Creation of a contender: Free agency and the Big Three

The sports world is in the midst of what some have referred to as its own miniature Y2K, NBA free agency. Basketball, with its smaller rosters, is unique in the impact a single star can have on the fortunes of an entire franchise. So perhaps it is little wonder that every summer speculations rises to a frenzied level surrounding every free agent and potential trade. But like the year 2000’s overhyped “computer apocalypse” which had little actual impact, most summers end with the stars returning to the incumbent teams. But that’s only most summers.

The Big Three

Four years ago three of the NBA’s stars subverted the traditional free agency process and collaborated to join in Miami, forming an instant basketball powerhouse. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh combined to reach four finals in four years, winning twice. In the process the Miami Heat became among the most divisive teams in recent history. This summer looks to become as memorable too, but this time as an end to the Heat’s Big Three. LeBron is returning to Cleveland, and most fans are celebrating.

But is the probable end of Miami’s run a good thing for the NBA? Miami brought together basketball nuts and casual fans in a hatred and grudging appreciation for a great sporting villain, and provided a fascinating glimpse at a “super” team built by player choice.

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