LeBron James's decision to leave the Miami Heat in the summer of 2014 stands out as one of the more amicable superstar free-agent breakups in recent NBA history. LeBron's time with the Heat was so successful that fans seem not to have begrudged him his choice to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Two championships and four trips to the NBA Finals apparently keeps the animosity at bay. (Or maybe everyone just goes to the beach enough that they don't care about anything else.)
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It was something of a surprise, then, that Heat fans mocked LeBron during the Cavs' Saturday visit to South Beach. James opted not to play after logging 45 minutes in Friday's overtime loss at the New Orleans Pelicans, and Cleveland suffered to a 99-84 loss that didn't require Dwyane Wade to play the fourth quarter. With 11:09 remaining in regulation and the result essentially decided, Heat fans had a little fun at their former superstar's expense:
I mean, yes, LeBron probably was tired. The nearly 31-year-old James has played more high-stress minutes than almost any basketball player in history at that age and hasn't shied away from taking two-week breaks in the middle of the season if necessary. As he reminded the Heat fans, he's tired in part because he was the best player on a title-winning team. That's why he has that gaudy ring on his finger.
Ex-teammate and current friend Chris Bosh did not find LeBron's actions very weird:
Bosh on 'Bron is tired' chant: "They were probably correct. You get tired when you play 2 games in 2 days, especially an overtime game."
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) December 6, 2015
It will be interesting to see if this moment lays the groundwork for outright discord now that the Heat have emerged as the team best equipped to beat out the Cavs for the Eastern Conference title. It's only an amicable breakup until both sides have to see each other over and over again.
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