What Did It Cost Them?
It is no secret that the Miami Heat won the championship thanks to premier talent. Miami's "big three" got paid for it too. Chris Bosh and LeBron James made $16,022,500 in salary for the year and Dwyane Wade made $15,691,000. Although these salaries will not make anyone feel compelled to start a charity for the big three, they did give up significant money to make this team happen. Had LeBron James signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers or any other team without an established superstar two years ago, he would have set himself up to be the highest paid player in the league. James potentially could have made up to $10 million more this past season had he chose to. LeBron realized that his chances of winning an NBA championship would drastically increase by joining the Heat. No one can argue that giving up millions of dollars for an NBA championship proves that LeBron truly cares about winning. The source of LeBron's desire for winning is up for debate, it could come from competitive spirit, his lasting legacy, or the need to "shut the haters up." Although we may never find out where the desire comes from, we do know now that LeBron has the monkey off his back, yet he still has a lot to live up to thanks to the big three's coming out party.
Now that the big three have won a championship, many will question what the potential for this team is in future years. The big three are still rather youthful with a 28 year old Chris Bosh, a 27 year old LeBron James and a 30 year old Dwyane Wade. There are no signs of the big three breaking up anytime soon. Another contributing factors to the championship this year was the role players stepping up. In game four of the NBA finals, Mario Chalmers stepped up with a big 25 point performance. In the closing game five, Mike Miller scored 23 points that helped the Heat win their first championship in the "big three era." With rumors of the Heat looking to acquire a veteran point guard and Miller's injuries making his playing future uncertain, the team could have a different look when it comes to role players. Even with a few potential changes, the big three will keep the Heat in prime position to win it all again next year. Early odds for the 2013 NBA championship puts the Miami Heat as favorites at 11/4 odds.
When LeBron James made his decision to "take his talents to South Beach" he was ridiculed greatly. He did not help his image when he failed to step up in the 2011 NBA Finals. After a dominating performance in the 2012 NBA Finals, James may have helped to better his image among fans league-wide. At the end of the day though, it really does not matter what anyone thinks about LeBron James or the Miami Heat. The Heat are 2012 NBA Champions, and fans all around the NBA can only hope for their team to have a parade. (Check out the right hand side of the video at the 18 second mark)
Statistics from espn.com, cbssports.com