Tag:Udonis Haslem
Posted on: March 8, 2012 1:52 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 11:00 am

Heat make pitch for Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is being lobbied by NBA players. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

Dwyane Wade lobbied to bring in LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami in 2010. Now, Wade and James are trying to bring in another superstar to Miami: Peyton Manning. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“I’m just sayin’,” LeBron said. “Dolphins need a quarterback, and Peyton’s available.”Later, I asked LeBron if he was trying to recruit Manning to Miami.

“Oh, you guys heard me?” he said with a smile. “I gave my pitch, my one and only pitch. We’ll see what happens.”

Are the two superstars friends?

“No, not a friend of mine,” LeBron said. “But I’m a Miami Heat player, and I want Miami sports to be great: The U, the Dolphins, the Marlins, the Heat, of course.

“Peyton Manning is a great player,” LeBron continued. “No matter what happened this past year, his resume speaks for itself and it would be great to have him down here.”
via LeBron makes his one and only pitch for Manning to be a Dolphin - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.

 And from the Palm Beach Post:
“I’m already working on that,” Haslem said. “I’m thinking Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. If we can work that out, we’ve got big Brandon Marshall, then we’re on our way. We got a solid defense. So, if you all hear me, Peyton and Reggie, you know what I mean, wink, wink, make it happen.”
via Ready to share spotlight: Heat stars pushing for Peyton | Heat Zone blog: Miami Heat & NBA news | The Palm Beach Post.

And from the Twitter account of Dwyane Wade himself:  
I'm just gonna put it out thr..peyton that number 18 wld look gr8 in a dolphins uniform..steve ross let's go.. marlins & heat style..All in
via Twitter / @DwyaneWade: I'm just gonna put it out ....

It says something about the immense power of the NFL that a quarterback returning from multiple neck surgeries is being publicly courted by NBA players. There's obviously no concern of tampering since the players are unconnected to any NFL team. But if Manning were to head to Miami to play for the Dolphins, that would be a lot of star power in what is not considered a large market. 

Manning is clearly the biggest story in sports right now after parting ways with the Colts as they get set to move forwards with Andrew Luck. You could say Luck is the Colts' Kyrie Irving. Except the Colts wanted to move on and the Cavs were left devastated. Also, when Manning left the Colts on national television, the Colts agreed with it and saw it coming.

Should Manning elect to join the Dolphins, there's going to be even more dislike for South Beach as a sports city. In that regard, maybe it's a match made in heaven, the Triad and Manning.
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 6:49 pm

Miami Heat release 'The Wait Is Over' hype video

Posted by Ben Golliver

With their Christmas Day season opener just a little more than three weeks away, the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat have released a preseason hype video to set the tone for the 2011-2012 NBA season.

The 96-second clip dubbed "The Wait Is Over" opens with a burning basketball graphic before flashing highlights of LeBron James and Chris Bosh dunking, Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller hitting jumpers, Joel Anthony blocking a shot, Udonis Haslem completing an alley-oop and a bunch of team hustle plays. The graphic ends with the words "Are you ready? Let's go Heat."

It's pretty typical "hype video" fare, although it's interesting to see that Miller, who is rumored to be waived via the amnesty clause, is included. Since he's currently under contract and it would have probably been assumed he was gone if he wasn't included in the video, it does make sense that he made the final cut. His highlight can always get edited out in the future (just like his roster presence in real life!).  

The tagline "The Wait Is Over" references the anticipation the Heat bring into the season following a devastating loss in the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, but it also seems to be a nod towards the end of the lockout. Heat owner Micky Arison was fined $500,000 by the NBA when he made comments saying that fans shouldn't blame him for the labor impasse, implying that he was ready to end it and get back to work. 

Given that Miami is the odds-on favorite to take home rings in 2012, their excitement is totally understandable. As always for the Heat since the Big 3 came together, the task is delivering substance in the wake of the monstrous hype.

