As Mr. Dwyer noted earlier Friday, the Heat will face the Knicks Friday night in Madison Square Garden in a matchup of the most active teams in the long-ago summer of 2010. So, with these two squads set to battle, let's assess their summer moves.
There's no need to talk about LeBron James(notes): Whatever criticism he's received, the man is one of the league's true superstars and a player any team would kill to have. The argument here is about Chris Bosh(notes) and Amar'e Stoudemire(notes), the top power forwards on the market last summer. Should the Heat have made more of a push to convince Amar'e to join their cause? Or was Bosh the better fit?
Based on stats, impact, and virtually every other metric in the world, Stoudemire has been the far superior player this season, putting the Knicks back on the NBA map while showing that he can be a superstar without Steve Nash(notes). Bosh, on the other hand, has mostly been relegated to punchlines.
Still, Bosh has no regrets, as quoted by Ira Winderman for ProBasketballTalk:
And there is no jealousy from Bosh, who essentially stands as the Heat’s equivalent of Danilo Gallinari, functional third option.
“I was just looking at the situation for me,” Bosh said of his free-agent deliberations. “Of course you’re aware of what other players are doing and what they’re thinking, because it’s always on the TV, it was always on the TV every day at that point.
“But with us playing the same positions, I knew it was either him somewhere or me somewhere. And I just wanted to be in the best situation possible. And I’m a lucky guy. I’m here now.”
Even if Bosh were in Stoudemire's situation, I doubt he would have as much success as Amar'e has. Bosh already did the lone-star routine in Toronto, and it wasn't the most successful partnership ever. Even though he hasn't taken to being the third option in Miami perfectly, it's possible that it will be the better spot for him in the long run.
After all, it's the long-term considerations of these deals that will ultimately matter, not the early returns. Even if Bosh isn't stellar, it's possible that the Heat will rattle off a few championships during his contract. He won't be the star that Amar'e will be, but he might end up with more hardware. If that turns out to be the case, who will have signed the better contract? Is it about the rings or being the man?
We typically say that championships are all that matter. But if Bosh wins rings and Stoudemire continues to reign in New York, both deals could end up as winners. Players want different things, and both outcomes could end up satisfying these players.