New royal trio gets a taste of Miami fans’ adoration
MIAMI — How long did it take for Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh to get a taste of their newfound expectations after they took the stage Friday at American Airlines Arena?
As long as it took for the crowd of 13,000 Miami Heat fans to chant, “Beat L.A.”
In a ceremony essentially fit for royalty, the Heat’s new trio of basketball stars soaked in an atmosphere that resembled more of a rock concert than an introductory news conference.
Wearing their Heat uniforms, Wade, James and Bosh ascended the stage in a rising platform amid smoke, flames and fireworks. With Wade standing in the middle, the three smiled, danced and pointed to fans.
And then they delivered the message South Florida was waiting to hear.
“We’re going to make the world know — not just the league — that the Heat is back,” James said, wearing his new No. 6 jersey. “It feels right.”
The Heat isn’t scheduled to open training camp for another two months. It’s going to be difficult for the fans — and these players — to wait.
“Let’s get it done, man,” Bosh said. “Let’s get this done. We’re going to bring worldclass basketball here.”
Despite having just five players currently in tow — and at least eight roster spots to fill — the Heat have emerged as the odds-on favorites to advance to the NBA Finals from the Eastern Conference. Wade, James and Bosh have yet to play a game together, but the league-wide bulls-eye already is affixed. No problem, Wade said. “We know teams are going to be coming at us,” Wade said. “That’s what we want. We’re all here to bring out the best in each other. And we’re here to win championships.”
From left: Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James acknowledge the cheers during a fan event at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, where they were introduced in front of Heat fans.