"I love the burden. I love what I have to do for this team to win… I'm coming back saying if we come back with this roster, we're going to compete for a championship," James said.
James is not the only one who wants to continue to play for the Heat. Both forwards, James Jones and Rashard Lewis have decided to use their player options to stay with the Heat for next season. Mario Chalmers will also be remaining with the Heat, as the Heat have used their team option in order to keep the guard. Chris Bosh and Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra, have also said that they have little doubt that Ray Allen will return to play for the Heat next season and on Friday they were proven right. The 37-year-old guard decided to use his player option in order to continue with the Heat next Season.
As for the "Big 3" and the other Heat players, things seem a little more uncertain. There is still no word yet if Bosh or Dwyane Wade will be back. Given Wade's past injury and the Heat's overall lack of size, it would be a good bet that Bosh will stay. It is also obvious that Wade and Bosh love playing for the Heat and given a choice will likely remain.
According to Wade, "Everybody that came here pretty much took a pay cut to be here."
This commitment undoubtedly shows the dedication and affection all the Heat players have for their team. Forward, Chris "the Birdman" Andersen is also up in the air, though Andersen has already expressed a desire to remain with the Heat at last Monday's championship rally. Andersen staying will be especially helpful for the Heat, as he has the height and talent that the team needs in order to keep up strength in the paint.
However, next season the Heat will be facing steep tax bills that could impact the 2013-2014 roster. This could pose problems as the Heat are already committed to $85 million for next season. Also, there are rumors circulating that the Heat may be signing free agent Greg Oden for next season. Otherwise, more than half the roster will remain unchanged leaving very little room for other additions unless there is a trade. However, Pat Riley is adamant that there will likely be little change in regards to the Heat's roster.
"I like our team….We don't like change. There are times that it's necessary to change, but we don't feel like it's necessary," Riley said.
In short, it seems like the Heat will remain mostly unchanged come next basketball season despite future challenges.
- Ray Allen Will Return to Miami Heat for 2013-14 Season
- Late Game Heroics Save Season for the Miami Heat, Force Game 7 Against the San Antonio Spurs
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