We’ve been telling you what has been going on with the Heat the last couple days, but here are the words of the men themselves at Heat media day in Miami Monday. Before they headed off to an Air Force Base training camp.
If you like messin’ with Sasquatch, then go to an Orlando Magic practice and start asking questions about the Miami Heat. Pretty much the same reaction.
Orlando general manager Otis Smith led the “hey, maybe they should play a game before we anoint them” cries, as reported by FanHouse.
“They’ve got three, and we’re solid 1-12. Until they start playing the games, it’s just a team on paper.”
And the collection of quotes just goes on-and-on.
“I got tired of the Heat as soon as LeBron James announced he was going to Miami,” scoffed Magic center Dwight Howard Monday…
“ESPN is like ‘all Heat, all the time,’ ” remarked Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. “This isn’t about us getting together for training camp and the theme is we have to beat the Heat. That’s ridiculous. There are a lot of good teams. They aren’t the standard bearer.”
“We will see each other down the line in the playoffs, and that will take care of itself,” said Magic guard Vince Carter.
For all the talk now, the playoffs — which don’t start for seven months — will be the testing ground. During the season teams don’t get a lot of time to really prep for each other, during the playoffs there are far more adjustments. There is a better ability to isolate weaknesses and go after it.
Can the Magic run the Jameer Nelson/Dwight Howard pick and roll, spreading the floor with shooters that keep Miami’s big three from really helping, and beat the Heat? Can Boston just overwhelm the Heat with defense and a physical front line? Are the Lakers still just deeper and better than everybody?
The answers don’t come until May at the earliest. Until then, we’re just messin’ with Sasquatch.
Enough with the speculation, let’s roll the balls out on the court and play. Finally.
That was the core of what LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh said when they sat down in front of the press at Heat media day Monday in Miami (televised on ESPN).
They sat down with Wade in the center.
“It’s seems like a year since last July,” Wade said. “There’s been a lot said and a lot done since then. So we’re happy, finally, to get to the basketball side of things.”
They were also clear about the goal — LeBron said it was not championship or bust, “just championship.” As for his past and all the things said about him this summer?
“For me, I’m moving forward…” James said.” It’s funny how things happen in life and how people react. A lot of people try to tell you what to do in life, and a lot of them don’t have their own life in order. I thought that was funny.”
The most prominent criticism came from Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, who said they would never team up with their rivals.
“I make my own decisions,” James said. “I still respect Mike, I still respect Magic, Charles… “They did a lot for me. They paved the way. But I can’t live through those guys.”
They are three of the most talented players in the league, but some have questioned how they would mesh. They don’t.
“We came here to play together, we came here to play as a team,” Bosh said. “People are taking the individualism a little too much. We’re going to be good players, but we’re all going to play together. That’s the point”
Well, that and to have a little fun.
“We’re going to have fun. We’re going to make sure we have fun,” Bosh said. “Whatever it takes to win, that’s the part we have to grind out.”
The Heat start the grind of training camp tomorrow up at Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, up on the Florida panhandle.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said that the focus the first day of camp will be on defense. Because he’s smart. With this roster the Heat are going to score plenty, but if they are going to seriously contend it will be about the defensive end of the floor.