In the past 15 Finals, 9 of the Heat or Lakers have participated-including seven consecutive finals from 2008 to 2014-although they have never met each other. The first game of this year's finals was the first time the two teams met on the highest stage in the NBA. However, the connection between these two teams is far more than that Lakers star LeBron James once led the Heat to win a championship, or Heat President Pat Riley once coached the Lakers during the Showtime period. Before the end of the finals, let us take a closer look at the origins between the two teams.
When James came to Miami’s Biscayne Bay, where the Heat are located ten years ago, he was only a 25-year-old two-time MVP winner. He has been in Ohio since his birth and his first trip to the Finals Was swept out. When he left the Heat four years later, his MVP trophy doubled, reached four finals, and won two championship trophies here.
"I was still growing up at the time. I was still a kid, trying to figure out what I needed to do as a person and a man, and I worked hard to win a championship trophy every year." James said when looking back on his Heat career. "I have grown and they have allowed me to grow. We spur each other every day and I am very comfortable with the team culture there because I work hard like everyone else."
Even at the age of 35, James' experience in the Heat has been affecting him. The most spoken word by James is, "Put your main energy on the main things." This is Pat Riley's mantra, and he uses this sentence to emphasize the personal needs of players who want to reach the top of the sport. how to do.
The Heat today is completely different from the Heat that James left six years ago. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh both retired. Of course, Riley is still the team's management, coach Eric Spoelstra still coaches the team, but the previous relationship has disappeared over time. When James returned to the Cavaliers for the second time, his teammates would imagine what he would be like when he played against the Heat in the playoffs-if he returned to the South Coast and played against his old friends, James' thoughts would be disrupted. ?
今天的热火与詹姆斯六年前离开的热火完全不同。德怀恩·韦德和克里斯·波什都退休了。当然，莱利仍是球队的管理层，教练埃里克·斯波斯特拉仍是球队的教练，但以前的关系随着时间的流逝而消失了。当詹姆斯第二次回到骑士队时，他的队友会想象他在季后赛与热火队比赛时的状态-如果他回到南海岸与他的老朋友队比赛，詹姆斯的思想将会被打乱。 。 ？
Now the situation is completely different. The finals took place in the quarantine area of Orlando, not in the Heat’s American Airlines Arena, where James’ No. 6 jersey will one day hang in the sky. James’ only former teammate, Udonis Haslem, never played in the playoffs. The Heat’s 60-year-old assistant, Bob McAdoo, did not come to Orlando with the team. Whenever James came to the Heat, he would accompany him in the visiting team’s locker room.
现在情况完全不同了。决赛在奥兰多的检疫区举行，而不是在热火的美国航空体育馆举行，詹姆斯的6号球衣将有一天悬挂在天空中。詹姆斯唯一的前队友乌多尼斯·哈斯勒姆（Udonis Haslem）从未参加过季后赛。热火现年60岁的助手鲍勃·麦卡杜（Bob McAdoo）并未随车队一起来到奥兰多。每当詹姆斯来到热火队时，他都会陪伴他在客队的更衣室。
Andre Iguodala, the player who recently came to the Heat, came to the team in the middle of the season. He should have the deepest connection with James. In the finals of the past five years, he has been an opponent of James four times. In the battle, Iguodala was in the Warriors and James was in the Cavaliers. Iguodala’s Warriors won three championships in the finals against the Cavaliers, but in 2016, the Cavaliers completed an epic 1-3 reversal. James left a career classic in the tie-break. One scene-the chasing hat given to Iguodala.
The connection between the Heat and James is worth mentioning. Of course, as long as James still focuses on the main things, the connection between them will have little impact on the results of this round of the series.
Above the California Lakers training ground, there is a window near the office of owner Jenny Buss, where the Lakers players can see the NBA's most spectacular sight: rows of sparkling O'Brien Cups.
In Miami, 3,000 miles away, three championship flags hung over the home stadium, the American Airlines Arena.
Pat Riley is the most important link between the two teams.
The last time Riley coached the Lakers was thirty years ago. The Lakers during the Showtime period have long been a symbol of Los Angeles, just like Hollywood. He is the leader of the Lakers dynasty. But he is also the creator of the Heat.
His way of winning in the Heat and the Lakers is completely different, but both are for success at all costs.
"You can't feel this kind of unity in other teams. Everyone is in the business model (created by Riley)." Tony Smith said that he was selected by the Lakers in 1990 and it was Riley who left. The first season for the Lakers, and then he joined Riley's Heat in the 1995-96 season, "This is something I haven't seen in other teams."
Thirty years after Riley left the Lakers, his disciple Magic Johnson became the Lakers' president of basketball operations and successfully recruited James. After Johnson resigned, general manager Rob Pelinka traded Anthony Davis to form another super duo for the Lakers, an all-around point guard with outstanding strength and tall stature, and a very dominant Powerful big man.
