This is not a surprise. If you’re a Heat fan, you should’ve expected this. The bigger surprise would have been if LBJ opted into the deal. That would’ve been a shocker and bad for business.
In order to “retool” the roster as Pat Riley stated in his rant the other day, the Big 3 all need to opt out and take less money to get better players.
But if the players are going to take less money, owner Mickey Arison has to be willing to venture into the luxury tax zone. The meetings between the Big 3, Riles, and Arison are going to be critical to the Heat’s future.
All of these guys took pay cuts to get guys like Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller on the team. When push came to shove, Arison and Riley cut Miller because Mick didn’t want to pay any luxury tax. If I’m part of the Big 3, LeBron especially, Arison is going to need to assure me that he’s all about winning and not making a profit.
They took pay cuts to win and Mick got cheap and let a key member of the team go in order to save money.
If I’m LeBron, that decision flies in the face of all of the rhetoric Riles was spittin’ the other day about sticking it out and having guts. Don’t talk about family, having guts, and sacrifice when the owner cuts a key player to save some cash.
Arison is going to have to put up or shut up in order to keep this trio together.
In the end, I believe LeBron will stay in Miami and the team will do all possible to build a winner.
But I also never thought LeBron would sit on TV and utter the now infamous phrase “I’m taking my talents to South Beach”, so take that for what you will.
Its all a guess, but I’m guessing the King remains in South Florida, otherwise Heat fans will be falling out on Ocean Drive and not from the alcohol…
– N.D. Face