Posted on: June 13, 2011 8:30 pm

LeBron James: Life Coach

James said. "Because at the end of the day, all the people that were rooting for me to fail, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that."

LeBron, you are absolutely 100% correct, with the exception being the NBA play-off talks around the water cooler at work was up beat because you lost, nothing about my life changed.  However, if you had won a ring this year nothing about my life would have changed either.  I wish that I were a reporter in that room, because I would have asked a follow up question- "LeBron how would the lives of your supporters have changed if you would have won?"

But if I were to respond to James as a fan my response would be this:

You're right.  If I were to work until I'm ninety, I'll never see even a fraction of what you make in a year.  No one will ever ask for my autograph, chant my name in a sports arena or buy merchandise with my picture on it.

Just as you will never have to worry about if your car brakes down how you will pay for the repairs, or whether or not your job will go over seas or just shuts down completely. I'm sure that you don't care if gas prices go up a few pennies, or hope that the Sunday newspaper has some good coupons for things that you buy.

My highs would never impress you.  Light traffic to and from work, getting two candy bars from the vending machine when I only paid for one, winning a few Bucks on a scratch off lottery ticket etc...  

No I'm like millions of people that use sports as a distraction for a few hours, I get caught up in the emotion of the game, pulling for my favorite teams/players and hope for the worst for the teams/players I dislike.  After the final buzzer, last out or time expires I go back to my life.

LeBron you winning or losing has no effect on the lives of your haters, your supporters or anyone in between lives.  So let me leave you with this, if my life didn't change by you losing, then why did you act like the fact that I hoped that you lost every game you played in effect yours? 

Category: NBA
Posted on: May 29, 2011 9:47 am

Stopping the Miami Heat

Let me ask you a question, if you're a NBA coach and was about to play the Miami Heat in the play-offs, how would you defend against them?  Double teaming one of the big three would lead to the other two beating you.  Maybe you could hope that Miami has and off night, or the refs could come up with a few phantom calls on your behalf, or your team could shoot seventy percent from the field.  Regardless of what you come up with Miami has an extra gear that you don't have, leaving you to hope for things that are out of your control to happen in order for you to have a chance.

It might be possible that your front office will put together a deal in the off season that gives you your own big three.  Or in some wild twenty team trade, your team gets Durant, Paul, Westbrook, Griffin and Love, just because they thought it would be cool to not only play together and win a championship, but get to be the starting five on the all-star game as well.

I don't believe that coaches will have to spend the off season locked in a video room looking at game film trying come up with some defense to stop the Heat.  That job will be taken care of by the owners in the new CBA.

The NBA isn't shy about coming up with new rules if it feels that an unfair advantage is being had.  George Mikan used to park himself under the basket and score at will with a devastating hook shot.  Because of this the NBA widen the free throw lane and added the three second rule.  Wilt Chamberlain wasn't an exceptional free throw shooter, so he would throw the ball up and then run up and dunk the ball.  This is why a player cannot cross the plane of the free throw line when shooting a free throw.

Miami's downfall will come in the way of a salary cap.  The 58 million dollar soft cap will go the way of the dodo bird in the new CBA, replaced by a hard cap.  The number that the owners have thrown out to start the negotiations with is 46 million.  This number will most likely get raised, so for the sake of this exercise let's split the difference and say that the cap will be set at 52 million phased in over time and in place for the 2014-15 season

The first problem the Heat will have is getting in position to be under the cap, due to the amount of money owed to James, Wade and Bosh.  The trio are due to make:

2011-12: $47,557,000

2012-13: $52,114,000

2013-14: $56,671,000

If the contracts ended there Miami would be fine but James Wade and Bosh have player options for 2014-15 and 2015-16 worth $61,228,000 and $65,785,000 respectively.  So even if the cap is sixty million, Miami would have to try to convince the big three that it might be nicer to play some place else.

This leads to another problem, by this time the Heat will have won a few rings, so the three will be playing for money.  Add to this the fact that no other team would take on a contract that would pay one player approximately 42% of their cap space, not to mention that other owners might not be too eager to help Miami out of it's predicament.

I don't believe that Micky Arison or Pat Riley expected (or cared) about the nation wide backlash that was caused by James, Wade and Bosh coming together would cause.  They were just doing what every team in the NBA is doing, trying to win a championship, by adding the best players they could get.  But in my opinion, Arison had to know the financial problems that many of the owners in the league were having.  You can't tell me that sitting around with other owners with a glass of Glenmorangie ( I would have said Jonnie Walker Blue, but I think that if you own a NBA team, you probably drink a better brand of scotch) that when the subject of the CBA came up, a hard salary cap had to have been mentioned.  Which makes me to wonder why would you leave yourself so exposed by giving three players such large and lengthy contracts?

Overall David Stern is liking the ratings that has been generated by the Miami Heat, however I think that he also knows that if he keeps handing the trophy to the Heat year in and year out, he will lose those same ratings.  So Stern will do what many of his predecessors have done, make the changes so that those that have a head and shoulders advantage over other teams is brought down a notch.

Category: NBA
Tags: Miami Heat
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:50 pm

Miami and the new CBA??

On April 21st I wrote a piece titled "The Miami Heat can't win", in a nut shell I said that history will judge the Heat in a negative light, no matter how the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh fare together in Miami. I also added that the upcoming collective bargaining agreement would be used to punish the big three..

