As the Heat gets ready to take the floor for Game Six of the NBA Finals tonight, some players may have more on their minds than championship aspirations.
Like the possibility that they'll be wearing a Miami jersey for the last time.
We're not talking role players here either -- those changes are inevitable.
Simply making an appearance in the finals does not cut it in Miami, even if it is the team's third in a row. Not when Mickey Arison doles out that much cash to three players. Not when you win 27 games in a row and look bored with the rest of the league. Not when the best player in the world sets your championship expectations with "not one, not two, not three."
So what happens if the Heat can lay claim to only one championship after three years of "the big three"? Someone goes, and it's obvious it won't be the guy who drove a Hummer in high school. Or whose mom was allegedly put on her back by a teammate.
Odds are it won't be the guy who once filed suit over herpes either.
There's no denying Dwyane Wade is entering the twilight of his career. Injuries have accrued, as he's more than willing to tell you; the quickness that once made him so explosive is starting to deteriorate. His consistency has become questionable. His production has been on the decline; his points per game have dropped from 30.2 to 21.2 over the past five seasons, while the accusations of dirty play have been on the rise.
That said, he's Dwyane Wade. He's been the face of the franchise for ten years. He's birthed "Wade County." He walks the streets of Miami with impunity. Odds are he decides when he leaves.
So that leaves one man. One man who may not own a Hummer but his wife gave one, of a different kind, to a martian. Allegedly.
The fans' favorite scapegoat, Chris Bosh, is the most likely candidate to be shipped out of town should the team fall to San Antonio. He's already been the subject of multiple trade rumors, one of which linked Bosh to the Charlotte Bobcats, and hasn't done anything to shake the "soft" reputation he's acquired throughout his career. Although the spacing Bosh plays an important part in the Heat offense, his propensity to jack threes like Nate Robinson has rubbed fans the wrong way.
Bosh himself has addressed the whispers, which have grown to roars since the Indiana series. Ironically, his home was robbed earlier in the season, so the former Raptor can relate to how fans feel after watching his rebounds come up missing quicker than a tape at a LeBron summer camp.
Even if the Heat does win games six and seven in Miami, which is not a given considering it hasn't won consecutive playoff games since facing Chicago, Bosh's days in South Beach may be numbered. So, Heat fans, remember this face. You may not see much of it after tonight.
Follow Dennis Bovell on Twitter @dbovell.
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