This is the new Mario Chalmers. Forget everything you've heard about him the past three years. The guy who was ultra-confident despite playing alongside three future Hall of Famers. The guy who felt he was every bit worthy of being on the All-Star ballot a few seasons ago. The guy who last summer said he was one of the top points guards in the NBA. Most of that is gone. Nowadays, Chalmers is more content in his role of being in the back seat. No more sitting up front with the big boys, and he's fine with it. This year, he's played in near anonymity while putting up the most consistent season of his five-year career. Finally, the brash has turned to modesty. "If you're going to talk about the Heat, you're always going to talk about the Big Three," Chalmers said. "What we do, me, UD [Udonis Haslem], [Norris] Cole and everybody else, we just fly under the radar and do what we can for the team." It's quite the change for Chalmers, who entered the league with visions of being a superstar. He's no longer concerned if that will happen, preferring to focus on being the point guard for a championship team. With the exception of his 10 3-pointers in January against the Sacramento Kings, Chalmers has been an afterthought. No more aspirations of turning the Heat into a "Big Four" as Rajon Rondo did in Boston. Instead, the interviews have dwindled so much that when Chalmers was requested Wednesday, a Heat spokesman said, "we haven't heard that name much." That's not to say Chalmers has been any less productive. Although his scoring numbers were down from last year, he pointed toward the positives in his stat line. "I had career-highs in 3-pointers made , 3-point percentage [40 percent]," Chalmers said. "I'm just doing the little things each and every day and trying to get better." The maturation in Chalmers is shown in his reaction to second-year guard Norris Cole's emergence in the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks. Cole played well enough to earn most of the fourth-quarter minutes. The old Chalmers might have taken it as a threat to his playing time. The new Chalmers looks at it as preparing Cole if the team needs him during the playoff run. "It's not motivation to me," Chalmers said. "I'm motivated through myself. It's a collective thing. It's all about the team. If [Cole] is playing good, that makes our team better. There's no pressure on me. You know me, I never show it even if I'm under pressure. I'm excited that he's playing good."
Consistency issues a thing of the past for Mario Chalmers
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 2