Oh, sure, the Los Angeles Lakers may have put together a supposed superstar team by ripping away a few star players from smaller market team, but the Miami Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade say that the criticism the Lakers are receiving this season is nothing like what the Heat went through two years ago.
After signing Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, the Lakers were expected to be an unstoppable juggernaut. Casual fans (and surely NBA execs) dreamed of finally getting that LeBron vs Kobe finals. Instead the team is 15-20, and 11th in the Western conference. The team might not even make it into the playoffs at this rate, and the five game losing streak their stuck in isn't helping.
Though, the public reaction to the Laker's apparently failing experiment is less outrage and more Schadenfreude.
"No one will ever be able to compare what we went through," James said according to the Miami Herald. "Even though they're not winning and they're losing a lot of games, it's still nowhere near what we went through."
"Yeah, right. That level of magnitude was nowhere near where ours was two years ago. Nothing. Nothing compares to it."
"It's the Lakers," Wade chimed in. "They're America's team. I keep saying it. They're the standard of what the NBA has been for years, Boston and the Lakers. But the Lakers are in L.A., the big market. So, from that standpoint, you understand it. You get it."
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Wade went on to note that the intense public criticism of the Heat actually helped the team come together, and fueled their determination to win last year's championship.
The Heat, we should also add, were lead by a guy in his prime hungry for his first ring. The Lakers meanwhile feature a guy who already has five rings and is nearing the twilight of his career.
Dwight Howard might have been better off staying in Orlando.