In 2010, the Miami Heat had one of the best offseasons in their franchise history when LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to leave their respective teams to team up with Dwyane Wade in South Beach. Despite experiencing an early struggle, the Heat’s “Big Three” managed to make four consecutive appearances to the NBA Finals and won two NBA championship titles. The “Big Three” era in Miami undeniably made a huge impact all around the league, forcing other NBA teams to build their own “Big Three” or “superteams” and some NBA players to throw away their loyalty and chase for their first championship ring.
In a recent interview with Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports, Chris Bosh, who recently announced his official retirement from the NBA, agreed to the idea that the “Big Three” era in Miami had made a huge effect on the decision of several NBA superstars, including Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors. If he and LeBron James didn’t join Dwyane Wade in Miami in 2010 NBA free agency, Bosh believes Durant wouldn’t have left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in the summer of 2016.
“No,” Bosh said when asked if Durant would still consider parting ways with the Thunder if the Heat’s “Big Three” wasn’t formed in 2010. “That put pressure on him.”
Here’s some of what Chris Bosh said just hours before having his jersey retired by Heat https://t.co/jJiavbvDAV "I've been at peace for a while," Bosh said when asked if he's at peace that his playing career is over
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) March 26, 2019
Kevin Durant’s 2016 NBA free agency decision has earned plenty of criticism since. In his final season playing for the Thunder, he and Russell Westbrook almost eliminated the 73-9 win Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. By teaming up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in Golden State, most people believed that Durant took the easiest road to win an NBA championship title.
As of now, Kevin Durant doesn’t seem to have any regrets leaving the Thunder for the Warriors in the 2016 NBA offseason. If Chris Bosh was right about what pressured KD to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State, Durant must be thanking the Heat’s “Big Three” for influencing his decision. In his first two seasons with the Warriors, Durant won back-to-back NBA championship titles and was also named Finals MVP twice.
Despite the improvements made by several title contenders, the Warriors remain as the heavy favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2018-19 NBA season. When the season is over, Kevin Durant is set to make another controversial decision as he has a player option on his contract that will enable him to become an unrestricted free agent. Though numerous rumors suggested that he would leave the Warriors, it is still hard to imagine Durant throwing away what he could accomplish in Golden State to play somewhere else.