbled by a failure that will either ravage them or act as fuel (the very definition of fuel is a combustible matter used to maintain fire, in order to create power or Heat).
The stars of this team have been touring the globe with their unexpected free time, selling sneakers in China, attending fashion shows in Paris, James even buying a soccer team in England, but if they’ve gotten fat or forgotten the sting after six long months, there is this wonderful and unpleasant reminder to usher in the sequel that’ll begin in a month:The early 66-game schedule has Miami in Dallas for the very first game of the season, when the Heat will have to watch the Mavericks get what was supposed to be Miami’s championship rings.
Last we saw these two teams, a long time ago, too long ago, Dallas was celebrating on Miami’s floor, before the quietest South Florida crowd you’ve never heard. LeBron shrunk in a way previously unseen from a superstar in this sport, from a muscled 6-8 behemoth to someone who couldn’t do anything even when posting up a garden gnome named J.J. Barea.
If James merely plays to his averages in The Finals, Miami is defending its throne now before a terrified NBA, looking to hog titles. But James looked so very afraid at the end, and so his search for validation — of his talent, of his place in the game’s history, of his Decision to take his talents to South Beach — will again be the center of basketball’s universe as the story of this new season.Courage is not the absence of fear.
That’s fearlessness, and it is not human.
Courage is the ability to overcome it, and James has had six very quiet months to wallow in his profound and public shame, to think about how he didn’t seem to want to be holding the ball or the responsibility at the end. Soon, we’ll begin to find out if he can overcome this weight, pressure and expectation.
If the sport had indeed locked out for a season, and James hadn’t even been given a chance to get up off the ground, that might have stung him more than even the $16 million he would have lost in annual salary.
His tone-deaf television special got him accused of ego, which in the world of fun and games is somehow the worst of sports crimes. Q ratings show that the most unpopular athletes are the ones who are arrogant, not the ones who are arrested. So James mocked himself in a McDonald’s ad and poked fun at his receding hairline on Twitter.
Maybe we don’t see that kind of humbling if not for the Mavericks. Fans can forgive an athlete’s mistakes (see Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant, folks people now cheer); they are more reluctant to forgive an athlete who takes himself too seriously. So James has to be grateful that he gets this season to begin his reinvention.
Heat management went to bed Friday night thinking the season would be lost, only to find out at 4 a.m. that it had been saved by concessions on both sides. And this should tell you how badly Heat owner Micky Arison wanted that to be: He agreed to and fought for a deal that is going to cost him a lot of money.
On the business side, Miami, despite all its star power, expects to lose money again this season. That has been the case every year Arison has owned the team except for last year, when James brought in revenue and franchise appreciation at an unprecedented rate.
Even the champion 2006 Heat of Shaquille O’Neal lost money.
That’s why there was a lockout in the first place — because too many owners were losing money in what they believed to be a bad system that needed overhauling.
Losing a little money is OK for rich men like Arison who view sports ownership as a hobby and plaything, not their primary source of revenue. But it wasn’t OK for even someone as rich as Michael Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jordan doesn’t have revenue sources outside of basketball; he is still a Nike employee. He literally can’t afford to lose $20 million every year. Underwear commercials don’t pay that much. And that’s why Jordan, very recently a player himself, was such a hard-line owner, fighting for a hard salary cap that wouldn’t have allowed Miami to keep its three stars.
If making money was his goal, Arison would have been better off with the previous, broken system than he is with this one. He is going to have to share revenue now. He is going to have to pay a luxury tax. But Arison isn’t in this game for money. He’s in it for fun, for sport, a fan like the rest of us.
So he’ll again exchange financial losses for basketball wins — and a new system that makes Miami a big winner in this new deal from a basketball perspective, with the kind of salary-cap flexibility and loopholes that will allow President Pat Riley to get James, Wade and Bosh yet more help even as Arison takes financial losses.
We like to take note of winners and losers in sports, so people will argue today which teams win and lose with the new system and whether the owners or players won or lost at the negotiating table.But the biggest winner in the entire sport today?
Fans of the Miami Heat.
Miami Heat will benefit significantly from NBA deal
By Israel Gutierrez
This was supposed to be about the NBA solving its Miami Heat problem.
This new Collective Bargaining Agreement was supposed to be the kryptonite to the Super Friends, with the Cavaliers’ Dan Gilbert and the rest of the hard-line, small-market owners twisting their evil mustaches and laughing sinisterly as Pat Riley’s dream of multiple championship is ruined before it truly started.
Yet what we’re finding as the rules of the new CBA that has been tentatively agreed to leak out is the league just did the Heat a favor instead.
