Tag: Chris Bosh

Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning doesn’t understand why LeBron James left Miami


LeBron James’ decision to go back to Cleveland in July rankled many in the Miami Heat organization, who couldn’t understand why he’d walk away from four straight Finals appearances and two championships. In an interview with SLAM, Heat legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning praised Pat Riley and the Heat’s cultural infrastructure and questioned James’ decision to leave.

SLAM: One of the really impressive things about the Miami Heat is how well the franchise takes care of its own. If you look at the moves the team’s made over the past half decade, whether it’s sticking with Coach Spoelstra when things were tough in the beginning, making sure to bring back DWade last summer, or even giving Michael Beasley another shot, Pat Riley shows so much love to guys who came up within the organization.

AM: That’s a Pat Riley thing. I think that’s the only way to do it, it really is. I think if you’re gonna be a consistent organization, you’ve gotta take care of your own people. You do. Every year, you can’t have turnover. First of all, Spo knows the culture—it’s just a matter of getting the guys to come in and buy into it. We had a great team for four years straight, and the reason why we had a great team was not just because we had the best player on the planet, it’s because we had the best team that bought into a culture. Everybody bought into this culture. After going to the Finals four years like that, I find it very difficult for individuals like we had to stop buying into the culture that got you four straight NBA Finals appearances. How do you stop buying into that? If you got there four years in a row, why not get back there four more times? And then four more times? Why not get back there 10 years in a row? It’s doable. And Pat Riley wasn’t gonna stop bringing pieces in to complement, you know? So why walk away from a dynasty?

SLAM: You gotta ask LeBron.

AM: [Laughs] Yeah. That’s the question. Why walk away from a dynasty when you have to go somewhere and rebuild, basically? Then you’ve got Kevin Love, who’s not happy at all. He’s outta there.

SLAM: It’s just different priorities, right? It’s the mindset that the NBA Championship isn’t everything, that there’s more to it than that.

AM: Evidently. It had to be. It’s very difficult to even think about walking away from something like that. How do you walk away?

That culture Mourning speaks of is exactly why it was difficult to imagine James leaving the Heat this summer, right up until he did just that. It was important for him to go home, and now that the Cavs are playing like title contenders, it looks like he made the right decision.

But it isn’t lost on James how important the Heat were to his growth. In his Sports Illustrated letter announcing his return to Cleveland, he likened his four years with the Heat to going to college in what it meant to his development. The organization has taken care of Mourning through years of health problems, and now they’re doing the same with Chris Bosh, who chose to return rather than take a better chance at a title with the Rockets.

Pat Riley found it ‘almost shocking’ Heat players let LeBron get to point he wanted to leave Miami


LeBron James is close with Dwyane Wade. LeBron is also close with Chris Bosh. In his Sports Illustrated letter, LeBron mentioned his bond with Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers.

But LeBron still left the Heat for the Cavaliers.

After four straight trips to the NBA Finals, which included two championships, LeBron assessed the situation and determined he preferred Cleveland. That surprised many of us, including Pat Riley.

The Heat president, who coached the Showtime Lakers, elaborated on his reasons for being caught off guard. They have as much to do with LeBron as his former teammates.

Riley, via Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

“That’s the most surprising thing for me, is how those…” Riley said, voice rising. “Generational teams stay together. The players stay together. They know what they have. They see what they’ve won. They see that there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment here, and they don’t want to leave that. You may never get it again.

“That was almost shocking to me that the players would allow that to happen. And I’m not just saying LeBron. I mean, the players, themselves, would allow them to get to a state where a guy would want to go home or whatever it is.

“So maybe I’m dealing with a contemporary attitude today of, ‘Well, I got four years here, and I think I’ll go up there for whatever reason I went.’ You know, the whole ‘home’ thing, I understand that. But what he had here, and what he had developed here, and what he could have developed over the next five or six years here, with the same team, could have been historic. And usually teams from inside…”


“It would be like Magic and Kareem and [James] Worthy, they weren’t going to go anywhere,” Riley said. “They had come at a time when there were free agents. They weren’t going to go. You think Magic was going to leave Kareem? You think Kareem was going to leave Magic? You think Worthy was going to leave either one of those guys, or [Byron] Scott or [Michael] Cooper? No, they knew they had a chance to win every year. And this team had a chance every year. So that was shocking to me that it happened. Now, could we have done more? Could they have done more?”

I salute Riley for this: He doesn’t come across as complaining. He – especially in the large context of Skolnick’s fantastic feature on the Heat president – seems to be just noting the differences between generations. Riley has always taken the high road with LeBron’s exit.