Video uploaded by YouTube user thedwade3333333.

Hat tip: IAmAGM
Posted on: December 1, 2011 1:47 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 2:00 pm

Heat's Miller out 2 months after hernia surgery

Posted by Ben Gollivermike-miller

NBA practice facilities finally opened on Thursday morning, and Miami's opened with a bang.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem told reporters that Heat forward Mike Miller underwent hernia surgery during the lockout and is expected out for an extended period of time as he recovers.

"They say 8 weeks, but I'm not a doctor," Haslem said, according to ESPN.com.

A 2-month absence would keep Miller out of training camp, preseason, and roughly the first month of the NBA's regular season.

The Heat were already facing a decision on whether or not to amnesty Miller, who struggled with injuries last season and averaged just 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances. A solid all-around forward when healthy, Miller is an intelligent, hard-working floor-spacing and ball-moving threat. But he plays the wing, where Miami is fully loaded, and is set to $5.4 millon this year with a contract that runs through 2014-2015.

The best arguments for keeping Miller would be that he is primed for a bounce-back year from near career-lows in every category and that the thin Heat need his veteran reliability on a roster that obviously lacks depth after the Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But if he can't get on the court for nearly half of the abbreviated 2011-2012 season, those arguments go straight out the window. An ultra-patient argument could be made that the Heat don't need him until the postseason anyway, but the injury list is so long at this point it gets harder and harder to justify waiting.

For billionaire Micky Arison, swallowing the money still left on Miller's contract isn't that bitter of a pill, especially because Miami can re-allocate those cap dollars to a Mid-Level Exception target like free agent Samuel Dalembert, among others. The Heat don't have any other terrible contracts for whom they would want to save the amnesty clause for later, so the table is set for a swift, clean break.

Miller, for his part, recently put his house on the market, so he's clearly prepared if the Heat do pull the plug.
Haslem on recovery time for Mike Miller's hernia surgery.
Posted on: June 14, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 3:20 pm

Heat partied with Mavericks after Game 6?

Posted by Matt Moore

See, when people question their will to win? This is what they're talking about.

Reports surfaced Monday on 790 The Ticket in Miami that some Heat players joined the Mavericks on Sunday night while the new NBA champs partied on South Beach (photos!) after their Game 6 win. One trusted member of Mavs media confirmed that Erick Dampier was one of the Miami members in attendance, along with unnamed others. 

Just so we're clear on this. The Mavs trash-talked you all series long, dashed your title hopes, put even more criticism on your squad, celebrated on your floor and then in your city, and you go party with them? Nice chemistry guys. A few assorted thoughts:

  • The Big Three reportedly were not part of the celebration, but would it surprise you in the slightest if they were? Would that shock you in any way? If LeBron James had gone down there to party with JET, it would have been just more delight for the millions of people that took abject glee in the fall of the Heat and James in particular. It's a good thing they didn't head down there as far as we knew.
  • On the flip side of this, I tried explaining to people how much of this entire process is theatrics. Do the Mavs and Heat organizations like each other? No. Do Dirk and Wade get along? Probably not. But it's not personal, and all of these players consider themselves part of a brotherhood of players. Once the buzzer sounds, most of them are friends with one another. We like to think of these as blood rivalries like the one that existed with the Celtics and Lakers of the 80's but things aren't like that. Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant are buds, though they try and keep that one quiet for PR purposes. That said, KG would never celebrate with the team that defeated him.
  • How does one make that decision? "Well, I just lost the NBA Finals. What can I do? I guess I'll go out, since I live in Miami. Hmm. Maybe I should go drink and dance with the guys that just made me look like a group of slugs offensively and shut us down on our own floor. That sounds fun! Surely no one will see me!"
  • There likely won't be repercussions from this for Maimi, but there should be. Players that partake in that kind of behavior shouldn't be allowed to return to the team. Dampier is old enough to where he probably doesn't care, and after so many years in Dallas, you can understand him wanting to see his guys celebrate. But at the same time, one of the Heat's biggest issues this year was chemistry, and having guys who aren't fully committed to the organization is part of that. 
  • It's an insult to Chris Bosh, who was emotionally wrecked after the loss. Say what you want about Bosh, he played his face off in the postseason and wanted to win badly. He cared. 

