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Saturday, July 10, 2010

James, Bosh & Wade: Miami's "Dream Team"! Ready To Win!

Miami Heat Fans Welcome LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh

Dressed in a white Heat uniform for the first time, LeBron James took a look at his new home crowd, folded his arms across his chest and nodded.

"It feels right," James said. "To be in this position, to wear the Heat uniform, everything is nice. We're going to make the world know that the Heat is back."

Naturally, James promised championships. Multiple championships.

"That's the only reason I'm here, man," James said.

With 13,000 fans chanting "Yes We Did!" amid an atmosphere more suited to a rock concert than a basketball game, the Miami Heat welcomed the NBA's newest trio of superstars at AmericanAirlines Arena Friday night for a celebration unlike just about any other in team history.

James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all arrived accompanied by plumes of smoke, lifted into the air on a forklift for their grand arrival.

Keys to the city were set to be awarded to each star, and Gov. Charlie Crist was in the stands.

But not all of Florida was impressed.

Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith said Friday he was surprised James went to Miami because he thought the two-time MVP was "more of a competitor."

Smith said the "great ones" do it on their own and "usually stay in one location."

It was rare public criticism from the usually coy Smith and perhaps a move to motivate his Magic.

Asked if James' move to Miami will cause a power shift in the NBA, Smith responded, "Is Kobe retiring?"

"He's proven he can do it on his own," Smith said of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, smiling over the comments. "Oops. My bad."

Smith also said the Magic "still hold the crown" as the best in the Southeast Division, having won three straight titles.

Meanwhile, Cleveland continued to fume over losing its former hero. The sports memorabilia business Fathead Inc., a company owned by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, offered LeBron James wall graphics online at price reduced from $99.99 to $17.41. The significance? Benedict Arnold was born in 1741.

"He quit," Gilbert told The Associated Press on Thursday night after roasting James in an open letter online. "Not just in Game 5 (of the Cavs' second-round loss to Boston this year), but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar. ... People have covered up for him for way too long."

A person familiar with the situation says Kyle Korver is following Carlos Boozer from Utah to Chicago after agreeing to sign with the Bulls, reportedly for $15 million over three years.

Matt Bonner reached a tentative agreement to return to San Antonio.

No. 1 draft pick John Wall was held out of practice Friday morning with a groin injury from Thursday night's session, but returned for the night session.

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Sources: ESPN, NY Daily News, Google Maps

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