Rather than penalize the Heat for having three legitimate superstars on the roster to the point that breaking them up would be almost necessary, the new agreement appears to pave the way for the Heat to thrive during the next several years.
Heat owner Micky Arison would have been happy with almost any deal as long as it meant his trio of stars could continue to take the court together. It just so happens a few last-minute compromises will work entirely in his favor.
The most significant of the late concessions on the owners’ side was allowing some more flexibility for teams at or approaching the luxury tax threshold.
Under the new agreement, the Heat would still be able to use a full midlevel exception as long as it doesn’t put them more than $4 million over the luxury tax.
There had been a concern that the Heat would have to take advantage of the new “amnesty” rule and waive Mike Miller so it could then use the midlevel for a much-needed upgrade at center.
With the new rules, the Heat can choose to keep Miller and still throw midlevel money at someone such as Samuel Dalembert, who has several reasons to desire a move to Miami.
Waiving Miller might still be an option if the team knows it can replace him with one or more effective options at a cheaper price, like a Grant Hill, Michael Redd or Shane Battier — if he’s willing to play at a discounted price.
But the point is the Heat’s hand won’t be forced when it comes to keeping its core of Big 3 plus Udonis Haslem and Miller together.
So rather than take a hit from the amnesty clause before it could benefit from it, the Heat can only do the latter.
When you consider the players that will end up free agents after their current teams take advantage of the rule, there might be a line of inexpensive talent waiting to join the Heat in its quest to avenge last year’s Finals loss.
Can you picture a Heat team with LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Dalembert and, say, Baron Davis?
It wasn’t too long ago that some believed the Heat would have to lose one of the Big 3 just to abide by the rules. Now you’re looking at a team that should be significantly better than the one that was an inexplicable collapse from hoisting a second championship trophy in five years.
More talent means less pressure on LeBron, which based on his play in the Finals can only be a good thing.
And, yes, the rising salaries of the Big 3 as the years go on will likely put the Heat in luxury-tax range in future seasons, but Arison has a history of paying up when a championship is within grasp.
More than that, Arison has a potential dynasty on his hands — one that’s worth more to him and his franchise than any additionally punitive tax that would kick in after two years of the new deal.
Think Arison’s going to shy away from paying some extra bucks if it means a trophy collection?
But the primary reason the Heat is set up for major success for the length regardless of the stricter nature of this proposed CBA is this: While it is designed to keep big-market teams from spending lavishly to create new super teams, the Heat already has its in place.
It’s not impossible for the Knicks to form a team that adds Chris Paul to Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, but it certainly got a lot trickier for them to accomplish it financially.
Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said specifically Saturday that the goal of this new system was to keep the major market teams from overspending, which would, in theory, create a more balanced playing field.
So while the Heat already has its stars aligned, the Knicks or Lakers or any other team hoping to pile stars on top of stars will either have to get real creative or abandon the idea altogether.
That just means an easier route for the Heat. And maybe, just maybe, LeBron can count actual championships rather than be mocked for counting hypothetical ones.
So before Riley shaves that lockout beard, he might want to twist his mustache and belt out an evil laugh.
Because the new Collective Bargaining Agreement just gave everyone outside South Florida reason to hate the Heat even more.
EmM HoLLa. wrote: »
Looks like they May get Davis and Dalembert.... That starting five is going to be dangerous for years to come... Shit....
its over: 2012! wrote: »
another idiot, downplaying Eddie House.
Must we remind what happened once Spoelstra finally played him in the NBA finals??....it was too little too late, but he showed how a pg is supposed to compliment DWade & co. in the finals
yroholla wrote: »
Eddie House has no defense.....hes a chucker but he will nail some big threes when you need it....but i dont trust him defensively hes a liability
its over: 2012! wrote: »
See it's getting ready to be just like last year, where I'm constantly 20 steps ahead of y'all...
House's foot speed is still outstanding, as for his lateral agility...which is all you need on the perimeter, in the HEAT's defensive scheme, which came in first in the league if you count reg. Season & playoffs. Now, the pricelessness of his offensive skill-set (he can run the offense too, if you go back to '08 ecf & chip series. Chalmers can't do it.) shines.
so it's not right for you sit and post like you didn't see his instant impact in the Finals, unlike Chalmers could be counted on for, consistently.
