You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

In Miami, a belated apology to Cleveland

LeBron looking to Eastern finals

MIAMI — With two words, LeBron James captured Dwyane Wade's attention.

"I apologize," James said.

He said it late Wednesday night, roughly an hour after the Miami Heat finished off the Boston Celtics in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Wade was seated to James' left, looking down at the table, when that one phrase immediately had him lift his eyes toward his teammate's face.

The topic was how James and Cleveland lost to Boston in the 2010 playoffs — and the infamous whirlwind that followed his decision to leave the Cavaliers and join the Heat.

In that moment, as the Heat were moving forward, James was looking back.

"I went through a lot, you know, with deciding to be here, and the way it panned out, with all the friends and the family and the fans back home," James said. "I apologize for the way it happened."

No specifics were offered. James has said many times in recent months that he wishes certain aspects of last summer went differently. All those references being clear nods to "The Decision," the hourlong televised special July 8, 2010, in which he announced he was joining the Heat.

He may be sorry for that, but he's surely not sorry about the results so far in Miami.

The Heat are 8-2 in the postseason, 23-5 since March 10, and will be one of four teams left standing in the chase for an NBA title.

That's hardly good enough for Miami.

"We knew that in order to get to our goal, we had to go through Boston," Heat guard Mario Chalmers said. "And we got through them."

Thursday was a quiet day for the Heat, with players taking the day off while coaches and other staff found plenty to do in anticipation of Miami's first trip to the East finals since 2006. The earliest they will play again is Sunday, depending on the outcome of the Chicago-Atlanta matchup.

The Bulls held a 3-2 lead in that series entering Game 6 Thursday night.

It was a championship-type scene as the final buzzer sounded Wednesday in Miami's 97-87 victory, sealing the 4-1 series win over the now-dethroned East champs. The Celtics ended both Miami's season and James' tenure with Cleveland in the 2010 playoffs.

James knelt in prayer. Wade dove into the courtside seats to try and retrieve the final rebound, needing help to slowly get to his feet. Juwan Howard - the 38-year-old veteran who's headed to the NBA's final four for the first time - wrapped his arms around James' and Wade's necks, before they hugged one another. Boston's Ray Allen grabbed Chalmers, barking wisdom for several seconds into his ear as the younger guard nodded.

And how's this for a twist?

After his players were done trying to play defense against the Heat in Game 5, Celtics coach Doc Rivers took a turn defending them.

Literally.

"You know, I've never seen a team more criticized in my life, and a guy in LeBron more criticized for doing what was legal," Rivers said. "He didn't break a law. He didn't do anything wrong. You know, the preseason parade might have been a little bit much, but other than that ... I just told him 'Good luck and keep going' out there. He was very emotional. Good for him."

Wade scored 34 points in Game 5, while James added 33 — including the final 10 of the game.

He at least dampened the he-can't-finish notion.

"Big players make big plays," said Heat center Joel Anthony. "When he was in the moment, the moment was there. He definitely played huge for us."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) looks to pass in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Monday, April 14, 2014, in Washington. The Wizards won 114-93. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Wizards’ Otto Porter, Glen Rice Jr. hoping for big splash on small stage

  • Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) is surrounded by fans that rushed the field and security as he is escorted off the field following their 45-38 win over Oklahoma in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    SNYDER: RG3 worth his weight in bronze to Baylor

  • Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado (13), celebrates his two-run homer with Adam Jones left, with Nick Markakis, at right, during the 11th inning of an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. The Orioles won 8-2, in 11 innings. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Accidental rivalry: Nats-Orioles doesn’t have much edge

  • Celebrities In The News
  • (Image from DeAngelo Williams' Facebook post)

    NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket

  • ** FILE ** In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo actor George Clooney attends the premiere of "Gravity" at the AMC Lincoln Square Theaters, in New York. George Clooney has chastised a British newspaper over an article claiming his fiancee's mother disapproves of the impending marriage for religious reasons. Clooney said that the claims about his future mother-in-law Baria Alamuddin were untrue and irresponsible. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

    Website apologizes for Clooney mother-in-law story

  • Kim Kardashian arrives at the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment 2014 Upfront at the Javits Center on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Kim Kardashian visits Jersey shore