The LeBron/Wade/Bosh triumvirate in Miami found its creation myth in friendship. If you believe the stories, the trio grew close during their time together on the 2008 Olympic team and decided that it would be pretty cool to play with each other. When the opportunity arose with the Heat last summer, it became an easy decision.
Basketballular friendship is often spoken of in terms of getting along in the locker room and on the court. But, as the Heat have shown, sometimes friends yell at each other. LeBron James(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes) explained their relationships, as reported by Brian Windhorst for ESPN.com:
"It's not a bed of roses with me and [Wade] and [Chris Bosh(notes)]. We get on each other if we feel like they're not doing they're job," James said. "We feel like it is constructive criticism that we need to have for one another to have a productive team. Anytime you have new teammates, it doesn't matter if you're friends or not, you have to realize certain people react to certain situations. Some people can be yelled at and still play, some people you have to do it in a certain way." [...]
"There's been times where he's gotten on me for something and vice versa," Wade said.
"If I make a mistake and he calls me out on it ... I might say you're right. Sometimes I won't agree with him and I'll say, 'I don't agree,' and we'll move on. We'll come back later and we'll discuss it. We're not always patting each other on the back. Our job is to get the best out of each other so when we see an opportunity to do that, we have to be leaders and step up and do that."
In other words, this trio has a working relationship, and, as most friends do when they're placed in a pressure-filled atmosphere, they sometimes yell at each other. They still share a bond, though, and James and Wade happen to share theirs every day in their joint media sessions. While that may sometimes register as a form of posturing, as Howard Beck argued at the New York Times Off the Dribble blog, the fact is that they like each other.
In the words of Kurt Helin at PBT, they're a lot like a married couple that argues but still supports each other when necessary. The hope for the Heat is that they don't eventually turn into a bickering duo on the verge of a messy divorce. Then, instead of getting on each other for missed defensive assignments, Wade would tell LeBron that he's too selfish, or that he's never really appreciated having such a great player next to him, or that Chris Paul(notes) says there are tons of players who are just itching to team up with him. LeBron would respond in kind by saying that he never gets to have fun anymore, or that Dwyane is way more selfish than he is, or that Mo Williams(notes) was the best teammate he ever had. Hey, sometimes we say things we don't mean when we're mad.
And then they'd both have to tell Chris Bosh that it's not his fault. It would break his heart.