NBA

LeBron James' Miami Heat exit is actually a positive for one player

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LeBron James' absence from the Miami Heat next season will undoubtedly affect the South Florida franchise - as it would be for any team suddenly without the best player in the NBA.

But they have done their best to downplay the impact of James' shock summer departure in recent days, with Eric Spoelstra and several of the Heat roster either not discussing the former face of the franchise at the Heat media day last week or choosing to emphasise the quality players they still have as they begin a new post-LeBron chapter.

They have added a number of solid recruits in a bid to beef up a roster stripped of a number of players beside LeBron during the offseason, and far from be downhearted at not having the opportunity to play alongside James, one of them at least actually sees some positives in a LeBron-free Miami Heat.

Former Indiana Pacers star Danny Granger was brought in four days before LeBron James made the announcement that he would be leaving Miami, but believes the events that followed could actually play into his hands:

"It's two-fold," Granger explained to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

"Yeah, I think everybody would like a chance to play with LeBron. But in the same aspect, a guy like me, who's trying to re-establish myself, him leaving isn't a terrible thing for me."

"It gives me an opportunity to play more, affords to do more of what I used to do. My initial reaction was to come to play with him, but once he left, it still was a good situation for me," continued the former All-Star.

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Personal Gains

Granger arrives in Miami after a couple of years ravaged my injury. 

As recently as 2009 the small forward was leading the scoring charts for the Pacers and gaining plaudits up and down the league for his performances. But as issues such as patellar tendinosis surfaced his time on the court was severely limited.

Having slipped down the pecking order he was traded away to Philadelphia on last season's trade deadline day and was presumably preparing himself for a season in the shadows of LeBron James when he initially agreed to link up with the Miami Heat.

So on a strictly personal level LeBron's exit certainly means more game time for Granger in the 2014-15 campaign, and the 31-year-old is aware of how important that is for a player in his situation.

"I reassessed a little bit," confessed Granger when discussing the days following James' announcement.

"But at the point where I was at, it was more about me re-establishing, rather than the money or something like that. I've made a bunch of money. I just want to re-establish myself as the player that I was previously."

Miami reality

With a huge hole to fill in the Miami roster, Heat fans will certainly be hoping Granger rediscovers the form which saw him achieve 2009 All-Star honors in order to help plug that gap.

But in reality there is little the Heat players, staff, or fans can do about losing their star man. Even with the likes of Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade sticking around. and veteran Luol Deng joining the franchise. the Miami Heat are facing up to a far more challenging 2014-15 season than would have been the case with LeBron James in their midst.

 

Topics:
Miami Heat
LeBron James
NBA

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