Watchability: Wade, Bosh in spotlight for Heat

As LeBron James leaves, the Heat are in better position than the Cavaliers were in 2010.

      
 

 

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Chris Bosh Appears on ‘The Ellen Show’ as a Guest DJ

Miami Heat star Chris Bosh made an appearance on The Ellen Show as a guest DJ this week, and he did it in typical Bosh fashion.

Bosh’s debut on daytime television started off with the cameraperson having trouble fitting the 6’10″ basketball player in the frame. Bosh promoted his line of “Mr. Nice Tie” neckwear and seemed pretty comfortable bantering with host Ellen DeGeneres.

An appearance like this gives fans a glimpse into Bosh’s personality off the court. For that, we are thankful.

[The Ellen Show, h/t USA TODAY's FTW]

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Chris Bosh Uses His Photobombing Skills on Matthew McConaughey at the Emmys

Chris Bosh gets paid the big bucks for what he does on the basketball court, but if he could get paid for photobombing people, he could make a pretty good living doing that.

The Miami Heat star took his photobombing talents to the 2014 Emmys. It doesn’t look like actor Matthew McConaughey was ready for what Bosh was bringing to the event.

Bosh didn’t do anything silly like he has done with his Heat teammates in the past, but his presence in the background was enough for him to earn a passing grade. 

For those who want to see more of what Bosh wore to the Emmys, here you go:

[ESPN, Chris Bosh; h/t Next Impulse Sports]

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Chris Bosh photobombs Matthew McConaughey

Bosh gonna Bosh.

      
 

 

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Chris Bosh photobombs McConaughey at the Emmys

Sometimes, a picture says it all. Sometimes, a picture says more than words. This is one of those times. Enjoy Chris Bosh photobombing Matthew McConaughey. Chris Bosh photobombing Mathew McConaughey at the #Emmys on @eonlinepic.twitter.com/qDKhKEAEQk — Jorge Sedano (@SedanoESPN) August 25, 2014 And, enjoy it again: Sometimes, life is great. [Jorge Sedano] Follow Sean Wagner-McGough on Twitter @seanjwagner Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

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Chris Bosh photobombs on the Emmys’ red carpet

Sometimes, a picture says it all. Sometimes, a picture says more than words. This is one of those times. Enjoy Chris Bosh photobombing Matthew McConaughey. Chris Bosh photobombing Mathew McConaughey at the #Emmys on @eonlinepic.twitter.com/qDKhKEAEQk — Jorge Sedano (@SedanoESPN) August 25, 2014 And, enjoy it again: Sometimes, life is great. [Jorge Sedano] Follow Sean Wagner-McGough on Twitter @seanjwagner Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

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Kevin Love Instantly Gives LeBron James Something Chris Bosh Never Could

LeBron James left Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat behind because he wanted to play with younger talent, save northeast Ohio and right the wrong of his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010—in some order.

Playing alongside Kevin Love, a big man with skills that exceed Bosh’s in a number of key areas, would be a pretty nice bonus as well.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports confirmed the whispers that had been floating around since before James even officially rejoined the Cavs, reporting Love would soon be in Cleveland as part of a blockbuster deal sending Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-rounder to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It’s easy to think of Love and Bosh as similar players, as both spread the floor and fit the mold of next-generation stretch bigs. But those similarities exist only on the surface. A deeper look reveals just how much more Love brings as a sidekick to LBJ.

 

Bombs Away

Bosh made a leap as a perimeter threat last year, firing off a career-high 218 triples and hitting 74. Prior to last season, Bosh’s career high in attempts was 74. In hitting 33.9 percent of those threes, Bosh proved he was evolving into exactly the kind of perimeter threat teams covet in the frontcourt.

Love, though, is already the paragon of that player type.

He pumped in 190 three-point shots on a whopping 505 attempts last season, good for an accuracy rate of 37.6 percent. Opposing defenses worry about Bosh’s outside shot; Love’s jumper is an anxiety-inducer of an entirely different sort.

Not only that, but also Bosh’s improved accuracy was just as much a result of his own hard work as it was the wide-open looks he enjoyed while playing for one of the league’s best passing teams. Love, on the other hand, attempted far more shots in far worse offensive circumstances. He drew the attention of entire defensive game plans, whereas Bosh was more of an afterthought.