莱利离开湖人队三十年后，他的弟子魔术师约翰逊（Magic Johnson）成为湖人队篮球业务总裁，并成功招募了詹姆斯。约翰逊辞职后，总经理罗伯·佩林卡（Rob Pelinka）交易了安东尼·戴维斯（Anthony Davis），为湖人队组建了另一个超级二人组，他是一名全能的控球后卫，具有出色的实力和高个子的身材，而且是一个非常有统治力的大个子。
The Lakers led by James and Davis are now 2-0 ahead of Riley's Heat.
"When I see the current Heat, they remind me of players like Alonzo Mourning." Smith said, "They seem to be saying to me, brother, why are you so nervous, relax. "
The Heat will not relax, unless the man Spoelstra called the godfather brings another championship ring to this team.
"There is no doubt that (Riley) wants to win another championship ring." Smith said, "but he will not show it, you will never notice it. He will always behave very calmly, because this is him. What is being done."
"But in his heart, there is always a flame of desire for victory burning."
Today Eric Spoelstra is the coach with two crowns and is considered one of the best tactical masters in the league. But ten years ago, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to form the Big Three, it was unclear whether Spoelstra could stand the test.
Will he repeat the mistakes of Stan Van Gundy? Van Gundy was promoted to head coach by Pat Riley in 2003 and was replaced by Riley himself in just two years. At that time, the Heat once again had a championship-level lineup. Can Spoelstra live up to people's demanding expectations for this Heat?
他会重复斯坦范甘迪的错误吗？范甘迪（Van Gundy）于2003年被帕特·赖利（Pat Riley）提升为总教练，并在短短两年内被赖利本人取代。当时，热火再次获得了冠军级别的阵容。斯波尔斯特拉能否辜负人们对这场热火的苛刻期望？
For a while, he didn't seem to be behaving very well. In the first season of the 2010-11 season when the Big Three was formed, the team started with only 9 wins and 8 losses, and the famous "shoulder bump" incident occurred. Later in that season, the Heat's Big Three once discussed with Riley in his office whether to allow Riley to become the team's head coach. But Riley said firmly: "Spoelstra is the team's head coach."
Riley's trust in his disciples was later proved to be correct. Spoelstra's decision to adopt a small ball lineup allowed the Heat to win two championships back-to-back from 2012 to 2013. After the disintegration of the Big Three, Spoelstra's reputation continued to improve. He led the Heat to the finals again without actually experiencing reconstruction. Although the Heat lacked superstars, but they still played beyond expectations.
Coincidentally, James' head coach at the Lakers, Frank Vogel, was the head coach of the Heat's opponent Pacers. For three consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2014, Vogel's Pacers met James' Heat in the playoffs-the first time in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and the subsequent two in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Although Vogel and the Pacers caused a lot of trouble to the Heat, they never defeated their opponents. In the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, they had a tie-breaker with the Heat and finally lost with regret. After being out of the first round of the 2016 playoffs, Vogel was fired by the Pacers — and then he spent two seasons with the Magic with no more than 30 wins — and he didn't seem to have a chance to return to his peak level.
But the fact is quite the opposite. After Magic Johnson and Luke Walton left the Lakers last summer, general manager Rob Pelinka chose Vogel to coach the Lakers. Vogel succeeded in allowing this team to maximize its talent.
但是事实恰恰相反。魔术师约翰逊（Magic Johnson）和卢克·沃尔顿（Luke Walton）去年夏天离开湖人之后，总经理罗伯·佩林卡（Rob Pelinka）选择了沃格尔（Vogel）执教湖人。 Vogel成功地使该团队发挥了最大的才能。
In this way, Vogel and Spoelstra met again in the playoffs. Only this time, James was on Vogel's side.
The meeting of the two teams in the Finals can actually be traced back to the Bulls four years ago. The 2016 lineup of Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo — dubbed "The Three Alphas" — not only changed the Bulls, but also changed the careers of the three of them.
实际上，两支球队在总决赛中的交往可以追溯到四年前的公牛队。 Dwyane Wade，Jimmy Butler和Rajon Rondo的2016年阵容（被称为“三个阿尔法”）不仅改变了公牛队，而且改变了他们三人的职业生涯。
When the Bulls signed them that summer, Wade and Rondo were still players who could contribute, but the Bulls signed these two former All-Star players mainly to match the team's face Butler. Before that season, Rondo explained to the team how he can help the young people in the team and how to adapt the star to the role of leader.
"I'm not just talking about it, I will prove it with action." Rondo said, "I told Butler that a leader can't pick and choose. You must lead by example in every training every day. We. You have to train twice a day. If you are depressed and want to keep your mind emotional, you have to stick to it every day. Every day."
That season did not end in the way the Bulls hoped. In January 2017, Butler and Wade criticized young teammates after the team lost to the Hawks. Rondo issued a post the day after the game criticizing Wade and Butler for lack of leadership.
