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Vendetta Roundtable: Did The LeBron Heat Teams Underachieve?

LeBron Heat Teams
Did the LeBron Heat teams underachieve? It’s time for another Vendetta Roundtable. Five writers from the site weigh in the discuss the topic. (Doug Benc/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s time for another Vendetta Roundtable. This time we’re talking about the LeBron Heat teams. This post was inspired by Zach Lowe’s latest post on ESPN and it sparked a really good question. LeBron was able to secure two championships in Miami during his four seasons there. Somehow, it feels like a missed opportunity. Do our writers agree? We polled 5 columnists from the site to weigh in on the response.

Trey Daubert

LeBron came to Miami and set his own expectation. “Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six” or whatever he said along those lines. I’m not the one that set the bar, he did. In that case, he absolutely failed to meet expectations.

We talk about who the greatest player of all-time is. LeBron can never be that based on the way the Miami tenure went. 2011 NBA Finals will forever be a stain on his legacy. That Mavs team wasn’t even that good. Dirk was past his prime. Jason Kidd was WAY past his prime. The rest of the roster was made up of Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, and JJ Barea.

LeBron was able to win two Finals against a Thunder team filled with babies and an old Spurs team. What really marked this as a failure was the 4th and Final year. LeBron sitting out a Finals game with cramps is pathetic. That Spurs team was trash. Tim Duncan was in his 16th year. Kawhi Leonard wasn’t nearly the player he is now in his 2nd season. Both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were on their last legs.

This is absolutely a failure by LeBron’s initial standards so all I’m doing is agreeing with him. The chips were stacked in LeBron’s favor in every year and came out with a 50 percent proposition. When the chips are stacked in Kevin Durant’s favor, he doesn’t lose.

Jackson Law

The LeBron James experiment in Miami was a huge disappointment. The Heat were undoubtedly the best team in the league those 4 years and only brought 2 championships. Yes, one could consider 2 championships a success, but not when you had the best player on the planet leading the way and the two best support players a player could ask for. The hype for this team was real and LeBron had a chance to really solidify his legacy. Instead, LeBron’s Heat may be the greatest disappointment and “what if” in NBA history.

Scott Logush

LeBron with the Heat was a massive disappointment. Most of it was self-inflicted, when they said “Not 1, not 2, not 3” and barely made it to the second championship. Having the best player in the world at the time and the best supporting cast then only coming out with 2 championships is nowhere near enough. 3 would have been better but still arguably a disappointment. This team could have made 4 in a row but they didn’t. This was LeBron’s best chance to elevate his legacy and maybe make the Jordan debate close. Yet with this failure, it will always be a separating point between the two. Jordan got it done with his teams, LeBron didn’t.

Alex Chick

The Lebron James Heat was underwhelming to say the least. For someone to be arguably the GOAT (not my GOAT), he massively underperformed during this time. They promised so many championships and barely got them.

The Heat, more specifically Lebron, choked in the 2011 finals to the underdog Mavericks. Although Lebron played much better the year after, he beat a super young trio in KD, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. However, that was a solid finals win. In 2013, the Heat beat my beloved Spurs by a Ray Allen shot that’ll sting my heart forever. Without that shot, the Heat don’t win that Finals. This would make the Lebron James Heat 1-3 in 4 years. Sure making the finals 4 times could be seen as an accomplishment, but no one congratulated the Jazz for making the finals back to back to lose. For a team that was considered the start of the super team era, this whole project was a failure. Sure, blame DWade, blame Chris Bosh, I’ll stick to blaming Lebron James for the Heat not fulfilling expectations. This is your GOAT? Couldn’t be me.

Karl Heiser

Anyone who thinks LeBron is a failure for winning two championships over a period of four years had expectations that were way too high. Two championships in four years is actually par for the course with a lot of historically great teams. Kobe and Shaq were together eight years with a great cast of players around them and only won three championships. The Warriors dynasty won three in five years, despite going to the Finals in all five tries. It’s actually a testament to LeBron’s greatness that we expect him to just win a championship every year he has a decent team around him. And if we’re being honest here, those Miami Heat teams were carried by LeBron and Wade. Bosh wasn’t their equal by any measure, and having Mario Chalmers as your lead guard is questionable at best. Obviously, we can’t expect sports fans to be objective when it comes to who the GOAT is or isn’t, but let’s not act like winning two championships in four years is somehow disappointing when no other team is held to that high of a standard.

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