The Miami Heat’s Big 3 era not only brought two NBA championships to South Florida, it changed the trajectory of the entire league.
According to a recent report, however, Heat team president Pat Riley considered signing either Amare Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer a year before the creation of the Big 3, which would have likely made acquiring both LeBron James and Chris Bosh impossible.
The revelation came in an article by Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, who wrote about Dwyane Wade’s dominance during that era. He also discussed how it was Wade who discouraged Riley from pursuing other free agents knowing that James would soon be available.
“He was a terror, averaging 28.4 points, seven assists, 4.9 rebounds, two steals and 1.2. blocks those two years, leading the league in scoring (30.2 points per game) in 2009,” he wrote. “But with the chance to make James his teammate, he advised Riley against acquiring Amare Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer, moves that would’ve brought the Heat closer to contention.”
Wade spoke on the matter, stating that while Stoudemire or Boozer could have been valuable additions, they would not be able to help earn Miami a championship like James could.
“If we make the move [to bring in talent before 2010], it could be good for us, but will it take us where we really want to go? When we all talked about it, it wasn’t,” Wade said. “We didn’t feel it was, so we wanted to be patient and not make a move that would take us out of that window when we got the Big Three era. I had to be patient.”
The Heat’s ability to sign both James and Bosh proved that patience often pays off. In the four years that Wade, James, and Bosh played together, Miami advanced to four NBA Finals and won two championships.
There’s no way of knowing what the Heat would have accomplished if they would have signed either Stoudemire or Boozer, but it’s quite unlikely they would have experienced a level of success anywhere similar to what the Big 3 achieved.