Since then, Wade and Butler have established a deep connection. Even after the two of them left the Bulls, the relationship has not been cut (Butler was traded to Timberwolves, Wade was bought out, and then in the Cavaliers He briefly became a teammate with James and then returned to the Heat). Butler later revealed that Wade told him that his character is very suitable for playing in the Heat.
Butler trusts Wade and respects Wade's performance on and off the court, but he also maintains respect for Rondo. Even in the middle of the season there was an upset, but because of the love of the sport, there is still a connection between these two proud players. Butler’s professional ethics is beyond reproach. He also appreciates Rondo’s efforts and the way he looks at the situation on the court and the game.
The connection between the three of them is not the only connection between the two teams in this series. Lakers substitute Quinn Cook and Heat wing Andre Iguodala spent two seasons with the Warriors. Jay Crowder spent half a season with the Cavaliers as teammates with James and Wade. He was traded for the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. But the most fascinating thing is the relationship between Wade, Rondo and Butler.
他们三个之间的联系并不是本系列中两个团队之间的唯一联系。湖人替补奎因·库克和热队安德烈·伊瓜达拉在勇士队度过了两个赛季。杰伊·克劳德（Jay Crowder）与詹姆斯（James）和韦德（Wade）一起在骑士队度过了半个赛季。他被凯里·欧文（Kyrie Irving）交易为骑士。但是最令人着迷的是韦德，朗多和巴特勒之间的关系。
Butler was able to come to the Heat, partly because of his relationship with Wade, but after coming to the Heat, he became a better leader, this is because he has seen and learned about Rondo, who now plays for the Lakers. How to play.
Outside the court, there are two legendary stars who played an important role in this round of the series.
17 years after leaving the field, Michael Jordan is still recognized as the best player in history. LeBron James said in an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2016: "My motivation comes from the best player in history I am chasing. The man who played in the Bulls."
When people are imagining that they can see the match between the two legends, Jordan and Pat Riley really have a rivalry. Riley lost to Jordan's Bulls four times in the playoffs, twice. It was in the Heat, and the other two were in the Knicks. The competition between the two of them even extends beyond the court.
In the documentary "The Last Dance", director Jason Hehir revealed that Jordan had robbed Riley of the presidential suite booked in Hawaii. According to Riley, the front desk told him that he needed to change rooms because of an unexpected guest. After a while, Riley walked out of the pool and looked up at the balcony of his original suite, where Jordan was standing and waving at him.
Nevertheless, Riley still respects Jordan very much, and even retired the No. 23 jersey in the Heat. This is why LeBron James and Jimmy Butler need to change their numbers during the Heat.
Another superstar associated with this round of the series is the late Kobe Bryant. After Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Heat in 2004, he provoked a rivalry between the two teams.
Five months after the deal was concluded, the two teams met for the first time on Christmas Eve. Kobe and O'Neal didn't even make eye contact before the game. Obviously the atmosphere is very tense and it feels like a professional boxing match.
In that game, Kobe performed well. Although he lost the game, he scored 42 points. At the same time, O'Neal had 24 points and 11 rebounds, but due to a full number of fouls, he could only sit on the bench at the last moment and watch Dwyane Wade solve the Lakers. Two years later, Wade helped O'Neal get the championship ring for the first time without Kobe. It wasn't until 2009 that Kobe also got the championship ring without O'Neal. Then a year later, his number of championships surpassed his former teammate.
In the same year, Wade, James and Bosh formed the Big Three in the Heat, and the competition between the two teams heated up again. The two teams met again on Christmas Eve, and the audience on the court once again felt the tension on the court. James and Kobe spoke to each other in the final moments of the game.
After the game, James was asked what the conversation between them was about.
James said: "I just ask what gift he got at Christmas."
That game was supposed to lay the foundation for the finals meeting, but it didn't materialize in that season-nor did it materialize afterwards. It wasn't until 2020, eight months after Bryant's death, that the meeting between the Heat and the Lakers in the Finals finally became a reality.
But this time, James is on the Lakers' side. When James joined the Lakers in 2018, Bryant told him that he was a member of the Lakers family.
The accidental deaths of Kobe and his daughter still affect this season. Kobe's last tweet is to encourage and congratulate James for surpassing his career total of 33,643 points. James promised from the bottom of his heart on Instagram that he would continue to complete Kobe's legacy.
When the Lakers put on the Mamba jersey again in Game 2 of the Finals, Kobe stood on the court again.
"Obviously, we represent him." Anthony Davis said that after he beat the Nuggets at the buzzer in the Western Conference Finals, he shouted "Kobe", "especially when wearing this jersey. This is His jersey, the jersey he created, every time we wear it, we want to win."
Now, James and the Lakers are only two wins away from paying tribute to Kobe in the best way.