LeBron James Expected Pat Riley To Break Heat’s ‘Big Three’ If They Lost In 2012 East Finals Against Celtics

Forward Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat with teammates Dwyane Wade #3 and LeBron James #6 against the Philadelphia 76ers at the American Airlines Arena in game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2011 in Miami, Florida.
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In 2010, LeBron James made one of the biggest moves of his NBA career when he decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to form “Big Three” with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. However, despite having a star-studded roster, James’ stint with the Heat was also filled with drama and frustrations. After they fell into the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, James felt that he only had a year left to prove that he could help the Heat win an NBA championship title.

In the 2012 NBA Playoffs, James and the Heat had easily defeated the teams they faced in the first and second rounds. However, after winning the first two games of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, the Heat lost the next three games and were on the verge of being upset. During those times, James admitted in a recently held Instagram Live video chat with fans that if they lose in Game 6 against the Celtics, he was thinking that Heat President Pat Riley would consider breaking Miami’s “Big Three.”

“My mentality was if we lose, [Heat president] Pat Riley may break us all up. And I [didn’t] want that,” James said, as quoted by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“It might be the quickest breakup in basketball history.”

Aside from the possibility of being traded by Riley, James also had his legacy in mind when they faced the Celtics in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.

“Not only might they break it all up, but my legacy is going to take a huge, huge hit if I don’t go out here and perform at an all-time high,” James said.

When they played against the Celtics in Game 6 after suffering three consecutive losses, James had activated beast mode. James made 10 of his first 11 shots and dropped 30 points just in the first half. To ensure that the Celtics wouldn’t be able to make a comeback, James didn’t leave the floor over the first three quarters and did his best to increase the Heat’s lead as large as he could.

After finishing with 45 points and 15 rebounds, James succeeded to help the Heat to force a Game 7 against the Celtics. James and the Heat continued their momentum in Game 7 and Miami’s “Big Three” managed to enter the NBA Finals for the second straight year. However, this time, James, Wade, and Bosh finally won their first NBA championship title together after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals in just five games.