"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power." -- Lord of the Rings
Here in Utah you can’t go anywhere without seeing a symbol of the Mormon faith - a CTR ring. The ring stands for “Choose The Right” as a reminder to help make proper “decisions.” Well in LeBron’s quest for a different kind of ring he could have used a CTR ring to help with his decision. After spending 7 years playing for his hometown team and watching all of the moves that they made since his arrival to become a title contender, LeBron must not have learned anything. Championships aren’t won over night. Championship teams aren’t built overnight. Now am I saying that Miami won’t win a championship? No, they have way too much talent to write off. I am saying that they didn’t CTR in all of their decisions this year.
Pat Riley has been a championship coach in both LA and Miami. He also got the Knicks to the finals and was a John Starks jumper away from winning a title there. Pat Riley knows how to win. In the summer it didn’t appear initially that Pat Riley needed the reminder of a CTR ring, he was making correct choices right and left. However with hindsight being 20/20 lets look back at his decisions. First choice was he essentially had Wade go get his buddys to come play in South Beach. When those buddies are the most talented player in the league and a 6’10 All Star Forward, I think it made since to let him do his recruiting.
However looking back there is a reason that players aren’t in the front office. So I consider this the first time that Riley could have used a CTR reminder. He was letting Wade bring in a guy who would duplicate Wade’s talents and wasn’t a great spot up shooter. Then Wade brought in a big man that isn’t a great rebounder and that doesn’t protect the rim. When you look back, it doesn’t make so much since. To make it worse they had to give away their first round pick, a couple of spot up 3 point shooters (DaeQuan Cook and Dorrell Wright) and Michael Beasley to make this possible. Then to complete the sign and trades, with Bosh and LeBron, they gave away future picks. Wright and Cook are both known as spot up 3 point shooters, which Riley should have known would be very necessary, to bring in the big 3. Think if they would have just kept Beasley and not signed Bosh. What does Bosh do that Beasley doesn’t do anyway? If they could have still landed LeBron, with Wade and Beasley, there would still be plenty of money available to get better big men than 50 year old Eric Dampier, 72 year old Big Z, and 87 year old Juwan Howard. (As things are sitting now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to bring in 97 year old Dikembe Mutombo.) The thing that Riley should have learned from all this is that Wade shouldn’t be the GM. Just because you can play the game doesn’t mean you can build a team. Look at Isaiah Thomas. So someone in Miami needs to get to Deseret Book ASAP and get Riley a CTR ring.
Meanwhile Kevin O’Conner was looking at what would help the team become a championship team. I don’t know if Big Al was best buddies with Millsap and Deron Williams, but he is what the team needed. After getting knocked out the last two years by the Lakers length, KOC knew we needed to get bigger. Al fills the void in the middle that we have been feeling since the days of Ostertag. KOC also knew that we needed veteran toughness to help this group, so enter Raja Bell, Earl Watson, and Francisco Elson. (Who would have thought that the veteran minimum big man that plays with the toughness and energy that Miami could use would be the one that the Jazz got?) KOC must have been in Utah long enough to come in contact with enough CTR rings that choosing the right has become second nature to him.
We do also have another saying here in Utah, Return With Honor. A lot of Mormon homes have this above the door so whenever you leave the house it is the last thing you see. Well LeBron might have needed that to go with a CTR ring. Had LeBron just returned (with honor) to Cleveland last year he would be closer to that ring. Had he returned home the NBA would not be getting as much attention ESPN and in the national media, but LeBron would be sitting higher in the standings with a team that was built to play around him and a city that loved him. So had LeBron just had a CTR (Choose the Right) ring instead of a CTW (Choose the Wrong/Wade) ring, he would have a better shot at an NBA ring.