Welcome to Hoop Dreams, a season preview unlike any other. The premise is simple: We’ll be providing 30 of these fictional forays because it simply stinks that only one team can win the title each year. The list of contending teams seems to shrink with each succeeding campaign, and we wanted to provide something to those fans who only get to dream of Larry O’Brien during the offseason. Before October, every team can win the NBA title. Don’t believe us? Then keep reading. – Ed
It feels like only yesterday that we all either broke our wrists dismissively wanking to “Not two, not three, not four…” or ran to the local mall’s Champs store to purchase new Miami Heat gear and celebrate “arguably the best trio to ever play the game of basketball.” In reality, though, the memory of the Big 3 has faded as the stickers on our new caps curled. LeBron James finally delivered an NBA title to Believeland (after the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead) and Dwyane Wade joined the Chicago Bulls as the result of a tense, even heartbreaking offseason. Only Chris Bosh remains with the Heat today. Kind of. He’s cashing paychecks, if that counts. (Although Bosh’s situation is actually heartbreaking compared to D-Wade simply leaving because he didn’t feel appreciated.)
But you’re not dumb. You don’t need a history lesson. This is about looking ahead, and today’s Heat roster looks a hell of a lot different and has not two, not three, not four … question marks. And as any aspiring beat reporter can readily tell us, there’s hardly a Big 1 on this team, let alone a Big 3. Who cares, though? Not the Heat Bros, that’s for sure.
Haha, crushin’ it, Heat bros! When’s their 30 for 30 coming?
Forget the Big 3, because they’ve probably already forgotten Miami, since this is a “What have you done for me lately?” business. Also, “Big 3” is just a dumb, boring, lazy nickname, as “The Heatles” was always much more endearing and fun, but never quite caught on. So, let’s examine this Heat team’s road to the franchise’s next O’Brien trophy by offering some new nicknames for this roster of talented stars-in-waiting.
The Fast Five
If one Heatle is excited that Old Man Wade hit the road to Chicago, it’s Goran Dragic, who, despite being 30, has the opportunity to become the team’s new scoring star. He wants this team’s offense to be FAST FAST FAST, and with South Beach now free of Wade’s snail-paced bag of bones, Dragic could soon be the name on the back of every Heat bro’s white-on-white jersey.
Yes, the Heat reportedly tried to trade him for Rudy “Trade Block” Gay, but Erik Spoelstra killed that drama. And if the Heat are going to move Dragic (or any starter, for that matter), you’d have to think Pat Riley would be working the phone for a star. Of course, stars aren’t exactly growing on trees in Adam Silver’s unbalanced league, but Riley gets things done that no one sees coming. So, let Dragic run wild and then flip the newly-wealthy Tyler Johnson and picks and stuff for – just spitballing here – DeMarcus Cousins.