Let's pull up footage of his minutes from the Mav's series let's fairly gauge this, veraciously. Let's pull up his '08 ecf and NBA Finals footage...let's cut out the nonsense
EmM HoLLa. wrote: »
As a Knick fan.. Ill be the first to say.. As of today.. Without seeing how Kobe and Mike Brown will Mesh.. And seeing if Westbook has grown a PG's brain over the lockout.. And if the Bulls will get a SG that can compliment Rose and be that real 2nd option on offense.. etc.. etc.. The Heat have to be labeled as favorites.. Its the natural order.. They have too much talent and they are only going to get better.. I believe Dalembert is going there as well.. Dude is Hatian and Miami has a strong Hatian Community.. It just makes sense..
The Pecking order starts with the Heat.. Then everyone else.. BUT.. We actually have to play the games to see whats what..
MAN I LOVE THIS GAME!
Truerap wrote: »
Yeah im ready for Lebron to win his ring.
Mad Jack wrote: »
not going to happen my niggie
Pat Riley seeks to fill Miami Heat’s holes for another title run
The NBA’s mad dash to Christmas Day is about to begin.
While league officials and the players association are busy putting to paper rules for the new collective bargaining agreement, teams around the league are preparing themselves for a frantic free agency period. For the Heat, that means reshaping a roster for another title run.
The principle names are in place, but the free agents that team president Pat Riley signs will be crucial pieces to the Heat’s success or failure in winning its first title of the Big 3 Era.
Last season’s revolving door at the center and point guard positions helped LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh capture the Eastern Conference championship, but the team fell two wins short of hoisting its second league championship banner in franchise history.
Provided the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified by owners and players, a truncated free agency period will begin on Dec. 9 and the season will begin on Dec. 25. With the lockout freezing all contact between players and their teams, franchises around the league have focused their attention on preparing for the free agency blitz. The Heat is no exception.
“We go in every day and we’re ready to hit the ground running,” Riley said.
Riley has said that securing a center with the team’s midlevel exception would be a priority for the 2010-11 season. Last season, stopgap centers Erick Dampier, Jamaal Magloire and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each provided sparks but all had specific limitations.
Center Joel Anthony matured into a defensive force, but his offensive game was underdeveloped.
A well-rounded player to complement Bosh and Anthony in the frontcourt is needed.
It has long been speculated that the Heat will use its midlevel exception to go after Sacramento Kings center Samuel Dalembert. Although other teams could offer Dalembert more lucrative contracts, the Heat would allow Dalembert to return to South Florida. A native of Haiti, Dalembert owns a house in Palm Beach County.
Of course, the Heat could always explore trade options. Riley has a history of making a splash with mega-trades and the Heat could, in theory, package players to acquire a center. Big-name centers on the free-agency market include Nene of the Denver Nuggets and Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks.
Of course, trading for big men like Nene and Chandler would almost certainly require the Heat to package Udonis Haslem in the deal. Considering the loyalty Haslem showed the Heat last year, that seems unlikely. Haslem gave up millions to remain with the team and is a hometown star.
Like center, the Heat must also solidify its point guard position this month.
The starting point
Mario Chalmers is a restricted free agent but would like to remain in Miami. He made an impressive leap during last season’s playoffs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Heat is comfortable with making him a full-time starter. The market is thin on point guard, however, with Dallas’ J.J. Barea seemingly the only other suitable option.
By necessity, draft pick Norris Cole likely will receive minutes this season in a reserve role. It’s a less than ideal situation for the Heat — Cole will have a shortened training camp to prepare for his first season in the NBA with the league’s most high-profile team — but one the team has anticipated. The Heat moved up in the draft to land the point guard from Cleveland State.
Pat Riley will think big again to fill Miami Heat’s needs
By Israel Gutierrez
Last summer, Pat Riley and Micky Arison stared convention and reality in the face and eliminated them from the free agent process.
They changed the game. Given a chance to go big, they went even larger.
That was not a singular experiment. That’s a philosophy they live by when it comes to running the Heat.
And it’s not going to change this offseason just because of some silly limitations written into a collective bargaining agreement that’s meant to silence the big bullies of the NBA.
So this offseason, expect more of the same. There will be no small moves for the sake of filling holes. At least not until Riley has explored every option of filling those voids with major players.
This is still the Riley who landed Alonzo Mourning upon his arrival. This is still the Riley who got Shaquille O’Neal while he still played at a championship level. This is still the Riley who saw LeBron James and Chris Bosh in free agency and thought, “I can get them both.”
So why would he shy away from Nene in free agency? Or Steve Nash via trade? Or any other significant name that either fills the desperate needs at point guard and center or on a bench that was criticized for most of last season? This is still Miami, after all. This remains the destination of choice for any player with championship aspirations.
