Jan 31, 2013, 11:35 AM EST
It’s easy to dismiss Reggie Evans because he’s Reggie Evans. NBA “tough guy” who’s built like a tank but has earned fines for flopping. A guy who comes up on every list when you talk about dirtiest players in the league. He doesn’t exactly have the NBA’s most impressive resume.
“It doesn’t prove nothing,” the Nets forward told the Daily News when asked what it would mean to beat the defending champs. “That was a lockout season.”
LeBron said after Wednesday’s win he let his game do the talking — 24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists — but then he did some talking to the Daily News anyway.
“It did (get to me),” James said… “Because no one knows what it takes unless you’ve done it. You can’t sit here and judge and talk about a team winning a championship unless you’ve done it. He hasn’t done it.”
Is Evans right? Should we view the Heat title with suspicion?
They played 66 regular-season games, not 82, but then a full slate of playoff games. Does that deserve an asterisk next to the record?
Some people think so. Evans seems to have struck a chord with the many out there rooting against the Heat.
I would say “ask me again in 10 years.”
Look at the San Antonio Spurs, they won the 1999 NBA title, the first for that franchise, after a lockout-shortened regular season with 50 games.
Last time I looked, there is no asterisk next to that title in the record books and people don’t view that title as tainted — because the Spurs went on to prove three more times they were an NBA championship team. That lockout title may have been their first but they climbed the mountain three more times, you know the Spurs are legit. To this day.
For the Heat, if they build a legacy with more titles for this group then we will not look back on that first one with any suspicion. Same as with the Spurs. Win more rings and 2012 will be the season LeBron finally matured mentally enough to tap into his full potential and lead a team to a ring.
But if the Heat never win another title with this group? Maybe in a decade we will raise our eyebrows at it as a one-off, and maybe the lockout will play into that as one of the reasons.
Still, as LeBron said, they have climbed the mountain now and know what it takes to get there. Recent NBA history suggests that teams that win one ring win multiple ones, and the Heat are certainly contenders so long as LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are together. If they win another ring this year or next, we’re not going to think anything of that first title.
And then we’ll laugh off Reggie Evans and not take him seriously. Which is what we do with most things he says now anyway.
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