If you read our weekend post listing the best of the worst things said about the Heat this season (most now laughable), here are two more:
"LeBron doesn't have any clutch genes. LeBron James is made for the regular season. Come postseason time, he's the most overrated, overhyped superstar in my history in this business." -- ESPN's Skip Bayless, during the playoffs.
"They have flagrantly failed to live up to expections. They're certainly not winning an NBA championship." --- ESPN's Stephen A. Smith during the playoffs.
For 15 more fun quotes, see our post from 2 posts ago.
Mike Miller said he will meet with Dr. Barth Green on Tuesday to help come to a decision about having back surgery. He said there's a better than 50/50 chance he needs it but is trying to avoid it. If he needs it, he's not sure if he will retire and he's also not sure if he would be able to play next season. If he doesn't have the surgery, he said he will play next season. He said he has been diagnosed with multiple bulging discs.
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In case you couldn’t see the Heat’s midday celebration Monday inside AmericanAirlines Arena, here's what (most) everybody had to say (And, why again, was Mike Inglis interviewing Eddy Curry and Dexter Pittman?):
LeBron James: “This is the best feeling I’ve ever had in my basketball career. This was my dream – to be able to hoist the Larry O’ Brien trophy up – hug it, grab it, never let it go. To do it with such an unbelievable organization, unbelievable teammates, unbelievable fans. It’s unbelievable.”
Told by Jason Jackson that Akron is his hometown but he should never leave here, he said: “I’m here. I’m here.”
James heard all the jokes: “No matter if I heard, ‘Give LeBron a dollar. He’ll only give you 3 quarters.’” In spite of that, “they came to see us perform, came to see us live,” James said. “That’s why I call us the Heatles.”
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Dwyane Wade, who has a watch sponsorship, gave watches to Erik Spoelstra, Pat Riley (actually, to his wife Chris, “because you’ve got too many watches”) and owner Micky Arison.
Wade, on Spoelstra: “The only thing he used to be able to do was the Christmas videos when I first got here. Then I said, ‘Who is that guy who does the videos?’ Then he was an assistant coach. Then he wore big long ties, trying to do Pat Riley knots. Now he’s our coach. A championship coach.”
Wade, when he brought Riley to the stage to give him a watch: Before the 2003 draft, “there was a lot said about me being 6-4 on a good day. A lot about where I would go in the draft. I was a tweener, all that nonsense. Being picked fifth by the Miami Heat, thinking I would go 20 something, was one of the great days in my life because it showed someone appreciated me. Every day, I come here trying to show my appreciation by giving my all.”
Wade, when he brought Arison on stage: “Unbelievable owner. Mr. Arison, if I had to say one thing: 2010 was a tough summer for a couple guys in here. Tough decisions to make. Where are you going to spend the rest of your career? I wanted to be a part of my family. I’m from Chicago and that’s where my family is. When I thought about it, I said my family is in Miami. I thank you for making me family, treating me like family, it means so much to me. It means so much to the guys who came here in 2010.”
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### Wade: “The joy that this trophy brings us all is amazing. This one feels a lot sweeter [than 2006]. All the hard work, the sacrifices. It means so much to us to celebrate this championship with this city and these guys.”
### Chris Bosh: “This fits me. It feels right. It feels like how it’s supposed to be. I would like to do it all the time.”
### Bosh said coming back from his abdominal injury “meant everything to me. Just sitting on the couch watching the games, I said, ‘When I get back out there – I’m not going to leave anything to chance. I’m going to play my heart out and play as hard as I possibly can.’ Coming back to this building [tied 1-1], I knew with the most confidence in the world [Oklahoma City] wasn’t going to make it out of here.”
### Heat president Pat Riley: “We are just talking about how different one year makes. I don’t want to talk about last year, because it’s gone, a distant memory. But everyone dug down deep. It’s about the players. It’s always about the players.”
### Owner Micky Arison said six words: “Thank you, Miami. We love you.”
### Udonis Haslem: “I’m changing my name. I’m not Mr. Miami. I’m Mr. two-time.”
### Mario Chalmers, on the verbal abuse he takes from teammates: “It’s tough sometimes, but you got to keep fighting. That’s my motto. You got to keep fighting through everything. Norris [Cole], you’re going to go through the same thing I did, little bro.”
### Shane Battier, on Mike Miller: “We wouldn’t be here without him playing NBA 2K on the court in Game 5.”
### Miller told Riley: “Thank you for not putting me behind a barn and putting me to sleep.”
### James Jones: “My dream coming into the NBA was being drafted by the Heat. That didn’t happen. But I will retire as a Heat player. So my dream came true. This has been the greatest experience of my life.”
### Battier: “This is a true team. Everybody knows if we played our roles, we’d be the best team.”
### Juwan Howard: “We shocked the world. We won this ring for the Michigan Fab Five.”
### Terrel Harris: “I’m lucky. I came to the right place.”
### Ronny Turiaf: “I only speak when I don’t have to speak in front of 15,000 people.”
SPOELSTRA'S NEWS CONFERENCE
Highlights from Erik Spoelstra's press conferences afterward:
### “That’s the dream we’ve all been living for – the parade on Biscayne Boulevard. It’s surreal. As many fans as far as you can see – it’s incredible. In 2006, I had to jump on the back of somebody’s pickup truck.” This time, he sat on the front of the bus with his 5 ½ year old nephew. “You want to be part of a team that matters,” he said.
### Spoelstra, looking back at his Heat career: “I’ve worn so many different hats. Some of the players have known me as the workout guy. Some knew me as the stat guy. Some knew me as the guy who cracked on everybody in the Christmas video and didn’t know I had another job. Some knew me as the video coordinator. It’s interesting all the jobs I’ve had over the years.…. I’ve learned so many things in 17 years working for Pat and Stan Van Gundy. The most important thing is managing personalities and getting them on the same page. That’s the part I find the most fascinating.”
### Spoelstra, asked if the questions about his ability and his players will disappear now: “A part of me said that will be a part of our world. It’s the world we’ve lived in for two years. You just become so accustomed to it. My family tells me all the nice things they’re saying. I almost kind of cringe when they say it. Won’t it still be the lightning rod? The players saw the authenticity and integrity of my messages, and it allowed us to have a real connection and a level of trust.”
### On the future: “You have a moment like this and you have thoughts of being greedy. You want more. Nothing is guaranteed. The competition that will continue to get better, that will drive us. If we don’t get better, we’ll get worse and teams will pass us.”
### Spoelstra had a black trophy made to scale – he didn’t even tell Riley about it: “It was a covenant we made to each other - the coaching staff and player - that we would commit to a handful of things each and say to each other. We signed our names to make sure we brought those things to the table. If we didn’t, we wouldn't have a real opportunity to win and play for the title. When we weren't, the trophy would come out and we would remind ourselves we signed our names and we're not being true to it.”
### Spoelstra said: “We’re so thrilled for LeBron because of all the unjust criticism. He has proven he’s a transformational, once-in-a-generation player. There is a brilliance to his game. And you add his work ethic and thirst to always get better. When you’re the best player in the world and still want to get better, that’s inspiring to the rest of us.”
### Spoelstra said coaches don’t have time to celebrate this week because “this is an important week. Free agency is coming up. I'll be the voice of reason in a handful of weeks to make sure we reel it back and the celebration doesn't go too long... I looked at the [draft and free agent] board and realized how far behind I am. I have a lot to catch up on.”
Note: Please see my last post for news from Wade's and James' news conferences late Monday afternoon. Wade talked about the possibility of knee surgery and hiring a shooting coach. James talked about why Bosh's injury was a good thing, in retrospect.