I waited until the weekend to release my first thoughts on Miami’s big day because I was caught up in my website launch.  Unfortunately, unlike the Miami Heat, I could not afford strobe lights and fog but I do invite 30,000 people to attend.  The Heat presumably spent the remainder of their scant salary cap on their flashy introduction of Bosh and James.

The heat wave that scorched the East Coast this week was simply God’s way of leaking Pat Riley’s giant NBA coup.  As the cameraman, whom ESPN obviously borrowed from Days of Our Lives, zoomed in on Lebron and his “Teddy Pendergrass Memorial” beard only one thought came to mind, “This is just like the O.J. Verdict.” I nearly sent out a text asking if a jury of his peers just found Lebron guilty.  (And don’t get me started on the setting. I half expected the lights to dim, green strobe lights to emerge and Jim Gray to yell, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaiiirrreee!”)  The polar opposite emotions between Cleveland and Miami was exactly like the racial divide after O.J.’s acqittal.

When examining how it all fell apart between Lebron and the Cavaliers, the rift began as far back as 2004 when Carlos Boozer spurned the organization which voluntarily released him from his contract in exchange for a hometown discount to sign with Utah for $30 million EXTRA dollars over 6 years.  Watching their performances for Utah and Cleveland since 2004, it’s apparent James and Carlos Boozer would have been a formidable inside outside duo together.  Boozer was meant to be Lebron’s Pippen. Instead he spent the Cavs organization spent five years trying to cobble together pieces to equal Boozer.  They just couldn’t find the right formula.

The Miami Heat’s brand new trio has been compared to Boston’s Big Three but on their own not only is Miami’s triumvirate younger but Dwyane Wade and Lebron James are individually superior to each of Boston’s Big 3 even in their prime.

The Houston Rockets tried this as well in the lockout shortened 1999 season. Unfortunately, their blueprint didn’t account for Pippen and Barkley’s animosity as well as Barkley’s exploding waistline.  The trio of Pippen, Barkley and Olajuwon would have been fearsome in 1992.  Instead they flamed out in the first round and disbanded in the off-season.

Earlier this week I compared Miami’s pursuit of Lebron and Bosh to their existing supernova Dwyane Wade to Orlando’s 2000 attempts to sign Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill and Tim Duncan.  We’ll never know that trio would meshed or how much of a dent they could have put into the Lakers trophy case. However, their in-state rivals now have the pieces to achieve a similar feat.

Reports were that Lebron also feared ending up as a 31 year old with no rings and bad knees.  Essentially, Kevin Garnett, the man who took him aside after they lost to his Celtics in May was the spirit guide behind his decision.

We don’t know what Garnett told Lebron before he sulked off the court and threw off his Cavs jersey for the final time but here’s what Garnett had to say publicly about Lebron’s free agency:  “Loyalty is something that hurts you at times, because you can’t get youth back. I can honestly say that if I could go back and do my situation over, knowing what I know now with this organization, I’d have done it a little sooner.”

Much like Larry Johnson’s tenure in Charlotte is a footnote in history before his foray into New York, Cleveland was simply a Bond Girl on Lebron’s path to his actual mission. Instead of talcum powder, hopefully Lebron doesn’t go overboard and toss sand into the air during the pregame celebration.

Funny thing is, despite growing up in Cleveland, I don’t legitimately believe Lebron was ever a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s been open about the fact that he grew up a Bulls fan.  The same Bulls, Michael Jordan victimized repeatedly.  He might be wearing #6 next season to honor Michael Jordan’s six championship rings.  So why not Chicago Bulls?  This trio could have conceivably taken place in Chicago with Derrick Rose (and his rookie contract) as their point guard and Joakim Noah at center!

The Knicks were Joselyn James and Lebron was Tiger in this tussle.  For years Lebron promised the Knicks he was the only other suitor beside his wife in Cleveland until the months leading up to the divorce when we discovered Chicago, then New Jersey, the Clippers and ultimately chose Miami.

Lebron is clearly addicted to glitz, glamour and as evidenced by his Yankees fanhood; superteams.  If you’ve ever seen Lebron’s documentary, you’ll realize it was always more about his relationship with his teammate on St. Vincent St. Mary’s than it was about Lebron.  For weeks, I’ve pounded into the ground, each of the differences between Kobe and Lebron.  Finding Kobe in a TMZ pic standing next to another celebrity outside Staples Center is like find a second gunman on the grassy knoll.  Lebron lives for the celebrity spotlight off the court.  Chicago had the best complementary pieces for a championship run but the Windy City lacked the sunny, vibrant, fiesta vibe of Miami.

However, the Miami Heat have managed to alter the NBA power structure permanently.  For me, this iis more transcendent than just King James.  The Miami Heat  turns 21 years old next season. However, they’ve established themselves as one of the top three or four franchises in the NBA.  A few weeks ago, ESPN’s John Hollinger compiled a ranking of the top franchises in NBA history.  The Miami Heat clocked in at a middling #14, five spots behind the Orlando Magic.  However, from the Shaq acquisition to Pat Riley’s Auerbach-like aura this feels like the beginning of Miami’s ascension to the NBA’s elite franchises.  Thursday night a mystique was born.

Free agents in 2020 will want to join the iconic franchise that’s built on the hallowed ground of Miami-Wade County, King James and the Bosh pit much in the same way Boston is attractive because of the parquet floors at the old Boston Garden as well as their equivalent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in their rafters.

It’s got all the makings of a mini-L.A., and an executive with enough pull in the NBA to out recruit “World Wide Wes”.  While I’m not so confident in Dwyane Wade’s durability as he creeps towards 30, Lebron is finally out the free agent ghetto of Cleveland, Ohio.  For NBA free agents, Miami is Rodeo Drive.  Miami holds very little cap space but they expect free agents to be knocking down the door for a discount in exchange for a title and a higher profile for young players.

Another surprising aspect to me was how much money Lebron, Wade and Bosh left on the table.  In addition, the Cavs actually agreed to participate in a dog and pony show sign and trade which gave James a sixth year on his contract in exchange for a pair of first round draft picks.

It’s offensive to Eric Spoelstra for the media to even speculate directly to Dwyane Wade, whether he’ll be coaching the team next season, which has occurred on multiple occasions.  They’ll be coached by Eric Spoelstra without a doubt.  Imagine if the Bull ownership in 1990 had decided a rookie head coach named Phil Jackson didn’t have the aura or pedigree to coach His Airness in his prime?

Spoelstra took a depleted roster and molded them into one of the best defensive units in basketball and earned a four seed with the team manager as their third scoring option behind Michael Beasley.  With James, Wade and Bosh the Heat should finally utilize James’ point guard skills in an uptempo offensive setting.

Check back next year when Lebron decides to guest star on a special edition of Love Connection: “The Decision”, in which he decides whether or not to propose or break up with the mother of his children.  For now, the fun in Miami is just beginning but I leave you with the father of Michael Beasley, a casualty of the South Beach Trio.