Bye, Mario Chalmers (Sniffle, Sniffle)

Bye, Mario Chalmers (Sniffle, Sniffle)
via @MiamiHeat

Mario Chalmers was a knucklehead, but he was our knucklehead. We'll miss you, Rio. 

Emotions were all over the place once news dropped Tuesday afternoon that the Miami Heat had traded seven-year-veteran Heater guard Mario Chalmers and James Ennis to the Memphis Grizzlies. Heat fans had developed a love-hate relationship with Chalmers over the course of his seven seasons with the team. Sometimes he was our beloved Mario; other times, he was his evil alter ego, Wario. Heat fans will oddly miss tweeting "Chalmers My Life!" after Mario's quarterly brain-dead mistakes. Chalmers was like the pet you could stay mad at only so long for peeing on the carpet — he was just too lovable to hate for an extended stretch of time. The laughs and good times outweighed the bad. 

The deal is expected to save the Heat roughly $6 million in luxury-tax payments, inching them closer to sliding below the dreaded repeater-tax threshold, a place where no team has ever ventured. The Heat also received a $2.1 million trade exception in the deal. The swap with Memphis also makes it more likely the team will heat up trade talks surrounding Chris "Birdman" Andersen. Clearing his salary from the books would free the Heat from the tax, and he has seen the court sparingly this season. 

Heat fans weren't the only ones taking the news of the Chalmers trade roughly. President Pat Riley also treated it as a bittersweet pill to swallow. 

"This is a tough day for myself and the organization in trading Mario Chalmers and James Ennis," Riley said in a team statement. "Mario was a part of two championships with us, and Ennis is a solid young player, but it is part of the business, and it was a move necessary to make because of our crowded backcourt. We feel that it is in the best interest of Mario, and we want him to be successful and be a part of a good team. We wish them nothing but the best."

It's been a running joke over the past seven years: Mario Chalmers is a dolt at times, but you never know when he might also flash a little bit of his Mr.Clutch gene late in the game. Chalmers had quite a few humongous shots in a Miami Heat uniform and will always go down in Miami Heat history as a major part of some of the best basketball the team has ever played. There were enough good times with Chalmers in the lineup that the team, and the fans, developed a sort of "safe-place" feeling with him. Chalmers wasn't always the greatest, but you always knew what you were getting — so you were never surprised when what you got was... Mario Chalmers

Everyone knew about Chalmers' reputation as the Miami Heat little brother that everyone got mad at sometimes but ultimately loved in the end. Even President Obama:

What might make Heat fans more upset than anything else about the trade of Chalmers is that it inches the door closed a tad bit more on an era of basketball no one will ever forget. Chalmers was a part of two championships — undeniably the most enjoyable stretch of play we have ever seen. Just Wade, Bosh, Birdman, and Haslem remain from those teams now. It's tough to close that chapter — but if the way the team has been performing of late is any indication of things to come, then many more good times are on the way. 

We'll miss you, Mario. Thanks for the good times, and the laughs. 

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