There will be a 30 for 30 someday — and maybe a book, if I can find all my notes — but in the meantime, the story of the formation of the Big 3 Miami Heat continues to take shape.
There’s long been a question of whether Dwyane Wade or Pat Riley was more responsible for the formation of the Heat’s villainous superteam. Riley got the majority of the credit early, but those more aware of the process knew that — while Riley’s presence as the grand poobah of a successful, structured organization was a plus — it was always more about two things:
— The cap space the Heat created, which was Riley’s vision yes, but which Andy Elisburg actually was most responsible for executing.
— LeBron James and Chris Bosh wanting to play with Wade.
This credit question became a point of contention for Wade — and even more for the people in his circle — during the difficult summers negotiating with Riley in 2015 and 2016. (Just trust us on that.)
Wade and Riley have appeared to largely reconcile, with Riley doing something unusual and actually spending time at an All-Star Weekend (Wade’s last as a player) and then gushing about Wade again in the post-season press conference.
But Wade is still on the interview circuit, and this was interesting.
Miami wasn’t initially even second on he and James’ list when they were deciding where they could play together in 2010.
.@DwyaneWade never thought he would play with LeBron.
Then, they ended up in Miami together.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) May 1, 2019
Click on it to listen to the clip.
Riley deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done with the Heat over the past 24 years. He made basketball matter here, and the Heat’s record of sustained success is second to only the Spurs during his tenure.
But there’s some mythology that gets in the way of the truth.