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James makes waves beyond South Beach

July 10, 2010
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

ORLANDO (AP) - Maybe it's a seismic shift in the NBA landscape. Or it's just a little wave washing up on South Beach.

One way or another, LeBron James has the league's attention.

Around the NBA Friday, everyone was talking about the impact of James' decision to spurn the Cleveland Cavaliers and form an All-Star trio with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

"It seems everybody has a bad taste in their mouth, unless you're in Miami," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said at the NBA's Orlando summer league. "Just the way the whole thing was handled, on TV and everything, it really leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth."

Now that the show is over, Philadelphia coach Doug Collins actually likes the view in the Eastern Conference.

For the Sixers, itching for a chance just to get back in the playoffs, two more playoff spots might have just opened up. Instead of having to contend with James in Cleveland, Wade in Miami and Bosh in Toronto, now there's only one team with such competition.

"It's interesting because with a team like Orlando that's fighting for a championship, it effects them a lot differently than it does us because you start putting (Miami) in the championship mix in the Eastern Conference," Collins said. "For us, the decision of Bosh and LeBron helps us because it weakened Toronto, it weakened Cleveland and LeBron didn't go to like a New York or New Jersey that's in our division.

"For us, it took a few teams out."

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn is just glad to be out West.

"I'm hopeful that there are no realignment plans in store for the league in the near future, certainly not for the next 10 to 15 years," he joked.

It's still not determined just how good Miami will be.

There's precedent for star-powered trilogies, but three young, budding stars in their prime? Maybe never.

"I think we just kind of witnessed history," Phoenix Suns center Channing Frye said. "I was like, 'Who knows what's going to happen?'"

Other players, too, were wondering how their teams will keep pace.

"A lot of people are saying they have to make up a whole team, but when you have three superstars, you can throw in a janitor in there, you can throw in a chef. It really doesn't matter who you throw in there," Minnesota's Jonny Flynn said.

The Heat essentially inherited three key members of the U.S. Olympic team. While Orlando still has Dwight Howard, and Boston's aging Big Three - Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce - are still trying to defend the East, it has certainly sent shock waves around the league.

"There's no question about it. They become the favorites along with Boston to win the East," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

The Celtics, who won the NBA title in 2008 and lost in the finals this year, aren't ready to fade away.

"We're still the Eastern Conference champions," Boston president Danny Ainge said.

Yet all the hype is in Miami.

Along with all the questions.

"There have been a lot of teams that have had three great players and haven't won a title, and there have been a lot of teams with three great players who have won titles," Collins said. "So we'll have to see how it plays out. That's the beauty of it.

"We can't look into any crystal ball. It's going to take time."

 
 

 

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