What a difference in two years, huh? On this very date in 2010, on July 8, LeBron James made The Decision that changed the NBA and Miami’s place in it. Heat fans likely can recall exactly where they were watching live on ESPN as LeBron dramatically revealed he’d be taking his talents “to South Beach.”
Two years later, the newly minted champion Heat has far fewer needs and much less to spend, and so free agency has gone from a mega-sweepstakes to shopping the bargain bins.
Don’t take that personally, Ray Allen.
It’s just that landing LeBron (oh, and Chris Bosh, too) was like winning one of those multistate Powerball lotto jackpots, whereas landing Allen is comparatively closer to winning $5 on one of those scratch-off cards.
I mean, c’mon! Ray won’t be a starter here and he turns 37 this month. He is the team’s targeted offseason prize only because Miami can spend only about $3.1 million per season on whomever it signs, which is an awful lot of money to me but closer to loose change under the sofa cushion to an NBA star.
That’s why, in addition to Allen, Miami also was to meet this weekend with Rashard Lewis Marcus Camby, and is pursuing Marcus Camby, both a combination of aging and/or injury plagued, and thereby cheap.
This is closer to the feel of last year’s post-LeBron free agency, when fans heard the big addition was Shane Battier and immediately Googled his name just to make sure he still was in the league.
Modest needs and little to spend: the residue of NBA success.
Sure it’s more exciting elsewhere, with Steve Nash going to the Lakers and trade-bait Dwight Howard still out there as the big prize.
But it’s hard to complain too much about how dull free agency has become for Miami when we’re still picking parade confetti out of our hair.