The Miami Heat have the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference and they’re a top five NBA team both offensively and defensively. However, when a team loses consecutive games to the Grizzlies and Pacers after a summer where they signed the three top free agents available and declared that they wanted to win six titles, it doesn’t look good. Ergo, the Miami Heat don’t look good.

And while there are a myriad of problems — injuries, a probably overwhelmed coach, Juwan Howard’s nose bandage — there is one concern that troubles the Heat’s best player more than anything: they’re not having enough fun.

Seriously, that is the main concern. From ESPN:

“There is a point where you have to be serious and you need to be serious,” James said. “Just because you’re having fun on the court and having fun in practice doesn’t mean you’re not serious. I’m always serious about the game. But you’ve got to have fun while you’re doing it. We’re not doing that right now, we’re not having fun at all.” [...]

“That is how I played the game of basketball, I have fun with it,” James said. “It has helped me get to the point where I am today as a professional athlete. I don’t think I’ve brought that to this team thus far.” [...]

“There is only so much anger that can take care of a ball game,” James said. “You still have to go out and play. We need to play with the confidence we had earlier in the season. We need to have more fun.”

Well, that is certainly one fun-centric theory of basketball improvement. Extremely fun-centric, in fact. But if LeBron James thinks he needs to get back to dancing around and pre-game handshake rituals then maybe that is what the Heat should do.

Or, as Sebastian Pruiti points out, the Heat could try playing better interior defense by helping each other out. Additionally, as Kelly Dwyer mentions, they could play an offense that isn’t just a series of turn-taking one-on-one play. These are also solutions to the Heat’s “losing to mediocre teams” problems that they’ve been having.

Nah. It’s probably just the no-fun-having that’s causing them to lose. Better hire a choreographer because I can’t imagine Jamaal Magloire is the next Fred Astaire.

Comments (8)

  1. You can make fun of what LeBron said, but he’s right. He’s not the kind of player to play angry. He’s not Jordan coming back all pissed. He needs to be dancing on the sideline, be loose and have fun, that way the entire team can loosen up and distribute instead of thinking they are a group of single players who happen to wear the same jersey. There is no “team” in Miami. Having fun should improve their game.

  2. Problem is: what way does LeBron like to play?
    If he had fun in Cleveland, despite playing mostly 1-on-5, it may be a bad omen…

    I should have known… These guys got together because they’re friends and they want to have fun… They want to have fun more than winning (or they would have taken more of a paycut, so that they wouldn’t have trouble signing guys like Damp)…

    That may also explain why he “quitted” on the Cavs during the playoffs: no fun anymore.

    He’s so gifted that he actually can win while focusing mostly on having fun… that’s pretty amazing!
    To be a pro, you usually have to give up most of the fun… Because it’s your job, and your job is winning ballgames, not having fun…

    I actually don’t know if I should love him for being able to play at a high level and still have “fun” as his goal, or hate him for not really caring and most probably quitting another time in the future when he’s not having enough fun… Hmmm ‘talk about a polarizing personnality!

    You can’t have real fun if you really care.

    Stupid illustration:if you had to play 1-on-1 to save the universe, you probably wouldn’t have fun at all, because of what’s at stake…

  3. So…. why doesn’t Lebron just say what we all know already… “I Miami was like Cleveland.” Sorry, apparently karma is a bitch. He had it all here in Cleveland… the money, the team, the fun times, the best record in the NBA… he just needed a better coach. If he would have stayed, he’d be coached by Byron Scott this year and he’d get his ring.

  4. “I wish Miami was like Cleveland” I meant to say.

  5. Any athlete from weekend warriors to pros that say they are just out there to have fun are really saying “I have fun when I win”.

  6. This is pretty low on the excuse o’meter. Seems like they are avoiding the obvious fact that they can’t just show up and kick ass and need to do some serious work/practice.

    South Beach will be a lot of fun if they tear off a 10 game winning streak, no doubt. On the other hand If they start having too much fun while losing you end up with a Vince Carter in Toronto situation… A great talent who appears to not give a shit.

  7. Can anyone remotely imagine Jordan or Kobe for that matter saying the problem with the Bulls/ Lakers is that they are not having enough fun? Lebron has talent but he lacks the motivation to be one of the greats.

  8. [...] thinks it’s funny that he’s getting booed anywhere and everywhere. He wants the Heat to have more fun, so he can probably use that to his advantage. After all, nothing brings a team together like [...]

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