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James, Wade offer advice to D’Antoni
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 15, 2012 @ 7:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES — If LeBron James and his Miami Heat colleagues felt so inclined, they could author a book on the art of meshing superstar players and their personalities after all they went through leading up to the championship last June.
The Los Angeles Lakers, as fate would have it, could use that sort of how-to guide right about now.
As was the case with the Heat two seasons ago, a slow start (9-8 for the Heat, 1-4 for the Lakers) caused all sorts of consternation among the team’s fans and led to pressure to fire the coach. The Heat didn’t, standing by coach Erik Spoelstra and ultimately looking smart because of it.
They endured the disappointment of an NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and all the added scrutiny that came with it but reached their goal with a six-game Finals win against the Oklahoma City Thunder a year later. The Lakers, meanwhile, fired coach Mike Brown on Friday and will welcome new coach Mike D’Antoni in an introductory news conference Thursday.
Yet while James, the reigning MVP, and his teammates weren’t looking to offer a tutorial to the NBA’s latest super team when they arrived this week to face the Los Angeles Clippers, they do know what it will take for the Lakers to turn it around.
“It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight,” James said. “We live in a world where you automatically sign guys, and you guys (in the news media) want success right now. It’s a process. It’s not a video game where you can just put guys on the team and it automatically just happens and you have the best team in the world. It takes time.”
Their stories are similar, but the circumstances — as Dwyane Wade pointed out — are different enough that they may help explain how each team handled its situation. When the Heat stars met on South Beach in the summer of 2010 and signed deals that made them Miami’s at least through 2014, Wade was the oldest of the bunch at 28, while James was 25 and big man … [For more on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade offer advice to Mike D'Antoni, Lakers, click here.]
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