(HT: BDL via PBT)
Posted on: June 13, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:13 pm

Rick Carlisle and strategic believing

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- The word "believe" is one that pretty much passes through me these days. I mean, it couldn't get more cliche, could it? It's said so often in sports, it has the same impact as "points" or "effort." It's nothing more than an overused phrase that players and coaches use to deflect the conversation into the most bland terms. It doesn't actually mean anything. 


All series long, all  playoffs long, all season long,  Carlisle has preached the word "believe." When asked about their resiliency in coming back from fourth-quarter deficits time and time again, Carlisle would talk about how the team believed. When facing a 2-1 deficit going into Game 4 against the Heat, Carlisle said they needed to believe in themselves. And each time I rolled my eyes. They don't actually think this. It's about strategic adjustments, and about focus.


But then there's Shawn Marion, screaming his face off in a tiny visitor's locker room that reeks of sweat and stale champagne, running his mouth constantly but pausing to talk about Carlisle.

"Coach just told us to keep believing in ourselves," Marion said, "and that's what we did. We believed in this team." 

Then there's Ian Mahinmi, basking in the glow of finally contributing in a meaningful way on his way to a championship, just two years after he left the NBA D-League. I asked him what it was that gave Carlisle the ability to get all these role players, to get every single player to be ready to go full bore and make the right plays at a moment's notice. 

"He just kept telling us to believe in ourselves. Going into a game like this, there's so much pressure, you don't want to be the one to make a mistake, and he just kept telling me how much he believed in what I could do."

The tenth guy on the roster, and he's ready to go because Carlisle had him believing it. Carlisle was asked by a bombastic reporter to talk himself up after Game 4 and simply laughed the question off. He refused to take any credit, even after it was his strategic decisions that helped the Mavericks shut down the best talent in the league, even after it was his motivational work that got a team of players who are quite honestly old to be the first to the ball every time. Carlisle still wouldn't take his bow. 

Carlisle in his post-game comments credited "the collective toughness" of his team, Dirk Nowitkzi, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal, ownership, everyone but himself.  The man had just finished off one of the best postseasons of any coach since the turn of the century, and done it with an aging roster and using players like a 5-10 (if that) former D-League player and a throwaway from the Caron Butler trade (oh, yeah, and Butler was injured). And he still wouldn't take credit. 

Don't be mistaken, Carlisle's tactical adjustments were the key to this series. Starting J.J. Barea and providing that initial burst of speed allowing Stevenson to guard James late as a backup to Marion and putting together a pick and roll defense strategy against one of the best combinations of talent this league has ever seen, those are the strategic elements that brought the Mavs the title. They were always going to get an amazing performance from Dirk Nowitzki

There was a possession in the second quarter of Game 6. After Tyson Chandler beat his man once again to the offensive rebound and the possession reset, Jason Kidd went around a wing pick, and when the double came, immediately slung the ball to J.J. Barea. For the Heat, or most teams, really, this is either a contested three from Barea, a dribble probe, or some other individual effort with the clock winding down. Barea instantly slung a sidearm pass to a cutting Shawn Marion who went right to the basket, his defender back screened by Chandler. It was cohesive, it was flawless, it was the type of play you need veterans for. But more importantly, that play requires a coach to drill consistency and an understanding of teammates in. There was no improvisation, it was a practiced set that worked to perfection, performed by players that understand the sacrifice and devotion to the team concept that can lead to real success.

After the play, Carlisle merely nodded his head, acknowledging the good work, then turned his attention to the defensive end.

