James then hopped on X (formerly known as Twitter) and doubled down on the notion.
Former NBA point guard Norris Cole — who played with James on the Heat for three seasons — recently expressed that he agrees with the 38-year-old’s opinion.
“Yes, I believe,” Cole said when asked if he agreed with James’ assessment. “I mean, he was dominant when he came there. He had coming off of what, two MVPs in three years? As a player, he was gon’ be dominant. I think what Miami helped him do, though, was put some structure in on detailed things. It was subtle things.”
Cole spent the first three-plus seasons of his NBA career with the Heat franchise after being drafted in the latter half of the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft. After Miami traded him back in 2015, the point guard played for the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder before he left the NBA after appearing in 13 games with the latter during the 2016-17 regular season.
James spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat. The Heat were one of the best teams in the NBA in each of James’ four seasons with the team, considering Miami reached the NBA Finals in four straight years.
The Heat may have reached the NBA Finals every season that they had James, but they didn’t win the title in all of them.
In the 2011 NBA Finals, Miami lost to Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Nowitzki had a great championship series and ended up winning the Finals MVP award for Dallas. In the 2014 NBA Finals, the Heat were eliminated by Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs in five games.
It’s hard to argue with James and Cole for believing that the former would still be dominant if he never played for Miami. Even before he joined the Heat, James was arguably the best player in the world and had already led the Cavaliers to an NBA Finals appearance.