When Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh became teammates during the summer of 2010, they made a proclamation that their partnership would bring Heat fans not one or two NBA titles, but six, seven, eight or nine championships. The prevailing wisdom was that Heat management could surround the trio with perpetual NBA rotation players and the team would steamroll opponents in the regular season and playoffs to win NBA title after NBA title for the next decade.
After two seasons worth of data it is apparent the Heat's model of three stars and a dozen rotation players will not bring them a shelf full of NBA champion trophies. Their regular season performance, while excellent, was not the best in the Eastern Conference in either season. And their two playoff runs proved more difficult than they projected, with a NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and then having to battle back from deficits in their final three playoff series to win the title in 2012.
The Heat's model really showed its flaws in the 2012 playoffs. Against the Indiana Pacers, it took incredible individual performances from Wade and James to bring the Heat back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Pacers in the best of seven series. Then, in the Eastern Conference Finals against a Boston Celtics team decimated by injuries to critical personnel, it again took an unbelievable performance from James to tie the series at three games apiece in Game 6 and then incredible focus from the entire team in the last six minutes of Game 7 to win the series. Lastly, they needed to, and did, maintain their laser-like focus against a very good Oklahoma City Thunder team to overcome another series deficit and win the NBA Finals.
The sense of urgency displayed by James, Wade, Bosh and their teammates was incredible and they played magnificent basketball in the 2012 playoffs. That sense of urgency had to come from the realization that their original expectation of multiple titles using this model was unreasonable and that if they did not win the NBA title this year it may never happen. This recognition that it takes more than three great players to win NBA Championships every year is most likely what led the Heat to the decision that they need another great basketball player to consistently win NBA championships.
To attain another great player the Heat management looked to free agency and found Ray Allen, a future Hall of Famer who at the age of 36 is still the best jump shooter in the NBA. Allen's agreement to sign with the Heat undoubtedly increases the chances that James, Wade and Bosh will win multiple championships together in a Heat uniform. However, their seeking another perennial All-Star and landing Allen is an admission that they could not do it alone.