The Miami Heat just absorbed their worst postseason beating since the formation of Big 3 in South Beach. Through five games, the San Antonio Spurs completely dominated the Heat in all areas of the game, causing frustrations and sometimes tenuous moments among the opposing team's stars.
On Tuesday, an alleged video of LeBron James punching teammate Dwyane Wade inside the Heat locker room after a 107-86 loss to the Spurs has been spreading in the Internet like a wild fire, sparking debates on various social media sites.
Then again, it appeared to be another internet prank by someone who wanted to rub more salt on the Heat's bleeding wounds. The Heat, who aimed to win championships in bundles, are nevertheless facing an uncertain summer with their three stars eligible to become a free-agents again.
There's no bigger player who could be for the taking out there than the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player. James, who took his talent to South Beach for a shot at greatness, has suddenly opened himself to other options than staying put with his team.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been calling their prodigal son to go back home, while the lure of playing under the bright lights of Los Angeles (either with the resurging Clippers or the storied Lakers) also sounds appealing.
Playing with Draft Class buddy Carmelo Anthony has also come to James' mind, as the two stars look to see how far they can go at the peak of their careers. Still, like he did four years ago, James seems to keep everybody guessing about his next destination until the next 'Decision' takes place.
"You guys [the media] are trying to find answers," James said in an interview after their Finals loss to the Spurs last Sunday. "I'm not going to give you one. I'm just not going to give it to you. When I get to that point, I'll deal with it."
Chris Bosh provided an optimistic take on the idea of staying in Miami, but the ball is not on his court this time around. With Pat Riley looking to analyze what went wrong this year, Bosh's name could dominate the trade chatter moving forward. After all, he hasn't really provided something to the areas the Heat sorely lacked - rim protection and rebounding.
"I know everyone wants to know and the whole speculation thing. I think everybody is going to make it work out," Bosh said. "We have a chance to continue to play at a high level."
Wade, on the other hand, has to accept that the explosion is already gone. The athleticism that gave him millions of dollars and recognition has finally turned on his back. Now, for career longevity, Wade must know how to play under the rim and stay relevant for the next 3 to 4 years. But the end is really coming like a bullet train for Wade, and apparently, for the entire Heat team as well.