Despite all of that, Love was more efficient. Imagine what he could do with James attracting attention.

 

Giving Back

Love won’t just mooch off James next year. He’ll also return the favor in a way Bosh never did: by moving the ball.

“I don’t even really care about the 26 [points] and 12 [rebounds], I care about his basketball IQ. His basketball IQ is very, very high,” James said of Love, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.

Don’t be mistaken: Bosh was never a poor passer with the Heat. And his assist percentage cracked double digits in his final five seasons with the Toronto Raptors, per Basketball-Reference. As was the case with outside shooting, though, Love is simply more skilled than Bosh.

That’s because the Heat big man isn’t the only player whose game has evolved. Love, who spent his first five seasons putting up passing numbers very much in line with Bosh’s career marks, made enormous strides as a facilitator last year.

In racking up an assist percentage of 21.4 percent, per Basketball-Reference, Love nearly doubled his previous career high. No surprise, then, that he racked up 4.4 dimes per game in 2013-14. While it’s true the Heat’s offensive system rarely called for Bosh to make a play, it’s hard to argue he could have equaled Love’s distribution output under any circumstances.

When you also note that Bosh’s and Love’s career turnover percentage is nearly identical, Love’s value as a passer stands out all the more starkly.

 

And Then There’s the Rebounding

Shooting and passing aside, Love has crushed Bosh’s production on the glass throughout his career. Bosh took some heat last season as his rebound average stayed below seven per game for the second straight season, but it’s probably not fair to say he’s an outright poor rebounder.

Miami moved Bosh away from the bucket with increasing frequency over the past four years, effectively eliminating many of his chances at easy boards. When looking to defend Bosh’s rebounding decline, that has always been the first piece of evidence.

Love, though, proves perimeter bigs can still do work on the glass. He averaged 12.5 pulls per contest last season. And though an increasing percentage of those rebounds came on the defensive end, we know Love can be a beast on the offensive boards when he’s in position.

For proof, we need only look at his first two years in the league—seasons in which he spent almost all of his time in the lane. He led the NBA in offensive rebound percentage in both of those years, per Basketball-Reference.

The caveat, of course, is that Love’s refusal to defend often leaves him in excellent rebounding position. He’s not alone; David Lee has been padding his rebound totals the same way for years. Bosh is a far more active and committed team defender than Love has ever been, and his rebound chances suffer because he doesn’t give up easy buckets in hopes of snaring a miss.

That’s not to say all of Love’s boards are cheapies. He grabbed 4.9 contested rebounds per contest last year, third in the league according to SportVU data provided to NBA.com. Nonetheless, not all of the differences between Love and Bosh weigh in favor of the former.

James will likely find himself missing his former running mate on defense.

Tyson Chandler, NBA scout extraordinaire, has the book on Love:

That’s a small price to pay for everything else Love brings, though.

 

A New Toy

On paper, and by virtually any comprehensive statistical measure (PER and win shares, in particular), Love is a better player than Bosh. The fact that Love is also four years younger can’t be ignored either. What remains to be seen is whether James’ new teammate can adapt as effectively as his old one did.

That’ll be a tough act to follow, as Bosh completely altered his game to fit within a unique Heat system that was built to maximize James’ strengths. We don’t know if Love can be as effective when he doesn’t get the sheer volume of looks a No. 1 option typically enjoys. And he’s not known for contributing in ways that don’t show up in the box score—particularly on defense.

Ultimately, there’s a lot Love can give James that Bosh couldn’t. But there’s also something James will give Love: a chance to prove his gaudy stats actually represent a skill set that leads to wins.

If Love makes the most of that opportunity, he and Bosh, for all their differences, may eventually end up sharing something in common: a championship trophy earned as James’ sidekick.

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LeBron Abandoning Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh Could Be Worse Than ‘The Decision’

The long forsaken sports city betrayed by its favorite son. Fans taken to streets with $100 jerseys and cans of gasoline. A public-relations nightmare from which its principal player was only recently redeemed, absolved, it seems, only by the sheer grace of his game.

Even four years later, The Decision—its conception and its execution—continues to haunt LeBron James. For many, it remains the single-most pernicious pock on what has otherwise been a colossal career.

The Decision was, in the simplest possible terms, a terrible idea.

Abandoning Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh—the two for whom James first risked all—might be worse.

