The reign is over, and this is the month we take a deep breath, and move on.
Another NBA season is about to tip off, this one without King James in South Florida for the first time in four years. Miami Thrice – LeBron, Dwyane, Chris – made an indelible impression on and off the court, winning titles and the hearts of millions in the community with their game and their generosity.
It was exciting, it was invigorating. But the clock inevitably runs out on all good things in the sporting world. Thrice was nice while it lasted.
James is gone, yet there’s comfort in knowing we can still cheer for the most loyal member of the Heat. D-Wade, remember, won a title before the King’s coronation and could conceivably help win another for Miami before his ex-teammate collects a crown in Cleveland.
Now we can put all the hyperbole and hoopla behind us and get back to the pure joys of basketball. It was the great New York Knick and former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley who said he was attracted to the game by “the sound of the swish and the sound of the dribble.” He also noted that part of the “beauty and mystery of basketball rests in the variety of its team requirements. Championships are not won unless a team has forged a high degree of unity, attainable only through selflessness of each of its players.” (Did someone say “San Antonio Spurs”?)
All sports fans love a winner, none more than those in South Florida. How much the Heat miss LeBron will be reflected in the standings; how much Heat fans miss LeBron will be revealed by the reception he receives when the Cavaliers visit Miami on Christmas Day.
As for D-Wade, the Heat and their fans, nothing would please them more than to hear the swish of success again.