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You Morning Dump… Where no one has won an NBA title in July

Every morning, we compile the links of
the day and dump them here…
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.

But in Rivers' mind, that distinction can't be transferred in the
offseason. The Heat are going to have to wrestle it away from the
Celtics on the court.

"We'll find that out later," Rivers said Wednesday when asked if the
free-agent moves in Miami could cause a power shift in the East. "We've
got to play. Clearly they've improved their basketball team. I'm not
going to go ahead and say there's a shift, as far as I'm concerned."

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny
echoed those sentiments Thursday.

"We are the Eastern Conference champs and we think we're going to be
better," Ainge said before James' announcement. "I have a great deal of
respect for [James, Wade and Bosh], they are all top-notch free agents.
We know that whatever happens, the East is going to be a challenge; the
East is going to be stronger."

ESPN Boston: A new Beast in the East?  Not so fast

The Heat roster right now is Mario Chalmers at the point, Wade at the 2, LeBron at the 3, Bosh at the 4….. and that's it. 

Literally.  That's all they have under contract. (They traded Beasley)

They not only do not have a center… they don't have a 6th man… they don't have a 9th man… they don't have the towel waving 12th man parked on the end of the bench.

So let's look at this as objectively as we can (because right now I want tonight to be game one of the ECF between the Heat and the Celtics SOOO bad). 

Yes, there are questions as to whether LeBron and Wade can play together.  They did play on Team USA but that was for a few weeks and it was a team full of stars.  But it's also entirely possible that they can figure it out.  So I'm not putting too much stock in that. 

I am, however, putting stock in the lack of supporting cast.  Because the Heat entered free agency under the cap, they don't have the mid-level like the Celtics did.  They can now only fill their roster out with veteran minimum contracts and their 3 second round draft picks.

Are they really going to trot Dexter Pittman out there as their starting center?  Shaq? (hold on, let me stop laughing)…. or Brad Miller (still laughing) …. or Kwame Brown (…oh God..  I can't breathe).

There are plenty of veteran minimum guys that will sign with Miami, I'm sure.  But theyr'e veteran minimum guys for a reason.  And furthermore, everyone is new.  When the Heat fill out their roster of 12 guys… only TWO of them will have played together in the NBA. 

LeBron,Wade, and Bosh are going to have to sit sometime.  And when they do, the Heat are going to be trotting a borderline D-League team out there.  Erik Spoelstra is going to have to find some substitution pattern that leaves one of those big names out there at all times… and that's just going to lessen the impact of the entire thing. 

OBVIOUSLY it's going to be a daunting task dealing with these 3 guys in Miami.  But I'd say there are still serious questions about the other 9 guys.. whomever they may be.  So don't go crowning Miami just yet… because at this point, they can only play 5 on 4. (which is apparently still good enough for Vegas)

On Page 2: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert EVISCERATES LeBron

As you now know, our
former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this
evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced
with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating
with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever
"witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing
to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership
team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here
at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray

There is so much more
to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than
exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be
communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of
cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so
much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:



Oh… it goes on, too.

I love him for it.  It was the first honest, genuine reaction in this entire comedy.  He sat there and watched LeBron James book an hour long special so he could publicly string 5 fan bases along and stick a fork in the eyeballs of Cavs fans.

The letter might have been a little more effective, however, if were written in a more… um…. professional font than comic sans.  Then people wouldn't be making jokes like this.  And one wonders what he meant by all this "enabling" talk.  And furthermore… that's one hell of a promise to make.

But I applaud his passion.  I will root for the Cavs to win one without LeBron.  I would LOVE to see it happen. 

Oh, if you want a more thorough demolition of LeBron… go to Woj's column from a few days ago.  Awesomeness

There rest of the links:

ESPN Boston: Ainge happy with offseason  |  WEEI:  What LeBron's decision means for the Celtics  |  Herald:  LeBron's snub of Ohio a blemish on his image  |  David Lee goes to Golden State  |  Celtics do get O'Neal: Jermaine  |  Globe: This spectacle was fit for a kingHarangody grabs a few more fans  |  C's nab Jermaine O'Neal  |  Souza:  Same old Celtics 

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  • Kvasek

    Can’t wait for Celtics to play Heat as well.
    On the side note, wouldn’t it make a great movie script if Heat and Cavaliers matched-up in playoffs and Cleveland would win? That’d be just epic.

  • BigMck

    Absolutely love that letter from Gilbert. That’s what James gets for milking this process for maximum exposure.
    He showed absolutely no class and is getting what he deserves.
    Had he discussed his decision privately with Cleveland, I doubt Gilbert would have ripped him in this manner.

  • Double P Reppin the B

    Call me crazy but I think the letter from Gilbert is absolutely classless. The Cavaliers failed to put a proper team around Lebron to compete through bad management and bad coaching. Pretty simple. He gave himself options but gave the franchise time to make moves. They didn’t work. Lebron has made Gilbert a VERY wealthy man and the letter looks like a bitter wife losing her husband and his money. A big hit in the wallet. The only thing Lebron did wrong is not notifying the Cavs beforehand of his decision. I don’t agree with ANY of this Lebron bashing going on, the guy has put himself in a situation to play in a beautiful city with his very good friends, he is SACRIFICING money to WIN. What pro athlete does that nowadays? We always get on athletes because they are out for money well he clearly isn’t and I actually like that. So people need to get off his case, he sold all the proceeds of “the decision” to the boys and girls clubs of the 6 clubs cities.
    And about the other cities being “strung along”. Are you kidding? These teams should be embarrassed they threw away the last 2 years and strung along their OWN fan bases saying it will all be different when we get Lebron. It’s pathetic and it’s bad business. Lebron can’t control teams posturing for him and these teams trading away all their assets to try and get him. They made themselves unattractive and acting horribly and it’s simply karma for doing what they have done the last 2 years to their own fan bases.

