MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade will spend his 32nd birthday in Philadelphia Friday night as the team will be playing the 76ers. But another one of the Big Three, LeBron James, made sure to wish Wade a Happy Birthday on Instagram.
“Happy Bday to my running mate, homie, brother, and most of all straight up friend! The friendship we’ve created our rookie year at pre draft camp was pure and that’s why we stuck together from that point on! Obviously didn’t know we would eventually become teammates and do the things we’ve done so far.”
LeBron continued, “I came to Miami for 2 reasons. To play with U and to win championships and I can’t thank u enough for the sacrifice you’ve made since I arrived homie! No matter what happens in the future we stuck together like brothers for life. And no matter what they say, u still a BAD Mutha-Shut-Yo-Mouth out there on that court! @dwyanewade Oh almost forgot u old as dirt! Boy you look 40. Hahaha! #treyballbday #youasuckaonyobday”
Wade’s age, or more to the point his knees, will be a key element to whether or not LeBron, Wade, and Chris Bosh stay together with the Heat. Wade has seen his minutes managed this season to keep him healthy heading into the playoffs in April.
Wade still has over $20 million due to him in the next two seasons, but like LeBron and Bosh, he can opt out of his current contract at the end of the season.
The fear for Heat fans is that Wade, Bosh, and primarily LeBron can opt out. The line, “No matter what happens in the future…” will strike fear in the heart of Heat fans with the opt-out likely over the summer for LeBron.
Miami wants to keep the Big Three together, but a punitive luxury tax that will get worse for each year a team is over it. Miami will be a repeat offender under the new tax and that will greatly increase the eventual bill for being in the luxury tax.
If LeBron opts out, he can easily command a maximum contract from any team. The question then becomes how does the Heat manage to keep Wade and Bosh on the team and surround them with enough talent to remain a championship contender.
Another championship, a three-peat, would likely lead to all three staying together to see if they can continue the dynasty. If the Heat are ousted early in the playoffs, what happens after that remains to be seen.