Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Second title even tougher, sweeter

LeBron loving every minute of his time with Miami

  • Print

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade was walking down the hallway toward the Miami Heat locker-room in the wee hours of Friday morning, still in uniform and fussing with the new championship hat atop his head as his team and their families were in the midst of partying the night away.

He stopped briefly and assessed the celebration.

"We're getting pretty good at these," Wade said.

That's understandable, the Heat are getting plenty of practice at throwing themselves end-of-season parties. Four trips to the NBA Finals since 2006, three championships in that span and with the last two titles coming consecutively, it's making the decisions that the Heat and LeBron James made three summers ago look pretty smart.

By topping San Antonio in Game 7 of a back-and-forth NBA Finals on Thursday, the Heat became the sixth franchise in league history to win consecutive championships. It's their third title overall; only four clubs have more. And for James, it capped two seasons where he won all he could -- two regular-season MVPs, two titles, two Finals MVPs, even an Olympic gold medal.

"It feels great. This team is amazing. And the vision that I had when I decided to come here is all coming true," James said. "Through everything we've been through, we've been able to persevere and to win back to back championships. It's an unbelievable feeling. I'm happy to be part of such a first-class organization."

James said winning his first title was the toughest thing he's ever done.

It's now the second-toughest. Defending the crown, he said, was even more arduous. He was exhausted when it was over -- and still scored 37 points in the finale, more than he posted in any other post-season game this season.

"Believe in LeBron," Heat president Pat Riley said.

Miami did, all the way to the end.

The Heat rolled past Milwaukee in a first-round sweep, needed five games to oust Chicago in the second round, but then went to the seven-game limit against Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals and then to the last game again against the Spurs, who actually were 21 seconds away from ending the series in six games before James and the Heat engineered a huge rally.

Without that comeback, a championship-or-bust season would have gone bust.

Instead, legacies were enhanced, more trophies were hoisted, and Miami's place atop the NBA landscape was cemented.

"To be in the championship three years in a row, to win two of those three, is unbelievable," Wade said. "Everybody can't get to the finals and win six in a row, like win six and not lose one like Michael Jordan. Everyone don't do that. But we are excited about the future of this organization. We are still a good team. And we're going to do everything we can to make sure that we can stay competitive."

Moves will be made, of course. The Heat have some luxury-tax concerns to address, and it would be a shock if they didn't try to get even better through trade or free agency.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2013 C6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weather for final Fringing weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Bombers MVP so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google