In a May Instagram chat, Chris Bosh gave voice to the gnawing sense that the Miami Heat of 2010 to 2014 -- a supernova of sports celebrity -- fell short of expectations. Bosh conceded the Golden State Warriors had surpassed that Heat team in dynastic terms, and compared the Heat to the short-lived U.K. musical phenomenon Cream.
Bosh has not been alone. In the lead-up to Wednesday's 10-year anniversary of The Decision, a roundtable of ESPN experts debated whether the Big Three Heat underachieved. End-of-decade retrospectives about the 2010s NBA seemed to focus more on the Warriors, and even on LeBron James' transcendent run in 2016 to Cleveland's first championship in 52 years.
Some of that was our collective brain gravitating toward more recent events. Some of it was about basic longevity. The Heat's run came apart at least two or three years before they anticipated -- before LeBron even turned 30. If the Heat's on-court imprint failed to measure up to the earthquake of the team's formation, a lot of that had to do with the decline of Dwyane Wade's knees.
By the 2013 playoffs, which ended in Miami's second consecutive title, Wade's impact was scattershot. He cracked 20 points only once in the conference finals -- a seven-game slog over a 49-win Indiana Pacers team. His production swung wildly in Miami's epic seven-game Finals win over San Antonio. He shot horribly from the post until a 23-point performance in Game 7 that was somehow both gutty and polished. The Heat were minus-57 in that series with Wade and James on the floor. Wade showed up for the finale, but the Heat got there in large part behind James-centric lineups stacked with shooting.