New royal trio gets a taste of Mi­ami fans’ ado­ra­tion

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTSBRIEFING - By Michael wal­lace

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.”

j.Pat Carter AS­SO­CI­ATeD PReSS

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.

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