LeBron James should know the sympathy cards will not be coming.
That still isn’t stopping the four-time league MVP and back-to-back Miami Heat title winning star from bemoaning all the shortcomings his team faces born of the fragile knees of All-Star wingman Dwyane Wade.
With the Heat struggling perhaps as they never have before in the era of the Big Three of James, Wade, and Chris Bosh, James recently told the Miami Herald just how difficult NBA life can be living it as The King.
“It’s tough,” James reflected. “Guys think it’s easy, but it’s tough. We have a team built on chemistry, built on rhythm. With so many of the guys being in and out, and the concern with D-Wade, it’s been tough on all of us. We’ve got to go in with the mindset sometimes that he’s not playing, as opposed to: Is he playing?”
So far, Wade has not played in 12 of the Heat’s 42 games and counting. Though the Heat still stand at 30-12, and as the second overall seed in the Eastern Conference, their uneven play, particularly as of late, hasn’t always met their ultra-lofty standards.
Wade sat out his third straight game and Monday and, though the Heat prevailed 93-86 over Boston, James was again reduced to apparently feeling sorry for himself.
“We’ve had a little more guys out than just Dwyane this year,” he added. “That’s kind of hurt our performance. Me watching the film, some of the things we’ve been able to cover in the past is off. Last year, when D-Wade went out, we had Mike Miller to step in. Mike Miller was in the system for a while, so we could automatically fill that void. Now, with D-Wade out, it’s given more opportunities to guys that haven’t been in the system as many years or as many situations as Mike Miller.”
So far this season, Miami has started a dozen different lineups and are 6-6 in the games Wade has missed. Only 25-year-old, fourth-year guard Norris Cole has suited up in every game this season. The Heat went 11-2 with Wade in street clothes last season, and 14-3 in 2011-‘12.
But again with James and the Heat looking to become just the third NBA team over the last two decades (Jordan’s Bulls from 1996-98 and Kobe’s Lakers from (2002-02) to three-peat, The King shouldn’t be expecting too much compassion from the commoners.