In doing stories for our Heat commemorative section that runs Wednesday, I took a look back - to refresh my memory, to get a chuckle - at some of the comments made by the analysts about the Heat as this season was unfolding. Here are a bunch that stand out that should amuse many of you in retrospect:
“My problem with Miami is they don’t have a will to win. Boston is stronger mentally, executes better.” -- ABC/ESPN’s Magic Johnson, during the Celtics series.
“Your teammates look to you to dominate at the most crucial time. When are you going to realize this is important?” – ABC/ESPN’s Magic Johnson, speaking about LeBron James late in the regular season. Johnson, as noted on ESPN’s web site archives, also said several months ago that the Heat will not win the championship because James and Wade are such close friends.
“They don’t have the personnel. Maybe LeBron was right. They won’t win 1, 2, 3, 4. They won’t win any.” -- ABC/ESPN’s Jon Barry during the Indiana series.
“LeBron James and Dwyane Wade don’t make each other better. They don’t complement one another.” -- ABC/ESPN’s Jon Barry, uttered several times this season.
“They’re front-runners. They point fingers at each other when things don’t go well. They can't be trusted. I'm done with them.” -- ABC/ESPN’s Jon Barry, during the Celtics series.
“They’re not better than a year ago.” – ABC/ESPN’s Jon Barry, during the regular season.
“They still need pieces to be a championship team. They’ve never addressed the center position. They have no interior presence. Not a lot of depth. Teams that win have great depth. There’s no real calling card. What do you know that you’re going to get out of the Heat on a nightly basis? You don’t quite know what you’re going to get. The great teams, you always know what you’re going to get.’’ -- ABC/ESPN’s Jon Barry, hours before the NBA Finals started.
“When Shaq and I said the Celtics would win in six games, there is a reason for that. LeBron and Dwyane play great but they don’t need each other. They don’t have enough diversity in their offense…. [And] Miami would have trouble against Western Conference teams.” --- TNT’s Kenny Smith, after the Heat fell behind 3-2 to Boston.
“These other guys on Miami – you all know you get a paycheck, right? Feel free not to back up to the window with a blindfold on.’’ -- TNT’s Charles Barkley, after the Heat fell behind 3-2 to Boston.
“If it goes six games, Indiana is going to win. If it goes seven, Miami is going to win.” – TNT’s Charles Barkley, before the Heat-Pacers series that ended with Miami winning in six.
“I don’t feel they’re well coached. This team needs somebody with the credibility to kick them in the butt and make them perform and make them play with intensity. A Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, somebody of that ilk. Erik Spoelstra is just in over his head. He never should have been put in charge of this situation. Doc Rivers is coaching circles around Spoelstra, just like Rick Carlisle did last year.” – ABC/ESPN’s Chris Broussard, during the Celtics series.
“This team is soft. This is not a tough team.” – ABC/ESPN’s Chris Broussard during the Indiana series.
"They failed LeBron a little. It's starting to look like what happened in Cleveland. Look at how they spent $20 million - on Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier isn't playing that well. He went to Miami to get some help and he hasn't gotten that. Nobody is beating the Spurs. They will roll through Miami." -- Grantland's Bill Simmons, early in the Heat-Celtics series.
"You can't win five against eight. This game is one of the all-time jokes. I'm so disgusted by this game and the league as a whole." - Grantland's Bill Simmons, an unabashed Celtics fan, after Game 2 of Heat-Celtics.
Couple caveats: In Barkley's defense, he picked the Heat against the Celtics (when Shaq and Kenny Smith did not), and consistently expressed his admiration for LeBron. Magic also couldn't have been any more complimentary about the Heat and LeBron as the Finals unfolded. And a FEW of the analysts' criticisms were justified at the time they made them, with regard to the bench play and the team's handling of late-game situations. But some comments, as we've noted in a previous column, were simply absurd (including Magic's will-to-win and too-good-friends remarks).
We'll post the Sunday buzz column later Saturday night.