LeBron James comments on Heat – Pacers rivalry
This season, the Indiana Pacers are the Miami Heat’s No.1 rivals. Or maybe aren’t they? According to LeBron James, there is no such rivalry this season. In fact, the King stated that there are no rivalries in the NBA.
As LeBron stated just recently, two consecutive playoff meetings are not enough for the Pacers to be considered as Miami’s rivals. Although during the previous Eastern Conference Finals the Pacers posted a huge threat to the defending champs, forcing a Game 7 in the series, that’s not enough, from LeBron’s point of view.
Even despite the fact that this season the Pacers are the only true threat in the East, James thinks of Indiana as yet another tough opponent. Of course, every fan in the East and also in the entire NBA is looking forward to a strong matchup in this season’s playoffs. The Heat and the Pacers stand many chances to solve their differences in the Eastern Finals for the second time in a row. However, it simply takes more than for them to be considered as true rivals.
LeBron stated that we can only say that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics were rivals some years ago. During that era, every season for many years, those two teams fought hard against each other with true passion. The players, the fans and everyone around those two teams was truly devoted in beating the opponent. This went above and beyond just recording a win or winning a championship. During those years, it was all about domination, topping the opponent and the league. The quality and the strength of the opponent was what it gave so much value to the victory.
Of course, nowadays, we can still consider some matchups as rivalries in the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks can be one obvious case, although they might not be the perfect example. But in the Western Conference there are also some strong matchups that can be considered as rivalries. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns are one.
The truth is that some rivalries have their origins in the past. Nonetheless, the league is constantly evolving. Teams lose power and others gain significant ground. That’s how the NBA is constructed and it’s really fair. Through the draft, the salary cap and all those rules the NBA committee has brought in, every team has the chance to make it to the top, while it’s also really difficult for any team to stay at the highest level for many years.
That’s why we see teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Indiana Pacers rebuild their roster from scratch. That’s why we see some rivalries fade.
Despite all those changes, we can say that in a level, some rivalries still exist and will always exist in the NBA. Fans around the league want to see such rivalries. It just adds to the intensity and the interest level.
At present, there might not exist a rivalry between the Heat and the Pacers. But if the two teams continue to stay at the top of the East and meet each season in the playoffs or the conference finals, then the rivalry will grow.