Now while I said it tongue-in-cheek, and don't really believe that the owners and GM's will exact some vendetta against the Miami Heat in the next CBA. I do believe that if the owners are serious about fixing the money problems that exist, the next NBA season could be shortened or nonexistent.

Even though the NBA has been wildly popular this year, David Stern has said that the league will lose around 300 million dollars this year. Add that with Adam Silver, NBA deputy commissioner projecting that only eight of the thirty NBA teams will turn a profit, it's not hard to imagine that the owners might have their heels dug in pretty deep on changing the financial culture in the league.

Just look at some of the things that Stern has thrown out as starting points in the upcoming labor talks.

- 750-800 million in salary reduction league wide.

- Hard salary cap

- Lowering the percentage of basketball related income the players receive.

- Contraction

Now while these are starting points and there will be some give and take during negotiations, it's clear we're not talking about small issues to overcome.

I look at the issues and see, that while not intentional, the Miami Heat could be hit harder than some teams.

Take the salary reduction topic, if the number is dropped in half to 375 million that's still 12.5 million that Miami has to find to eliminate from the pay-roll. Something tells me the kid that mops up the sweat from the floor doesn't make that much.

Another thing that could hurt Miami is a hard salary cap. Here is what James, Wade, and Bosh are owed for the next three seasons:

2011-12: 47.5 million

2012-13: 52.1 million

2013-14: 56.6 million

2014-15: 61.2 million*

2015-16: 65.7 million*

(* player option)

That's quite a bit to be paying three guys on your team, in fact looking at payroll on other teams only Miami has this much money tied up in three players. Now while the Lakers owe Bryant, Gasol and Bynum 59.1 million next season, L.A. has a team option on Bynum and Odom for the 2012-13 season so they could help themselves on payroll after next season.

Even without knowing a dollar amount, a quick look at payroll of every NBA team shows that Miami would have the most problems working under a hard cap.

I admit that I'm speculating on what could come out of the new contract talks and how it could impact Miami, but I don't think that I'm going that far out on a limb with the line of thought that I'm on.

Posted on: April 21, 2011 10:26 am

The Miami Heat can't win.

After following the Miami Heat all season I have come to the conclusion that they can't win. No I don't mean that they won't win the championship this year, looking at the teams that Miami would probably face only the Bulls could challenge them in the East. The West doesn't have anyone that would make me want to go to Vegas and plop down a boat load of money on.

No the thing that Miami will lose to is history. Let me put fourth two scenarios that may or may not happen, but wouldn't take a stretch of the imagination to see coming true.

Scenario 1- Miami wins the championship this year.

Most fans in the basketball community will yawn and say "So what, if you have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh you have no excuse not winning it all." Others will claim the the Heat bought themselves a title and will diminish the achievement.

Another problem that could arise is the up coming labor talks and impending lock out, or as future NBA historians will call it "The Collective Bargaining Agreement to crush the Miami Heat." I believe that there are owners and GM's that are still seething over what the the big three did and want to make sure it can't happen again. I mean after all, it's one thing if the owners and GM's put together a super team, but it is another if the players dare to do it.

If Miami wins it all this year, I could see a situation that some of the owners would be willing to lose the entire 2011-12 season, just make sure that James, Wade and Bosh are another year older before they see the court again. Can't you?

Scenario 2- Miami doesn't win the championship this year.

The first thing that would happen is the anti-Heat fans would throw a party that would surpass any Marti Gras thrown in New Orleans. In fact I think that as long as the big three are together the Heat Haters will will act like the '72 Miami Dolphins and crack open the champaign every year the Heat are eliminated from the play-offs.

The next thing every sports writer, blogger, sportscaster and that guy sitting next to you at the local bar will denounce the 2010-11 Miami Heat as the biggest failures in sports history.

The owners will feel that they dodged a bullet and as I said in scenario 1 will make sure that the new CBA will hamper Miami's chances to win a title as much as they can.

Overall I feel that whether or not the Heat wins one, several, or no championships they will not win the battle against the history that will be written about them.

Posted on: November 27, 2010 10:10 am

Is it now or never for the Miami Heat?

If the Miami Heat fail to win the championship this year, the task could become even harder in years to come. There is a looming threat far bigger than the Lakers, Celtics or the apocalyptic plague that some of the country wishes upon the Heat. The biggest threat to the Heat could be what comes out of the new labor agreement.

The gulf that divides the owners and the players is extremely wide and if no progress is made when the two sides meet in February, a lock out could be unavoidable. The length of the work stoppage would be determined on how deep both sides have their heels dug in on certain issues, but the one issue I think the owners will not budge on is the hard salary cap.

Currently the NBA operates under a soft cap, so in theory there is a salary cap in place, but once you factor in all the exceptions it is rare for a team to actually operate under the cap.

Miami could be the biggest loser if a hard cap comes into existence in the NBA. With the basketball season an eighth of the way over glaring weaknesses have come to light in the Heats game, need for a point guard, lack of an inside game. I guess that’s what you get when you let players pick the teams. Without knowing what is going to come out of the new collective bargaining agreement Miami’s front office is limited on how they address these problems.

Currently Miami is paying James, Wade, Bosh and Miller 48.2 million dollars for this year alone, that is for four guys. If a hard cap comes into place that could be anywhere from three-fourths to two-thirds of your allowed salary. What is Miami going to do for a bench to support these guys?

Again without knowing what is coming out of the CBA, I know that I’m just thinking out loud about things that might not come close to happening. But you have to admit this year might be now or never for the Miami Heat.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or