We all know the story. We have all heard the sound bite. “I’m taking my talents to South Beach”. Now, most of you are thinking, “here is just another article bashing LeBron’s “Decision”. Wrong, I could careless. In fact, kudos to LeBron James for making the right decision. The Heat are rolling of late as the older teams are getting beat up (Celtics; Rondo (ankle, foot) and KG (calf), Lakers; Kobe commenting on a his knee, Spurs are slowing down, Mavericks; Dirk Nowitzki’s knee). If it wasn’t for the blockbuster trade revamping the Orlando Magic, Miami would be the clear cut best team in the NBA at this point. That could change next week as teams get healthier, but the Heat are here and look impressive. LeBron and Dwayne Wade are putting up numbers like they were still on their own and Bosh has settled into a consistent role. This truly was his best chance at a title, since it never seemed like the Cavs were willing to go out and do what Miami did to keep Wade. No one ever talks about that, but Wade couldve left Miami for greener pastures too. Wade couldve teamed up with LeBron and Amare in New York. He didnt because Pat Riley went to him and said, “Listen Wade, we need you… but what do you need?” Too bad the pompous Dan Gilbert didn’t think of that.
Honestly, people’s biggest gripe is with the TV special dubbed “The Decision”. The media could only bash LeBron for doing what Shaq did for so long. Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kobe, Pierce; they all got their help. Shaq came to LA for Kobe and KG and Ray Allen came to Boston for Pierce, the two most recent examples. So LeBron did it for Wade in that same respect. However, this special, well, it was genius. LeBron James has described himself as an entrepreneur off the court, and what do such men do? They make money! How many of you didn’t watch that special? The thing is, he did what he wanted to, he got your attention and you all chomped on the bit. “Based on the overnight ratings in 56 cities, the James telecast was the highest-rated program of the night on both cable and broadcast TV, according to ESPN,” said USA Today. Also written in USA Today; “[The Decisions TV special] exceeded the audience for ESPN’s interview with Tiger Woods in March, which posted a 0.4 rating. It also trumped ESPN’s interview with Alex Rodriguez in 2009.” Was it a tasteless move as so many claim? Absolutely not! I am pretty sure I just saw the Boston Red Sox host two press conferences for acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. They made a spectacle of those players to raise excitement for the fan base. The only difference is that LeBron hosted his conference to disclose his new team to the world rather than the other way around. Also, never mentioned, LeBron raised 2 million for the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. Selfish indeed.
Again, my ire is not with LeBron, and as much as it is present for the reception he has gotten, thats not the point here. The point is the Heat are flashy. LeBron and Wade make the highlight real more than anyone in the NBA save the LA Clippers and Blake Griffin. They have one of, if not the, most dynamic offense in the NBA. This is great for basketball, a sport founded on fancy play that make fans oo and aw. LeBron brought that to South Florida, but according to Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross, South Florida needs more. Stephen Ross has informed the coaching staff that he wants a flashy, pass-oriented offense that “will hark back to the days of Dan Marino” in Miami. “I want an aggressive, creative (offense), not playing just to keep it close,” Ross said to Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post. “A little bit more unpredictable, and opening it up. That’s what I think South Florida wants, and that’s what this climate demands.” The climate that LeBron and the Heat have set? Shame on Mr. Ross for saying such a thing. First of all, this is football. This sport isnt watched for the oo’s and aw’s, its watched for the hits and the toughness exuded on the field. However, as the league becomes more and more pass heavy and we get closer and closer to pinning flags on players’ belts, this could be a moot point. Pretty has started to come to the NFL, as much as I might hate it the idea of leaving behind the blood pumping hits of football. Pretty, though, should not come to South Beach football. Ross began this off-season in a foolish manner as it was, going after Jim Harbaugh with Tony Sparano still in the position only to lose out on Harbaugh and turn back to Sparano with a sorry for turning my back on you and hanging you out to dry, heres more money contract extension. Now though, with his “request” for a Dan Marino-esk offense, he destroys what the Dolphins have been building since Parcells came in as footbal czar. Parcells was building a defense in Miami to go with the two headed running game. Think about their early draft picks in recent years. They drafted the likes of cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. They went out and got Karlos Dansby last off-season to solidify the center of that defense next to Channing Crowder. He plucked Cameron Wake from the Canadian Football League and drafted Kao Misi to replace a rapidly declining Joey Porter at outside linebacker. He built up the trenches like the old school mind he is by drafting left tackle Jake Long and defensive end Jared Odrick. He hired a coach in Tony Sparano, a coach who made his name coaching offensive lineman in the trenches. The Big Tuna built an old school team and had great success. Now that Parcells is gone, Ross has stepped in and decided to go the complete opposite direction. What a smart man. Because, you know, its easy for a run first minded coach to change his run first team into a pass first team and then coach it successfully. Its really easy for a team who already has a problem at quarterback to all of a sudden have a Hall of Famer Dan Marino-esk offense, the greatest QB in Dolphins history. Where are you going to find this quarterback I wonder? I suppose Sparano could just stockpile sixth round picks and hope to pull a Tom Brady out. It would fit, I mean thats why Ross went after Harbaugh… he is a Michigan man like Tom Brady. Chad Henne shares that alma mater too, but apparently that actually isn’t good enough for Ross. Stephen Ross, heres a word of advice; do not become Dan Snyder, it does not work. Let Sparano build his team instead of trying to make his team something that it is not. Do not go out and get all the flashy players. Ask around, that doesn’t work. Look at Dallas and all their flashy names and their 6-10 record. Building a team is about assembling the right players together, not always the best players. After the public pursuit of Jim Harbaugh with Tony Sparano still under contract only to fail to land him, a despicable business move, Stephen Ross should’ve hid his head in shame. Instead, he comes out and proves he has no idea what he is doing. Ross, go back to your owner’s box, stay there, and let the football minds handle to football and you just stay back and count your money.