It’s the stuff of legend by now. The Pat Riley pitch that brings so many players to Miami. His most prized accomplishment as a GM? The Big 3 in Miami.
In a recent episode of The Knuckleheads podcast, Dwayne Wade talked about ending up with LeBron and Bosh on the Miami team. They talked about joining forces, and their first choice was Chicago.
Chicago was on top of both of our lists. They had two max contracts and they had a young [Derrick] Rose. They had a Luol Deng, they had [Joakim] Noah, they had all these pieces. So I’m like, ‘In Chicago, in one of the biggest markets?
Then they looked around, and New York caught their eye. We got a glimpse of this when they referenced MSG this season, saying goodbye in their final matchup. Almost any superstars entertain the idea of making it in NYC.
But listen, then we looked at New York. And when it came down to it, Miami was the only team with enough money to get all three of us. Every other team only had two [max contracts]. When it came down to it, we thought CB was the perfect match. And ultimately bro, I just wanted to win.
They did the math, but it still required for Chris Bosh to agree. From the get-go it was apparent Bosh would be the third string, the one that sacrifices the most in regards to touches and style of play. It is the nature of the position he plays and the reality of the two other alphas he was considering joining up. In his Player’s Tribune story, Bosh vividly remembered the meeting.
Pat comes in. Everyone’s quiet. We shake hands and sit down. With the other teams, the pitches all took a similar format: They’d show their PowerPoint, swipe through some photos on an iPad. You know, like: Here you are in a photoshopped Nets uniform. [Swipe.] Or, Here you are on a giant photoshopped poster in front of the United Center. [Swipe.] That whole deal.
Pat goes, ‘All right, Chris — let me tell you something. I’ll make it simple.’ He says the Heat have enough cap space to bring in me and LeBron, and also to keep Dwyane. Then he takes off his suit jacket, rolls up his sleeves, and empties something on the table. HAHA! It’s a straight-up bagful of championship rings. Rolling around on the conference table, right in front of us. And then Pat looks at me, looks at my dad, and he says, “This right here … this is what it’s about, guys.
A bag of championship rings does sound better than a photoshopped PowerPoint presentation. Thus, the Big 3 was born.