To a degree, I think this shift is due to an increased friendliness between teams. LeBron can join the Cavaliers – his hometown team, a team closer to a championship – and remain friends with his former Miami teammates. Some of LeBron’s relationships with those Heat players predate their NBA days, something less likely to happen years ago. These are friendships enhanced by sharing an NBA team, but not formed wholly from that.

So, yes, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott and Michael Cooper stayed together. LeBron left the Heat.

But that doesn’t make one way right and the other wrong. It’s just different.

Chris Bosh thanks fans in Miami

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat


Chris Bosh is out for the rest of this season — but will be back next season — due to blood clots on the lungs. He is out of he hospital and recovering, and on Monday night was in the AmericanAirlines Arena.

He met with the media earlier, but then before the game came out and thanked all the Miami fans for their support. It was handled well, as Bosh tends to do just about everything.

Five Things We Learned in NBA Monday: Just a reminder Anthony Davis is as good as anyone right now

New Orleans Pelicans v Milwaukee Bucks

If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while putting Clyde Frazier’s suits in a bracket to choose the best one

1) Anthony Davis is playing as well as anyone in the NBA. And he’s just 21. Anthony Davis is not going to win the MVP award this season because his campaign doesn’t come with a compelling narrative (I think Westbrook leads there) and the Pelicans likely miss the playoffs. But make no mistake, he’s played as well as anyone in the league this season and gotten it done at both ends. He showed it again Monday night, putting up a huge line against the Bucks: 43 points on 17-of-23 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, and a couple blocks. But more than that it was how he did it — he had 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the fourth quarter, taking the game over down the stretch by knocking down midrange shots (even showing off a floater) to get the Pelicans the win on the road. He is unreal.

2) Giannis Antetokounmpo just keeps getting better every day. The one guy who could try to challenge Anthony Davis for the “best young player in the game” title is the Greek Freak, and he put up an impressive line against Davis’ Pelicans: 29 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals, three blocks. He’s not Davis, and the Bucks lost, but Antetokounmpo is just fun to watch play the game.

3) Hassan Whiteside is going to get suspended for this. Also, Miami’s playoff dreams are fading. First let’s talk playoffs. This is what the loss of Chris Bosh for the season has done to Miami — they went from being a playoff lock to a team that, even at home, can’t beat the Boston Celtics. Those Celtics are another team in the playoff mix and they have been on a run behind Isaiah Thomas, who closed out this game brilliantly (and the Heat were without Goran Dragic to counter). Miami is just half a game out of the playoffs as of this loss, but watching them play it’s hard to see them catching Indiana or Charlotte.

As for Whiteside, this is his second immature skirmish of the past week, and this one is going to cost him a game or two.

4) The Wizards can beat a playoff team. Sure, it’s a tired Hornets team on the second night of a back-to-back, but the Wizards will take it. No questions asked. John Wall was using his speed to pressure the Hornets defense early. Marcin Gortat was fantastic in the paint (20 points). The Wizards needed a win like this; the question is can they build off it.

5) Even the Nuggets can beat up on the Knicks. Just a reminder that the best thing about the Knicks right now are Walt Frazier’s suits. Denver has been a franchise in disarray of late having lost 14-of-17 and firing their coach (although to be fair, they have played more free under interim coach Melvin Hunt),  but they owned New York — the Nuggets went on a 12-0 run late in the second quarter to take charge, outscored the Knicks by 16 in the third quarter and led by as many as 34. At least the Knicks are ensuring good lottery odds. But you can’t underestimate the amount of work that roster needs.

Chris Bosh should resume basketball activities in September, Heat announce

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks

Considering the potential danger, this is good news:

Chris Bosh should be back playing basketball next season.

Bosh is out for the rest of this season after doctors discovered blood clots on his lungs. He has been undergoing treatment, and the Heat doctors released this statement on Monday.

Chris Bosh will be re-evaluated this month, and if cleared, may begin regular exercise at that time with plans to start strength training next month. He is scheduled to resume full basketball activities in September.

NBA training camps usually open in early October. Based on other athletes who have had this same condition — such as the Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao — this should not impact Bosh’s game when he does return.

Bosh was having an All-Star season, averaging 21.1 points and seven rebounds a game. The Heat have struggled since he went down.

Speaking to the media Monday, Bosh said he was never afraid and always thought he’d be back on the court, as reported by Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“I knew I was going to play basketball again,” he said….

“I’m making sure that I stay patient and not getting too ahead of myself,” he said. “I’ve come to appreciate everything about basketball. It’s something that I love and will love forever.”

For now he’s just home, spending more time with his family and trying to get healthy, he said.