The headlines are, by now, omnipresent: As first reported by ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, James expects to receive no less than the league’s maximum salary as the four-time league MVP fields offers during the NBA’s free-agency period.

As a pure economic exercise, James’ demand is entirely logical: In the 11 years that he’s been in the league, the 29-year-old has yet to rake in the league’s highest one-year salary. That he deserves it goes without saying.

As a political maneuver, LeBron’s gambit couldn’t be more Machiavellian.

This isn’t about whether or not James deserves the max. He absolutely does. Nor is it about having the freedom of movement—however limited—afforded by the league’s collective bargaining agreement. If anything, it should be less restricted.

Rather, LeBron’s power play represents a nefarious nexus between a superstar’s disregard for past transgressions on the one hand, and a flippant willingness to jettison one’s recent success—not to mention the relationships wrought from said success—on the other.

Lest you claim such a judgment broaches the boundary between analysis and personal morality, let’s take stock of what we mean when we say “fandom.”

We root for players and teams because we want those players and teams to win. Players, on the other hand, operate according to an altogether different calculus, one where pay, place and personal relations are all brought to bear on one’s decision-making.

The further afield players trend from winning for the sake of itself, the more closely sports begin to approximate a business—not just in practice, which they most certainly are, but in spirit as well.

LeBron certainly wouldn’t be the first player in NBA history (or in any other professional sport, for that matter), to demand what’s his and let the subsequent chips—of roster fit and franchise prospects—fall where they may.

He is, however, the one player whose legacy could lose or gain the most depending on how he approaches the coming days.

The claim isn’t that LeBron should take a pay cut just to stay with Wade and Bosh, to more effectively and sustainably retool a now blank-slate franchise. His max demand could be a red herring for any one of a million reasons to leave Miami.

Instead, it’s worth asking whether what we once believed to be James’ understated humbleness—wielded through many a post-Decision interview and in his initial Big Three pay cut itself (via ESPN.com)—might’ve been a mirage all along.

And while Heat president Pat Riley probably wouldn’t put it in such accusatory terms, his comments at a recent press conference underscore something of a generational rift between James and his front-office overseers, per Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk:

This stuff is hard. And you’ve got to stay together if you got the guts. And you don’t find the first door and run out of it. We’ll find out what we’re made of here. It’s not about options. It’s not about free agency. There’s just looking around the room now and finding out who’s going to stand up. This is time that you go home and take care of yourself and look at yourself and what are you going to do to come back and make the team better? Because we have a tremendous opportunity here for long-term success. But don’t think we’re not going to get beat again. So, just get a grip, everybody. That’s my message. That’s my message to the players.

That Riley’s remarks didn’t succeed in swaying James outright only proves just how serious the King is about controlling the discourse.

Per Windhorst’s report, only seven teams boast the cap space necessary to offer LeBron the max: the Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic.

Four of those teams are assured lottery fodder. To be sure, while one could make the argument that any team—no matter how down and out or youth-laden—would become an instant playoff threat with James at the helm, it’s safe to assume the process would be anything but an overnight success.

That leaves three teams with either the pedigree or player core capable, with James in the fray, of contending immediately. And even that’s being generous to the Lakers, slated to return just three players next season: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre.

What James’ insistence on a maximum payday amounts to, then, is either a statement of his long-neglected worth or—as ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst reported back in June—a way of ratcheting up the pressure on Heat owner Micky Arison to retool the roster. Even if that means forcing Wade and Bosh to take their own haircuts:

[James] follows the league closely. He talks to people. He knows the salary cap and is intelligent and business savvy. He has been through this before. He’s not afraid to make big changes. He badly wants to win more titles and is concerned about his legacy. He thinks long term about money. He thinks short term about winning but is also extremely pragmatic.

And nothing about basketball scares him.

Most importantly, he doesn’t care what anyone says or thinks anymore. He is simply going to do what makes him happy and gives him the best chance to win. He was strong in 2010. He’s much stronger now.

“Pragmatism,” in this case, may refer to a recent report by Windhorst suggesting James may be looking for a shorter deal, albeit for max money.

At this point, one can’t help but wonder whether LeBron’s idea of flexibility isn’t akin to championship carpetbagging: of taking his talents wherever the winds are most favorable.

That logic might yield him an extra championship or two, but as a far as his legacy’s concerned, it’s hard to imagine LeBron doing more damage—or assuming a more polarizing place in the NBA pantheon—than with this fair-weather philosophy.

