By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
For Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem, this marks five East finals appearances in nine years. For LeBron James, it's a fifth trip to this round in the past seven years, now three straight with Miami after a pair of trips to the East finals with Cleveland. For Ray Allen, it's a fourth East title-round trip in six years, the first three of those coming with Boston.
Dwyane Wade's rookie season ended with a playoff loss to the Indiana Pacers. The next year, the Miami Heat were headed to the Eastern Conference finals and certain that an NBA championship was in their sights.
The Miami Heat have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Spurs have dominated for years with the trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Dwyane Wade is limping around in obvious pain. LeBron James' shooting percentage is down. Shane Battier and Ray Allen have struggled to get anything going from 3-point range.
The 65 points allowed were only two more than the all-time postseason low for a Miami opponent, and it was easily the worst offensive performance by a Chicago team in the playoffs.
The suggestion that he's a flopper drew a grin as wide as his wingspan from LeBron James.
It started with the flu, and turned into a hospital stay. There were terrible headaches and weakness. Just walking was a chore.
The Miami Heat have been in this less-than-ideal spot before.
Actually, maybe it's not that much of a stunner anymore. Since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all ignored overtures from the Bulls and decided to team up in Miami three years ago, Chicago has a 9-8 record against the Heat.
Derrick Rose still has not ruled out a return this season for the Chicago Bulls, saying he could play in their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat.
The formal announcement of LeBron James' fourth Most Valuable Player award is planned for Sunday, the eve of the Eastern Conference semifinals for the Heat. The honor will vault him into an elite category shared by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, the only other players to win the award at least four times.
Dwyane Wade has returned to the practice court and says he's encouraged about how his troublesome right knee feels, with the Miami Heat still three days away from starting the second round of the playoffs.
LeBron James is getting his fourth Most Valuable Player award _ and the only mystery left is whether the vote was unanimous.
Jason Collins nearly got Rick Welts into $200 worth of trouble.
LeBron James worked Ray Allen hard for two years, urging the veteran guard to come to Miami any time he saw him.
"I feel great about being a pioneer and showing my leadership," he said at Madison Square Garden, where signs throughout the entrances showed the player pictured in a Knicks uniform and reading "Welcome, Amare Stoudemire."
And he said he won't be affected if those players say no to New York.