Daily Buzz: Does LeBron's b-day wish to Wade have hidden meaning?
This was innocuous enough, really. Dwyane Wade turned 32 this week, and his friend LeBron James did something friends are known to do on birthdays. King James posted some pictures and said some nice things about his friend.
You think this is nothing, and you’re right.
Except that this is the NBA we’re talking about, land of the hint, the "source familiar with the situation," the passive-aggressive innuendo, and in celebrating his teammate’s birthday, James wrote the following:
"I came to Miami for 2 reasons. To play with U and to win championships and I can’t thank you u enough for the sacrifice you’ve made since I arrived homie! No matter what happens in the future we stuck together like brothers for life."
What does it mean? Nothing, something, everything.
James, Wade and Chris Bosh — who orchestrated their teammate-hood in Miami in 2010 — can all opt out of their Heat contracts after this season. James has, understandably, decided not to talk publicly about that possibility during the season, so that message to Wade is a rare window into his mindspace on the matter, ambiguous as it may be.
The pairing of James and Wade has resulted in two NBA championships, and in retrospect can be viewed as the proverbial tide that raises all ships. But that did not happen without, as James mentioned, a personal sacrifice on the part of Wade, who had already been the leader of a championship team and who in 2010 was still an in-his-prime alpha dog put in the awkward position of shepherding The Terminator.
It was clear James was the best player in the world before it was clear he was the leader of the Heat, in other words.
Altogether Wade and James made the transition gracefully enough to play in three NBA Finals and win two, with every opportunity to make it three in a row this year.
But this was Wade’s 32nd birthday, and as concerns his life on the basketball floor, he has lived hard. Wade is a declining player, and James looks like he’s still getting better. This iteration of the dynasty is not long for this world.
Because of the way this dynasty was constructed, it’s easy to assume there is some kind of an orchestration going on we don’t know about. A careful exit plan that ends with James off winning more titles, Wade transitioning into the next phase (and Bosh . . . continuing to be Chris Bosh or whatever).
Maybe there isn’t, though. Maybe Wade and James just have to wait and see like the rest of us.
And beside all that, isn’t this sweet?
"Happy Bday to my running mate, homie, brother, and most of all straight up friend! The friendship we’ve created our rookie year at pre draft camp was pure and that’s why we stuck together from that point on! Obviously didn’t know we would eventually become teammates and do the things we’ve done so far. I came to Miami for 2 reasons. To play with U and to win championships and I can’t thank u enough for the sacrifice you’ve made since I arrived homie! No matter what happens in the future we stuck together like brothers for life. And no matter what they say, u still a BAD Mutha-Shut-Yo-Mouth out there on that court!@dwyanewade. Oh almost forgot u old as dirt! Boy you look 40. Hahaha! #TreyBallBDay#YouASuckaOnYoBDay"
On to the links:
• A biathlete gave her spot on the US biathlon team to her twin sister.
• On the occasion of Muhammad Ali’s 72nd birthday, photographer John Shearer talks to Life Magazine about covering the legendary 1971 title fight between Ali and Joe Frazier.
• Some of Pete Carroll’s players gave the Seattle Times some great vignettes about the man.
• Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi may have a bit of a thing for Colin Kaepernick.
• Ricky Williams is wondering about sphincters on Twitter.
• Some high school basketball players in Wisconsin got suspended when school officials interpreted a hand signal for "3-pointer" to be a gang sign.
• Nate Robinson has ambitions:
Nate Robinson: "If I can be the first player to play for every team in the league, I want to do it."
— Geoff Lepper (@geofflepper) January 16, 2014
• Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson did the whole "full-page ad in the local newspaper" thing, but with a personal touch: hand-written!
— Joe Person (@josephperson) January 17, 2014
• Steve Austin heard about DeSean Jackson getting robbed, and he’d like to help.
— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) January 15, 2014