“Trying To Play The Villain Just Took The Joy Out Of The Game…” – Fadeaway World

(via SB Nation)

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James created one of the best and most notorious “superteams” of that decade, and they would go on to win two straight titles before eventually splitting up in 2014.

While their successes can’t be argued in hindsight, it doesn’t mean things were always easy for them. In 2011, when they lost in a shocking upset to the Dallas Mavericks, their flaws were exposed in an enormous way.

But, according to Dwyane Wade, who made an appearance on the “No Chill” podcast, the biggest problem for the Heat that year was actually their battle against their identity as villains. It apparently took all the fun out of the game.

“It took the fun out of basketball,” Wade responded. “Trying to play the villain just took the joy out of the game. Even though we were good and all that kind of stuff, we didn’t have fun in that first year. We were like, ‘Alright, we’re going to show them’. That’s not the way you go through an entire year.

The hate kind of drive us in the wrong…We didn’t place it right. If we were to place the hate in the right spot, we could have still had joy playing,” he explained. “But we took everything that people were saying about us…We took it personal. And once we got the time of winning time, we couldn’t perform.”

James became the most hated player in the NBA that summer, not only leaving his home-town team, but for joining with two other superstars to significantly increase his odds of winning.

To many, it felt like the easy way out, and it was something that followed both Bron and the Heat throughout their run together.

But after suffering that brutal loss in 2011, the pressure was lightened and the team was able to find their joy again.

Today, that Miami squad is still known as one of the best to ever get assembled, and they achieved a level of greatness very rarely matched in sports history.