  • I don’t have a problem with LeBron’s decision. I don’t care that he left. It would have been nice for him to stay there… but he’s a free agent. It’s his choice.
    Also… I’ve been VERY critical of the teams that have stripped themselves clean in anticipation of this summer. That’s a shitty strategy.
    But I have a HUGE problem with the way LeBron conducted himself. Yeah, he gave the money to the boys and girls clubs… but he walked into that boys and girls club and kicked all the kids out and then brought in a bunch of props for his announcement. This whole thing was about him and his management team advancing a brand of some sort.
    To put all that on TV for an hour and break the hearts of his hometown is horrible. The money for the charity is a total smokescreen. he could have raised that money a million different ways.
    He handled this thing with zero class. He destroyed his reputation and he has come off as an insecure, ego-maniacal jackass. Gilbert’s letter… that’s up for debate. I can understand the criticism… but you’ve got to see what the real criticism is of LeBron. He handled this whole thing in maybe the worst possible way

  • thetitleisours

    People think putting stars together will work, but most of the time it does not
    KG, PP, and RA are special. They think team first and winning.
    My guess is ego’s will be the ultimate failure of Miami

  • Double P Reppin the B

    For the record my rant wasn’t directed at you, just at the media in general ripping Lebron up for this whole fiasco. I do think he could have downplayed the whole free agency summer and not left it so wide open but this was almost more created by ESPN and the national media than by Lebron himself. The coverage was so exhausting day to day and the build up was so immense there was almost no other way to announce it and give it due justice. I’m no Lebron fan, but to suggest he’s a bad guy and not a good role model because he chose where he wants to play on a 1 hour television interview is wrong. There is only one Lebron, in a perfect world no ones feelings would get hurt, but thats not how life is, and he can only choose ONE team, and he chose the team that put him in the best position in his career and life. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

  • prefuse

    “The Cavaliers failed to put a proper team around Lebron to compete through bad management and bad coaching.” Are you really serious about that? They had the best record with 60+ wins during the regular season TWICE. They got Shaq, Jamison and kept big Z. I don’t know why people blame the team instead of Lebron…

  • Antoinew8

    I think it’s hillarious that so many people have such a short memory. It was only back in 2008 that the Boston Celtics aquired KG and Ray to team with Pierce in a great trio of players, and at the time back then everyone was saying that it was a GREAT combination of talent, but is there anyone else on the team?
    The same thing is happening now in Miami of everyone questioning their lack of a supporting cast of players. And all i have to say is, remember the ’08 Celtics.
    In 2008, nobody except the die hard Celtic fans who’d watched Perk and Rondo mature over the years thought that the Celtics had enough around KG, Ray and Paul to win a championship. Everyone said Perk was a backup center at best, Rondo couldn’t shoot and was too young to control these three egos, Tony Allen was a bust because of injuries, Glen Davis is a rookie, and Leon Powe is nothing more than a 10th man at best.
    Then the team filled out their roster with free Agents like James Posey and Eddie House, and the opinions started to turn.
    Then the team started playing and were amazing at how great this team WAS!
    Then Pj Brown and Sam Cassell were picked up at the end of the year and the PERFECT TEAM was assembled.
    It’s a process people, and the process isn’t over just yet.
    So all i am saying is, just wait until the roster is full before you make comments on how good this team will be. If they get a Mike Miller, or Derek Fisher to join them, like has been reported as possible on ESPN, then wouldn’t you think the team was pretty solid? Then throw in at Center a guy like Brad Miller, Shaquille oneal, Kurt Thomas, Rasho Nesterovic, or even a Josh Boone, Tony Battie, Kwame Brown, Aaron Gray, Francisco Elson, Etan Thomas, or Francisco Oberto and you’ve at least got a “Bill Cartwright type” Center, if not a “better than Perk was” option. (Remember, Brad Miller almost won a championship with the kings, Shaq HAS won championships, Kurt Thomas almost helped the knicks win a championship, Rasho was the starting center on KG’s should’ve been champion wolves, and Francisco Elson and Oberto helped the Spurs win championships. They are all solid options still)
    So this team can still be solid if they just get a couple guys willing to play cheap for one year in order to build up their stock for next offseason by playing with a possible champion. Posey did it. Marquise Daniels did it. Artest did it. Rasheed did it. Karl Malone did it. Gary payton did it. I’m sure this summer there will be plenty of other guys who would be willing to do so for the Heat.
    Now, I am a true and loyal Celtic fan and will be rooting as hard as possible against the Heat next year(They are only a quarter step behind the Lakers now as my most hated team) But what i’m saying here is stop bashing their roster before it even exists. The team could easily pick up a few solid players and end up looking pretty special, maybe even something like this next season:
    C – Rasho Nesterovic
    F – Chis Bosh
    F – LeBron James
    G – Dwayne Wade
    G – Luke Ridnour
    F – Udonis Haslem
    G – Mario Chalmers
    G – Eddie House
    G/F – Larry Hughes
    C – Kurt Thomas
    F – Joe Smith
    C – Jamaal Magloire
    F – Dorell Wright
    Not a bad group if you ask me. Though the Celtics are stil lthe team to beat in the east. HANDS DOWN!
    Just stop talking about their roster, ok?