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Old 08-01-2017, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,642 posts, read 8,354,577 times
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Theory: The formation of the Big 3 in MIA was identical to the formation of the Big 3 in BOS

In the summer of 2007, Danny Ainge pulled off a heap by successfully trading for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and to bring them into the fold to join Paul Pierce on the Boston Celtics. For Ainge, it was a complicated process as he had to reach out to both Seattle and Minnesota to contact both players to get their assurance that they wanted to land in Boston. Once both Allen and Garnett gave Ainge their verbal commitments it became as simple as flipping assets to acquire two in-their-prime superstars to join a third one already in Boston.

In that manner, the formation of the Big 3 in Miami was identical to the formation of the Big 3 in Boston. Essentially one guy stayed home on his home team (Wade/Pierce) while the other two joined him there by their own consent. While LeBron and Bosh obviously exercised this flight during free-agency, they ultimately opted to allow their then incumbent teams to conduct a sign-and-trade for them, so that way Toronto and Cleveland would get some assets in return and wouldn't be left with nothing. Cleveland and Toronto acquired plenty of players and picks (for CLE those picks came in handy towards rebuilding).

I am writing this because I don't view the Kevin Durant to Golden State thing to be anything remotely similar to LeBron to Miami. When LeBron got to Miami, he had to learn to play and integrate with the coaching staff of 14 other players on that roster, same can be said of Bosh's transition, while Wade was the hometown guy and many of his teammates from the prior season were still on the roster and he already had time to develop chemistry with Spoelstra. Essentially, the Big 3 had to learn to play together and learn each others games, the same exact way the Big 3 in Boston had done.

In contrast, Durant's flight to Golden State didn't change much for Golden State. It wasn't like Curry had to learn how to play and integrate his game with Klay, Iguodala, or Draymond, they were already there and had years of experience at it already (and two NBA Finals trips to go for it, including the best regular season team record in NBA history). The only integration was Durant learning how to play with his new teammates and learning to play under Kerr. Everyone else in the core was already acclimated to the team's system and style.

Again, in contrast, the Big 3s in both Boston and Miami essentially had to create a team culture from the ground up, two thirds of each Big 3 had to learn a new coach, a new city, new teammates, and in both cases, Boston and Miami weren't much the year prior to the arrival of LeBron, Bosh, Garnett, and Allen. They were the reasons those two teams took that step forward into title contention and favorites to win it all. In 2009, the year before the Big 3 came together in Miami, the team was in doldrums, struggling just to make the playoffs and coming off years where it would miss the playoffs. Both teams went through a dark period before forming a Superteam. Same with Boston. On the flip side, Durant essentially joined a tailor-made contender that was already Finals bound with or without him and the heavy favorites to win it all, again, with or without him.

I'm not throwing any shade at Durant, he's my favorite player and I am not against mobility, but pointing out the fundamental difference between the two situations. I think LeBron takes so much flak for random things, one of them I have noticed is this "stacking the deck" and joining ready made contenders, no, LeBron essentially creates contenders from the ground up, he doesn't join ready made ones. In that sense, it is far more appropriate to compare the formation of the Big 3 in Miami to the creation of the Big 3 in Boston, or the Big 3 in Cleveland.

Golden State was an entirely different thing altogether and Durant is false for pinning what he did on LeBron doing it first. Fundamentally, what each of them did couldn't be anymore different.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:59 PM
 
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The Heat didn't really need that much chemistry to make the finals considering the two best players in the weaker east were on the same team. The '11 Heat pretty much had a full year to build chemistry (announcement on July 8th and finals began on May 31st).
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:12 AM
 
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Definitely different as it takes time to build some chemistry....often more than a single year when you change that many pieces around.

Miami started off something like 9-9 that first season together as they worked to find balance.

Definitely would have been a lot easier for Miami to gel faster if they'd already had Wade and everyone else there and just added Lebron.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:01 AM
 
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LeBron, Bosh and Wade played on the US national team together for years, so they had experience together. But they weren't a very natural fit as they were. LeBron had to learn to play closer to the basket, and he wasn't quite ready for that until his 2nd year in Miami. Bosh had to make a change from low post offensive machine to playing more like Rasheed Wallace -- after a year or two he became a very good defender and offensively started to play further out.

KG, Pierce and Ray on the other hand were a natural fit, so it happened much faster for them. As individual players, they weren't as good as the Miami folks, but they were a better trio in year 1.

As to Durant - LeBron, I was annoyed by both situations. But with LeBron, I was maybe more annoyed by his overall attitude during that move. He made that live TV show. He was supposed to be a smart guy and he turned into a Kardashian for a while.
Durant joined a 73 wins team that didn't win 2 in a row only because of injuries, so he could win 5 championships on this team and it wouldn't be equal to Dirk's one championship in my eyes.
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