What is a Dynasty?
In a sport known to produce countless great players, history has given us only a few great teams and even fewer that have actually earned this unequivocal title.
Recent times gave way to a San Antonio Spurs franchise which many openly place an asterisk next to for the simple fact that their dominance never included consecutive title victories.
To be or not to be, the fact remains that of 30 franchises league-wide, only five truly claim allegiance to this honor, with the Lakers and the Celtics being the only two to repeat the feat in multiple eras.
When we think of how difficult it was for these teams to reach this level and consider the relative parity in the game today, a rarely spoken reality lends credibility to odds that say it may never happen again.
An old adage says, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Several teams would soon adopt that mantra, reminding us of a popular quote from New York based lyricist Rakim Allah, who once said, "Students influenced are now a nuisance!"
Super teams have become a way of life in the NBA, with the Lakers, the Heat and a few others leading the pack.
Despite this intriguing stat, there's one point of contention that supports the Miami Heat being the only one of the group with a true shot at earning this monumental title.
That one point of contention is the Big 5.
This Big 5 encompasses Leadership, Coaching, Youth, Skill and Motivation.
When we look at the brains behind the Miami Heat organization, from owner Micky Arison to General Manager Pat Riley, the mastery that moves this vessel remains unparalleled.
Need proof? Look no further than the team as it was initially assembled.
After falling short in year one, a few minor tweaks solidified the roster to not only keep them in contention but ultimately net them their first collective title and second franchise title.
Entering the 2012-2013 season with the proverbial "X" on their back, management once again responded by adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to solidify an already successful roster.
When you look at the steps taken to carefully craft this team, the results come as no coincidence.
Adding to that front-office leadership is a battle-tested head coach who started as a video room tech and scaled a rather steep mountain to reach his career peak.
The example of former Lakers head coach Mike Brown gives us great insight on how difficult it is to balance the rigors of coaching a high-profile roster in a high-profile city known for a certain level of excellence.
Similarly, head coach Erik Spoelstra also endured the pain of trying to gain the respect of a few larger-than-life superstars. He would lose in an NBA Final en route to mastering that treacherous stage.
Commitment to his craft and a management team equipped to give him the tools to succeed created an atmosphere that allowed him to flourish and never look back.
Beyond strong leadership, two paralleled principles which collectively give the Miami Heat all the ammo necessary to repeat are Youth and Skill.
The trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh remains a work in progress, but for 29 other teams, that's precisely the problem.
They continue to work with progress, and what's scary is that their evolution has yet to come full circle.
In the 2012 NBA Finals we saw LeBron James evolve to a level unseen in his already illustrious career.
Recently, we witnessed him demonstrate that evolution by putting a slumping team on his back and scoring 32 second-half points to lead them back from the brink of defeat to a solid road victory against a dangerous Houston Rockets team.
With the overall talent of these three men and the brain-power surrounding them, there's no reason to believe there's a shortage of tools assembled to achieve that rare level of greatness few other franchises have enjoyed.
There lies the greatest key to this Big 5: sheer motivation. A passion for greatness that separates them from any other tandem assembled in their era.
This motivation is collectively shared by all key figures involved.
A title this year moves them beyond the asterisk achieved by the Spurs. That feat comes by virtue of consecutive titles.
Add another title to that one, and suddenly you have to place them in the rare class of the Chicago Bulls, Lakers and Celtics, by virtue of winning three consecutive titles.
A followup title beyond that point moves them ahead of the Bulls to a level only celebrated by the Auerbach-led Boston Celtics of the good old days!
It may seem impossible, but in fitting fashion, the man affectionately named "Red" could soon hold court in the company of a team destined to remain red hot like his teams were.
Not a believer? A silent reality says that you don't have to be...but realize that they are!
Allow the content of this article to serve as a spark, igniting a debate which will undoubtedly blaze into a wildfire as the title count continues to increase.
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