After so many years of good work in Indiana and Detroit, it finally came home for Carlisle Sunday night. He adds his second ring, his first as a coach, and even in the presser, he didn't bask in the warm glow of his greatness like so many coaches at the top of the Western Conference outside of Texas would. He just credited his players and sat back amazed at what this incredible group of players had accomplished, in his mind, for him. Hopefully somewhere he knows just how much of a hand he had in it. There's talk today of the Mavericks' future with aging players and what tomorrow brings. But with Carlisle at the helm, the Mavericks will always know what they're getting, what they got this year that rewarded them with a championship: a winning coach that understands the way the game should be played.  

And a guy who made believers out of everyone.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 4:25 pm

Five offseason questions for the Heat

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- They didn't win it all. They came up short. And so the Heat are left asking themselves questions today. Why didn't they get it done? What went wrong? And what can they do to fix it?

Reality is, they were two games short of an NBA title and the way the series went, they can kick themselves quite a bit for blowing it. Dallas was absolutely the better team and rightful winner, but remember: The Heat blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead and had Game 4 in their grasp before faltering late again. So it's not like they have a thousand mile road to walk. They're at the gates. They've just got to break through.

But here are five questions they'll be asking this offseason.

1. What's missing?
Obviously the weakest link on the team is the point guard position. The Heat tried out Carlos Arroyo, Mario Chalmers and eventually Mike Bibby before coming back to Chalmers in Game 6 of The Finals. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade handle most of the playmaking responsibilities, but they need someone reliable and responsible to run the offense well and defend his counterpart.

So much the reason the Heat's offense bogged down in big spots was because there wasn't real chemistry or cohesiveness on the court. That could be remedied by having a solid floor general next to LeBron and Wade to make sure each set is ran properly. Chalmers isn't a horrible option, but he's a really strange player. One second great, the next horrible. And consistency is extremely key here.

2. Is Erik Spoelstra the right man for the job?
My opinion (because who else's would it be?) -- yes. There's absolutely no reason to give up on Spoelstra just because of the way The Finals played out. Everyone wants to find a reason for the Heat's demise, and while Spoelstra certainly has blood on his hands, if LeBron hadn't disappeared, Miami would probably be planning a celebration today or at least practicing for a Game 7.

Spoelstra is still one of the youngest coaches in the league and considering all that he managed and had to work through this season, I'd say he did a pretty terrific job. So much outside distraction, so much drama. But Spoelstra took his team -- which has a ton of talent of course -- to within a couple wins of a championship. Could he have done better? Duh. But there's a lot of blame to go around with the Heat. Just like the Mavericks won as a team, the Heat lost as one, top to bottom. Continuity is a good thing and pinning it all on Spoelstra simply isn't fair.

3. Is there something structurally wrong with the roster?
Yes, absolutely. Not in terms of Wade and LeBron not fitting together. But just in terms of vision. Pat Riley, for as good a job he did in constructing this monster of a team, sort of panicked and didn't stick to his original plan of filling out the roster with young talent that can grow alongside Wade, LeBron and Bosh. Instead, he sort of panicked and started piling up aging veterans at minimum contracts.

I mean look at the back end of that roster. Jamaal Magloire, Erick Dampier, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Eddie House, Mike Bibby, Juwan Howard -- that looks more like a group that should be playing in a Saturday morning men's league, not the NBA Finals. That's half the active roster too.

Riley needs to scrap the veteran plan and look to find some young talent to develop that fits around his big three. Players that can adjust, adapt and improve as they go along. A really nice core is there. Bosh, Wade, LeBron, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and even Joel Anthony can be a good piece. But the Heat need talent, not older guys trying to sail one last championship. There might be some growing pains to go through next season if Riley went that direction, but that's what LeBron, Wade and Bosh are for. They can carry you through while the young guys figure it out.