By abandoning his South Beach brethren, knowing whichever team he chooses will have to fortify on the fringes, LeBron risks coming off as a blatant opportunist—the very notion he’s spent every sweat-soaked second of the last four years trying to bury.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with James chasing championships, of riding the carpool lane all the way to Springfield. In a way it’s what we, obsessed as we are with rattling off ring counts, have tacitly demanded of him.

Just don’t be surprised when going it alone gets him pulled over by the public.

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Agent refutes report about Wade, Bosh taking big pay cuts

Earlier on Tuesday a report surfaced that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had signed contracts with the Miami Heat for reduced amounts of money in order to give the team room to improve under the salary cap. The report made a lot of sense and was largely expected. But later in the day Henry Thomas, the agent for both Wade and Bosh, refuted that story. The original report claimed that Wade had accepted a four-year deal in which he would earn $12 million in the first year, while Bosh had inked a five-year deal beginning with an $11 million salary in 2014-15. Thomas has now publicly claimed that report was false. Wade and Bosh both opted out of the final years of their contracts and the theory has been that they planned on re-signing with the Heat for less money so the team could add pieces to the roster and improve it. While the Heat made the NBA Finals this year, they were absolutely exposed by the San Antonio Spurs. Without improvements there was no way they could hope to win titles, an…

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Heat Rumors: Latest on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Kyle Lowry

The Miami Heat have some retooling to do this offseason after losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, and with pretty much nobody under contract at the start of the offseason, things could be much different in South Beach next season.

After two NBA championships in four years, the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are all without contracts. 

All three could technically find new homes (however unlikely that may be), and that would drastically change the landscape of the NBA. There’s already stuff in the works, however, so Heat fans shouldn’t start getting upset just yet.

Below, you’ll find the latest rumors regarding the franchise.

 

LeBron James

The game’s best player is on the open market, and that means there will likely be a bidding war for his services. Prior to 2010, he signed with the Heat without a max contract. That won’t happen this time around, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

“Teams that contact James will be informed that he wants no less than the maximum salary number for next season, sources said. The max number for James is projected to be about $20.7 million.”

There are certainly going to be many teams lining up to offer James a max deal. ESPN’s Chris Broussard tweeted about two teams that might be in the mix:

Obviously, there are others.

James could always go home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Miami is probably still the front-runner. They offer James the best chance to go back to the Finals. Even though Norris Cole is the only one under contract, Miami will still put a competitive roster on the court next season.

Many players from last season’s team will return, and that will help lure LeBron back.

It will take a grand sales pitch from another organization to steal James from the Heat.

 

Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh

Speaking of bringing talent back, the Heat may already be gearing up to bring back Wade and Bosh:

If those two take pay cuts, the team can sign James and still have money left over to make some moves. Guys like Shawn Marion and Vince Carter would be stellar fits, and they’ll have the money to spend if they want to make it happen.

Wade’s decision to opt out should have led us to believe that he’ll be back for another run at the title. At this stage in his career, Wade isn’t worth the money he was making. By opting out, he accepted the fact that he’ll be making less money in order to have a chance at winning.

Miami needs all the help it can get. Wade can’t be relied upon heavily anymore, so a trio of Bosh, James and Wade really isn’t a Big Three any longer. It’s still three talented stars, but Wade’s knees are quickly diminishing his abilities on the hardwood.

I like the idea of bringing all three players back if Wade and Bosh take less money. The Heat need some flexibility to make moves.

 

Kyle Lowry

Mario Chalmers and Cole were adequate last season. Chalmers will probably walk in free agency, and Cole could be dealt for cap space. That leaves Shabazz Napier as the only point guard on the roster, and it would create a need for another signing.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that Miami could be gearing up to make a run at Kyle Lowry:

Lowry was a big reason for the Toronto Raptors‘ success last season, and he has established himself as one of the best point guards in the NBA due to his recent play. Of course, that means he’s in line for a big contract.

Assuming Wade, Bosh and James return, it will be very hard to fit in Lowry’s contract and sign more depth. Lowry himself might have to take less money than initially planned in order to play for Miami.

Throwing Lowry into the mix would be a great move for the Heat, as he is the perfect facilitator to distribute the ball between the three stars. I love this move if it can be made.

 

Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR

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