In that respect, the Mavericks almost did the Heat a favor by coming back in Game 2 of the Finals and finishing off the Heat in six. It still leaves the Heat appearing incomplete.
It leaves open the idea that the Heat is still one or two pieces away from championship/dynasty mode, and there will be no shortage of players considering themselves to be one of those missing pieces.
About the only other destinations that can match the appeal of Miami this upcoming season are probably Oklahoma City and Chicago, in part because both appear on the brink of greatness, and in part because both teams are so young and exciting.
The Lakers appear past their championship prime, and given that they already have five championships with Kobe Bryant in the fold, joining forces with him has a tired feel to it at this point.
The Knicks are potentially on the verge of something great, but before they can commit to anyone else this offseason, they need to ensure they will be in a financial position to acquire Chris Paul at some point in the next eight months. So committing money to other players wouldn’t seem like the current plan.
The Heat is closer to great things than any of those franchises, and anyone interested in jumping aboard will certainly be in play. There are veiled indications from none other than Dwyane Wade that free agent and former Heat forward Caron Butler would be interested in a reunion. Back before a new collective bargaining agreement was even on the horizon, LeBron was playfully recruiting Nash and Jamal Crawford to Miami via Twitter.
And with Shane Battier on the market, there’s always the Duke card to be played with new CEO Nick Arison, who was a member of Mike Krzyzewski’s staff after he graduated from the school.
And while Nene might end up being the most expensive big man on the free agent market, and the Heat is in no position to offer more than the mid-level exception, Riley has never shied away from making big moves via trade, and on this team everyone outside the Big 3 would be in play.
There’s no point in settling at this stage of the game. Already the Heat is facing the prospect of paying millions in luxury-tax penalties toward the end of the current contracts of the Big 3. So might as well head that way with a couple more big names in tow and a few championship trophies to ease the pain of writing those huge checks.
That doesn’t mean settling for Samuel Dalembert as the first option at center, even though he’s the most realistic one and certainly not a bad option. And it doesn’t mean waiting for the few amnesty point guards who fall through the cracks. The new CBA will already make it more difficult for the Heat to nab a guard such as Baron Davis by making those players available first to teams with salary-cap space.
The Heat never has been about waiting to get lucky. Riley and Arison always have been aggressive, leaving nothing out of play.
Remember how ridiculous it sounded that the Lakers would take back Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Butler for the most dominant big man in the game? Acquiring Nash, who’s in the last year of his contract with Phoenix, doesn’t sound so insane in comparison.
Even when Riley has let Heat fans down, it wasn’t for lack of trying. He signed Eddie Jones and Grant, not knowing Mourning’s kidney illness would derail his title hopes, and as a result he was stuck with two players not capable of carrying a franchise.
So don’t underestimate him this time, either.
The Heat is not the defending champion at the moment. That means there’s still work to do.
And Riley knows only one way to go about that. Think big.
Report: Samuel Dalembert interested in Heat
by: Ira Winderman November 28th, 2011 | 8:01 AM
Reiterating the sentiment he expressed several times last season, Sacramento Kings free-agent center Samuel Dalembert says he remains intrigued by the possibility of signing with the Miami Heat.
Dalembert, a longer, better-rounded option than what the Heat offered in the middle last season, has a home in Boca Raton and has long been keen on being closer to his native Haiti, where he is active in relief efforts.
In an interview with Fox Sports Florida, Dalembert said, “If you look at the playoffs with Dallas, you saw what Tyson Chandler did. He was basically a key ingredient for them to win a championship. And Miami didn’t have somebody like that. Somebody able to stop (opponents from) getting second shots and somebody able to rebound and finish. I could fill that role and be an asset for that team.”
Beyond that, Dalembert, even with a somewhat limited skill set, would provide an upgrade on Joel Anthony, Erick Dampier and Jamaal Magloire. The Heat did feature the outside shooting of center Zydrunas Ilgauskas at times last season, but Ilgauskas announced his retirement in the offseason.
Dalembert earned $13.4 million last season from the Kings. The most the Heat could offer would be the $5 million mid-level exception, with the Kings holding the right to exceed any outside offer.
Even at $5 million, Dalembert would effectively cost the Heat twice as much, with the Heat to operate this season in the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax due to the contracts of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Another means for the Heat to obtain Dalembert would be a sign-and-trade transaction with the Kings, who continue to operate with a largely limited roster.
Dalembert also has been linked to the center-starved New York Knicks, but New York is expected to limit its spending this season in order to retain the salary-cap flexibility to pursue New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul in the 2012 offseason.
