- Report: Bucks aimed great deal of frustration at Mike Budenholzer after they lost to Heat in last year’s playoffs
- League executives and scouts agree that the Miami Heat will be the toughest out in the play-in tournament
- Erik Spoelstra vows to play Udonis Haslem before season ends: ‘I’m going to make it happen’
- Report: Miami Heat to be without Jimmy Butler for Tuesday’s game vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Udonis Haslem balks at thought of Kevin Garnett being as ‘tough’ as Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan
- Udonis Haslem issues strong statement on Miami Heat trying to avoid ‘silly’ play-in tournament
- Jimmy Butler calls reporter ‘sorry a-s’ for asking if Miami Heat are worried about tough remainder of schedule
- Jimmy Butler admits he’s ‘praying and hoping’ that Miami Heat are going to play their best basketball at right time
- Bam Adebayo claims he deserves DPOY consideration: ‘I float under the radar because I’m not a big name in this NBA’
- Jimmy Butler gets game ball for making NBA history after Miami Heat beat Charlotte Hornets
5 Things to Look Forward to in Miami’s Christmas Day Matchup
- Updated: December 25, 2014
1. LeBron James Returns to Miami
“I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”
James made his announcement live on ESPN during a broadcast of a program dubbed “The Decision,” which was devoted exclusively to this moment. James’ defection from his hometown franchise in blue-collared Cleveland to the stylish and splashy team from South Florida reverberated throughout the NBA and the sports world.
Teaming up with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and a mix of young talent and veteran experience, the James-led Heat went on to win 224 of 312 regular season games between 2010 and 2014 and made it to the NBA Finals four straight years, a feat not accomplished since the Boston Celtics in the 1980’s.
Most importantly, Miami added two Larry O’Brien trophies to their collection.
The Heat’s nearly unprecedented run of success owed much to the other-worldly talent, skill and athleticism of James, who averaged 26.9 points, 6.7 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game in his four seasons in Miami.
On July 1, 2014, James hit free agency again, and ten days later he penned an essay for Sports Illustrated in which he revealed his intention to leave Miami and rejoin the Cavaliers, signing a two-year $42.1 million contract. Once again, James had teamed with two established or budding superstars in power forward Kevin Love and point guard Kyrie Irving to form another “Big Three”.
While LeBron’s decision to leave the Cavaliers four years ago sparked outrage and resentment in Cleveland, his parting from Miami provoked a decidedly less passionate response. Heat fans may have been surprised or even shocked to lose James on the heels of a fourth straight appearance in the Finals, but at least his Heat jersey was not burned in effigy in the streets of Miami.
Now, how will James be received by the fans at American Airlines Arena? As a returning hero, or as a traitor?
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