4. What's the offseason plan?

Say goodbye to all the expirings. Just let them walk right out. Peace out Mike Bibby, Zydrunas Ilgauskas (he's retiring anyway), Jamaal Magloire, Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier and even Mario Chalmers. I'd let them all go. Eddie House and James Jones both have player options so you have to think they'll exercise those.

But between Miami's top six players, they have almost $67 million tied up. So figuring out how to fill in a roster around those guys will be a challenge. And a lot of where their future goes depends on the new collective bargaining agreement. Assuming the system stays somewhat similar to what we have now, a couple veteran minimums and a then younger players that can develop. The Heat don't need a ton of depth. There's a flaw in the plan because they need a good point guard and they'll never have the money to get one, but that where Riley's got to earn his money. Go find one.

5. Are they the favorites in the East again?
Right next to the Bulls, absolutely. It'll likely be a three-team race between the Heat, Bulls and the aging Celtics. Orlando could make some noise and the Hawks aren't terribly far off. Even the Knicks could challenge for that four-seed with a full season of Amar'e and Carmelo.

But the Heat simply have the most talent in the conference. There are issues on the roster -- big ones -- but that should tell you how talented Wade, LeBron and Bosh are. They were able to win 58 games and reach the NBA Finals in spite of all those flaws. They need a little more help and a little more structure to the team, but there's absolutely no reason this group can't find themselves right back in The Finals again.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 2:45 pm

Governor Kasich: Mavericks are 'Honorary Ohioans'

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, declared the Dallas Mavericks "Honorary Ohioans" after their 2011 NBA title. Posted by Ben Golliver. john-kasich

Revenge for "The Decision" now bears an executive seal.

John Kasich, Governor of the state of Ohio, took the unusual step of honoring a team with no geographical ties to his jurisdiction. On Monday, one day after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, Kasich's office released a press release noting that the governor had issued a resolution that declared that the Mavericks, their friends, family and fans are now officially "Honorary Ohioans."

Why would he do this? Retribution, of course.

The Heat were led by Ohio native former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who opted to take his talents to South Beach last summer rather than return to play for the Cavaliers. In return, fans in Ohio booed him mercilessly during his two return visits to Cleveland and openly rooted for the Heat to get bounced from the playoffs.

The resolution specifically praises Dallas' "loyalty, integrity and teamwork" and specifically praises Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki for choosing to re-sign with the Mavericks last summer. Kasich's resolution bears the official seal of Ohio, bestows upon the Mavericks "all privileges and honors" that goes with the title "Honorary Ohioans" and is signed at the bottom.

You know who definitely finds this hilarious and awesome? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who issued his own decree on Sunday night. 

Below is a small version of the official resolution. Click here to read the whole thing.

Hat tip: IAmAGM.com.

Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 1:44 pm

DeShawn's shirt: 'LeBron, How's my Dirk taste?'

DeShawn Stevenson wears a shirt that says, "Hey LeBron! How's my dirk taste?" Posted by Ben Golliver. stevenson-shirt-small

After poking and prodding Miami Heat forward LeBron James throughout the 2011 NBA Finals, Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson got in one final shot following Dallas' NBA title. 

The Mavericks closed out the series on Sunday night with a 105-95 win in Game 6 before taking to South Beach club LIV to celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy.  

On Monday, the Mavericks flew home to Dallas, where Stevenson was spotted wearing a Mavericks blue and white t-shirt with lettering that read: "Hey LeBron! How's my Dirk taste?"

That slogan is an obvious reference to a Shaquille O'Neal freestyle rap. O'Neal used the line, "Hey Kobe, tell me how my a** taste" to mock his former teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant.

To add a play on teammate Dirk Nowitzki's name here is incredibly inspired work from Stevenson, who may well have created a legacy for himself as "The Guy Who Got Into LeBron's Head Completely" in these 2011 NBA Finals.

The most underrated part of this shirt is that it bears the sponsorship of HDNet, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's television station. It's almost like Cuban is personally endorsing the joke.

Picture via BallinWithBryan on YFrog.
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