The free-agency signing period is expected to begin Dec. 9, provided final approval is in place for the recently agreed-upon collective-bargaining agreement.
Other options at center available in free agency include Chandler, Denver’s Nene, Charlotte’s Kwame Brown, as well as other players who could become available amid the NBA’s salary-cap amnesty program, with Dallas’ Brendan Haywood among those who could be an amnesty cut.
The Heat also are expected to offer a tryout to former Knicks center Eddy Curry, who worked with the team prior to the lockout.
Dalembert, 30, has been a consistent rebounder and shot-blocker during his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers and Kings, but remains a largely unpolished scorer, albeit one with better hands than Anthony.
Commentary: Free-agent signing period promises plenty of intrigue for Miami Heat
ByEthan J. Skolnick
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The promises kept coming to Shane Battier.
A Spurs fan promised that Tim Duncan would give him video game cheat codes. A Pistons fan promised an unlimited supply of Cookie Crisp and a Barry Sanders jersey. A Thunder fan promised a personal horse named Professor Waffles.
And one Heat fan promised a mint plant for an inaugural Miami mojito, even if growing one put the fan at risk of hives.
"Getting mad love from Grizz nation, Heat nation, Thunder nation and Rocket nation," Battier tweeted. "Let free agency begin!!!"
Well, not quite yet.
Provided that players and owners ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement as expected, the signing spree will start on Dec. 9th, the same day training camps open.
The class as it stands - before some teams use the new amnesty provision to cut a bad contract - has much less starpower than the 2010 class. And it offers little beyond Dallas' J.J. Barea to address the Heat's apparent point guard need. (Miami's Mario Chalmers, arguably the next-best option for teams after Barea, is a restricted free agent, meaning the Heat has three days to match any offer sheets).
Yet there are some unrestricted names at other spots that should intrigue the Heat, other than headliners Nene, Marc Gasol, David West, Tyson Chandler, Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson, all of whom figure to be staying put or heading to teams other than the Heat.
Samuel Dalembert, a defensive-minded center and part-time Boca Raton resident who would like to spend seasons closer to his native Haiti, would likely command the so-called "full mid-level exception" (four years, $20 million). That's a chip the Heat is expected to hold as a team that is over the salary cap but below the luxury tax.
The Heat can also split that exception between multiple players. And, depending on how the market plays out, there are plenty of "glue guys" at the swing positions who might be willing to take a portion, or even accept a minimum deal (at about $1.4 million per season for 10-year veterans).
In essence, those players would fill the roles of Mike Miller and James Jones, provided that Heat President Pat Riley chose to use the amnesty rule on Miller to avoid future-year luxury tax consequences and/or chose not to re-sign the sharpshooting Jones, who opted out of his contract over the summer.
Start with Battier, the mature, intelligent 33-year-old who helped the Grizzlies overcome the loss of Rudy Gay to pull a playoff upset over San Antonio. He makes plenty of sense in a support role: quality defender and career 38.5 percent three-point shooter who won't demand minutes or touches.
Plus, he's a Duke guy, which gives the Heat an "in," considering the strong ties between the organization and that program, where Heat managing partner Nick Arison was once a team manager.
The same would apply for fellow former Blue Devil forward Grant Hill. At 38, Hill is not as athletic as in his prime, but he's been much more reliable (missing only three games in three seasons), defending the opponents' best scorer and knocking down threes at a much higher rate than his prior norm. His voice also matches Battier's in heft, and he would be a calming force for a team always in a storm.
Hill's former Orlando Magic teammate Tracy McGrady, 32, would bring a different skill set. He's no longer a high-flyer, but last season in Detroit, he seemed to finally accept his injury-related limitations and put facilitating first. His presence along with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would allow the Heat to play without a traditional point guard, and to smother opponents with length on the perimeter.
For length in the frontcourt, Riley could take a run at an old nemesis, Tayshaun Prince. As the Detroit Pistons have slipped, Prince's numbers have stayed steady. He's still just 31, and he averaged 32.8 minutes last season, though he wouldn't play nearly that many here with James, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem ahead of him at forward.
Then there are three former All-Stars trying to make it back from serious knee surgeries: Caron Butler, Michael Redd and Josh Howard. Butler is a Heat organizational favorite (Riley drafted him 10th overall in 2002), but may command too much on the market. If healthy, Redd could take Jones' shooting role. Howard has had some off-court issues, but Riley did covet him in the 2003 draft.
It's possible that all will find Miami appealing. In that case, they will be the ones making the promises.