2000s NBA superstar discloses Heat’s Big 3 had grand plan to unite in New York before James Dolan made huge mistake

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Former Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, who made three All-Star appearances in the 2000s, claimed that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were planning on teaming up on the New York Knicks instead of the Miami Heat at one point before a major blunder from Knicks owner James Dolan ruined their plans.

“When Dwyane Wade, Bosh and LeBron decided to team up, they was not playing in someone city so they can all be fresh,” Arenas said of the trio’s intentions to join forces in New York. “So they were planning on going to New York together. And what happened is because they didn’t tell anyone, Dolan made a mistake by paying Amar’e Stoudemire.

“They didn’t want to play with Amar’e Stoudemire because they had they own goddamn Big 3. So, because New York f—– it up, they called Micky [Arison] and say, ‘Hey, Micky. This is what we wanna do. Can you make it happen?’ And then made it work — if you knew what was going on then, you would have known New York dropped the ball because of — they offer Mike Miller all that money because they knew Mike Miller was part of the group. Miami stole him. [Udonis] Haslem rejected his deal once he got wind — took the pay cut, signed last to come back. They were all moving together.”

The Knicks signed Stoudemire — who was fresh off a season where he averaged 23.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a member of the Phoenix Suns — to a five-year deal worth approximately $100 million in the 2010 offseason. The latter part of Stoudemire’s time in New York was derailed by injuries, but he performed at a level that few players at his position matched in the 2010-11 campaign, his inaugural season with the Knicks.

He averaged 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest across 78 games played during the 2010-11 regular season. Stoudemire — who helped the Knicks to their first playoff appearance since 2004 — also scored 30-plus points in a whopping nine straight games in his maiden season in New York.

But after his splendid 2010-11 regular season, Stoudemire never played in more than 65 games in any single season in New York, and the Knicks won just one playoff series during his stint with the team.

The collective success that the Heat enjoyed with James, Wade and Bosh on the roster suggests that Dolan made the wrong decision by jumping the gun and signing Stoudemire before the Big 3 officially signed with the Heat.

The Big 3 were together for four seasons and reached the NBA Finals in every one of those seasons. Miami’s two losses in the NBA Finals during that era came against the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and San Antonio Spurs in 2014, and their wins were over the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and Spurs in 2013.

Shortly following Miami’s loss to the Spurs in five games in the 2014 championship series, James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers to team up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and thus the Big 3 era in Miami came to a close.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.