Let's be completely honest, Miami. Many Heat fans are only now getting over the fact that LeBron James left four years ago to return to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. We had to journey through a full 12-step process to reach acceptance, and along the way, many Heat fans had to collect a medallion at each achievement.
From anger to bitterness to a level of pettiness that most had no idea they were even capable of, it's been an ordeal dealing with the roller coaster of watching LeBron on the Heat for four years to, well, not having LeBron on the Heat. Only two fan bases in the history of sports have ever had to endure this emotional ride. It is not something we would recommend. But most fans in South Florida are now recovering LeBron addicts who can safely look back and enjoy his talents from afar without too much pain.
Most of the time. OK, some of the time. Occasionally.
It's healthy to get over LeBron leaving Miami, but as with any ex, it's not illegal to look back at some of your best moments together. It's not like we're going to make a photo pillowcase of us together and send it to LeBron in the mail or anything. We would never do that again.
Anyway, let's relive some of the most memorable moments LeBron had in a Heat uniform, because we're totally over it, and it doesn't hurt anymore.
15. LeBron is overcome with emotion after a random fan hits a "half-court hooker" worth $75,000. These kinds of shots happen all the time, but they rarely get on television. That's because everyone usually misses. Banana-Colored Sweater Guy isn't everyone. He drained half-court hook shots without leaving the ground like an absolute boss. LeBron, in a real-recognizing-real moment, tackled Mr. Half-Court Hooker after the shot, and one of the greatest clips in Miami Heat history was born.
14. LeBron and Dwyane Wade do not recognize your Kiss Cam laws. Notice the score in this clip: Remembering all the close playoff games is one thing, but it's easy to forget just how hard LeBron-Heat teams curb-stomped opposing teams during the regular season.
In this clip, the Heat didn't need the services of Wade or LeBron any longer, so they sat back and watched themselves on the Hawks Jumbotron while the team's Kiss Cam went on during a timeout. This moment would be higher if, you know, but it didn't go down like that.
13. Wade attempts to conduct a LeBron postgame interview. In the four seasons LeBron was a member of the Heat, a lot of shenanigans went on in the postgame interviews. One of the most memorable was the time an injured Wade took over the interview duties from Jason Jackson. Fun ensued, including a cameo from Chris Bosh. Ah, memories.
12. Wade and LeBron create a piece of artwork live on television. In the early days, nobody knew what to expect from the Big Three. We all knew it was going to be crazy-ass awesome, but nobody knew what it would look like. Then this shit happened, and we all went, "Oh."
Just the other day, Wade told a media member that when it's all said and done, this is the only picture he'll ask LeBron to sign so he can hang it on his wall and show it to his grandchildren. What a time to be alive the years 2011 to 2014 were. Truly art in motion every night.
11. LeBron jumps over a fully grown man who plays professional basketball for a living. Remember the time LeBron jumped over John Lucas III like he was your nephew in a swimming pool at a birthday party? That was fun. The messed-up part about this dunk is you probably forgot about it because LeBron makes things like this seem normal. It's not normal. It's insane. People would say it was photoshopped if there weren't witnesses and cameras.
10. LeBron hits a game-winner against the Golden State Warriors. Before the Warriors were the Warriors, LeBron, as a member of the Heat, ripped their young, ringless, fragile souls from their chests. Down two with less than a second remaining, LeBron stepped back and drained a dagger of a three-point winner, leaving just a tenth of a second for his soon-to-be arch-nemesis to deal with. If you think about it, that's worse than leaving nothing. A tenth of a second is just disrespectful.
9. LeBron will have all of your Boston Celtics Infinity Stones, thank you. The score was 87-82; then it wasn't. Boston led 87-82 with four minutes left before James stopped all that crap by scoring the final ten points of the game his damn himself as Miami ended the series with a 16-0 run.
Bye, Celtics. Bye-bye now.
8. LeBron is Batman. Only LeBron could make breaking his face seem cool. After a facial injury that threatened to keep him out a prolonged number of games, he debuted a soon-to-be-illegal-but-for-one-night-amazing Batman mask. He's never been cooler.
LeBron had to use something else because the NBA deemed this mask illegal. Supposedly, opponents couldn't "see his eyes," which was unfair. Thanks for ruining everything, NBA.
7. LeBron scores a career-high 61 points. By the time 2014 rolled around, Heat fans had figured they had seen just about everything LeBron could do. The night of March 3, 2014, this myth was busted. LeBron went off for 61 points against the now-extinct Charlotte Bobcats, proving once again that just when you think you've reached full LeBron James, there are secret doors that lead to VIP levels of LeBron James that few knew existed.
6. LeBron pisses everyone off with his counting. Ah, yes, the simpler times in the world. Back when people were outraged over little things, such as LeBron saying the best basketball team ever assembled at the point could quite possibly aspire to win many, many, MANY championships — THE OUTRAGE! LeBron got to seven, which if you think about isn't that crazy, because if he had stayed in Miami, they would likely be in their eighth-straight NBA Finals right now.
5. LeBron ends the Celtics. There are no more Celtics. You might think there are Celtics now, but those are not the Celtics. LeBron James killed the Celtics. He burned the franchise to the ground and salted the earth they once occupied. These new Celtics rose from the ashes.
LeBron has since put on performances that have been similar to this night, but there is just something about the way this Game 6 went down in Boston. LeBron had a demonic look in his eyes that no one will ever forget. So much was on the line: If the Heat lost, it probably would have broken up the squad afterward. But the Heat didn't lose. And the rest was history.
4. LeBron deletes Tiago Splitter. It's easy to forget this block because LeBron has had some more famous blocks since, but at the time, this was legendary stuff. Look at this crap. Return to sender. The stuffiest of stuffs. Who needs a center when you have LeBron jumping out of the gym to reject seven-footers?
3. LeBron puts a fork in the San Antonio Spurs. After the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history, there was another game. That game was also awesome but talked about much less than Game 6. In the deciding game, LeBron put a nail in the Spurs' coffin and sent the Heat on its way to a second straight off-season celebration.
This shot is one of the most underrated moments in Heat history, as well as LeBron's career.
2. LeBron reminds the haters he isn't worried about them. The largest sigh of relief in basketball history came after the 2013 NBA Finals in an interview on ESPN. LeBron was asked what he thought about all the doubters and naysayers, and he let it be known right away he wasn't worried.
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It was a special moment that feels like the beginning of a new LeBron James, one that even his detractors have come to appreciate and respect. Like him or hate him, you will respect where LeBron James came from and what he's accomplished. This was him finally getting to tell it like it is, without fear of backlash or public
1. "The Decision." Talents. South Beach. LeBron James. Greatest four years in South Florida sports history. Really, there isn't much more to say. One night and one man's decision changed the course of history not only in two towns but also in an entire sport.
This night will forever go down as one of the best moments in South Florida sports history, and it happened in the off-season.