Mario Chalmers wasn’t called back by the Miami Heat under the NBA hardship rules after Dion Waiters missed three games following his ankle injury. Would Super Mario have helped the team to avoid ugly losses against the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets? We’ll never know.
Reminiscing about Chalmers brings back memories of his unusual relationship with LeBron James.
Chalmers name even came up on a search of NBA garbage time etiquette.
Shots aren't always the issue. Miami's Erik Spoelstra learned that during his first season as Heat coach, and the memory of what occurred on Dec. 26, 2008, has stayed with him.
The Heat were beating Chicago 90-77 with 31 seconds remaining. Spoelstra called a 20-second time-out just to get starters Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem out of the game. And on the other bench, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro, assistant coach Del Harris and some Chicago players were more than a little annoyed.
Spoelstra thought about calling time in a similar situation earlier this season to get center Hassan Whiteside out of the game. He didn't, and seconds later Whiteside cut his right hand on a freak play and needed 13 stitches.
Lance Stephenson received a lesson about that unwritten rule from the Toronto Raptors this week.
Chalmers shares the same absolute confidence Waiters possesses any time he has the ball. Perhaps he could have filled Miami’s point guard void, on a ten-day contract, for old-times sake.
For now James Johnson will take the Heat on his shoulders as the missing link in the season’s final week. Going undefeated during his MMA days, losing is a foreign concept to JJ.
He brings that same winner’s attitude to the basketball court, by making his teammates better. “Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts.” JJ provided that effect as a starter for the team against the Charlotte Hornets, just he did for the rotation players earlier coming off the bench.
Will his presence be enough for the Heat to see post-season action?