Notes: Heat focused on Finals, not the future

Dwayne Wade (left) said Miami’s stars haven’t discussed the possiblity of leaving as free agents. EPA/RHONA WISE CORBIS OUT
Dwayne Wade (left) said Miami’s stars haven’t discussed the possiblity of leaving as free agents.

For the Miami Heat, it’s all about June.

July can wait.

Four years ago, when LeBron James uttered that now-infamous phrase — ‘‘not two, not three, not four, not five . . . ’’ — about how many championships he hoped to win with the Heat, it was almost immediately turned into a punch line. It rings prophetic in some ways now, with the Heat back in the NBA Finals for a fourth consecutive season.


How the Heat fare in their NBA Finals rematch with the San Antonio Spurs might dictate what happens in July, when James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade can become free agents if they choose. A looming offseason of decisions has been a taboo subject for the Heat’s ‘‘Big 3’’ this season, and Wade insisted Monday that Miami’s stars have not said a word to each other about what may or may not happen.

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‘‘I’m not lying,’’ Wade said.

Still, as long as Miami keeps winning, it seems logical the ‘‘Big 3’’ will stay together.

‘‘I want to come back. That’s OK to say, I think,’’ Bosh said Monday after the Heat finished their first workout in preparation for the Finals, which begin Thursday in San Antonio. ‘‘I can’t speak for anything else and I don’t want to take away from the subject at hand, but I like it here. It’s Miami. Enough said.”

Regardless of the outcome of this series, there will be changes to the Heat, which is an annual rite for just about every team. James, Wade and Bosh can all opt out of their current deals. Shane Battier is retiring, Ray Allen may think about doing the same, and Mario Chalmers, James Jones, and Rashard Lewis are notable free-agents-in-waiting.


Winning a third straight title could make some of those stay-or-go decisions pretty simple. And Wade believes Miami’s legacy has been secured.

‘‘It’s going to go down in history as an unbelievable team not only in South Florida but in NBA history,” Wade said.

Parker may play

Injured Spurs guard Tony Parker is hopeful of playing in Game 1 of the Finals, according to multiple reports. Parker missed the second half and overtime of the Spurs’ Game 6 clincher against the Thunder Saturday night with left ankle soreness.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will address the media Tuesday.

A team source told ESPN the Spurs are optimistic their All-Star point guard will be available Thursday. Yahoo Sports offered a similar report.

Jackson fined $25k


Knicks president Phil Jackson was fined $25,000 by the NBA for a tampering violation involving veteran guard Derek Fisher, who is on a list of coaching candidates for New York. Because Fisher is under contract with the Thunder, that was deemed to be in violation of league rules.

Fisher, 39, is widely expected to retire and told reporters after Oklahoma City’s season ended that he plans to have conversations with teams about his future at some point. Sources told Monday that Jackson could meet with Fisher in an informal capacity this week.

Top defenders honored

Bulls center Joakim Noah and Pacers forward Paul George received the most votes on this year’s All-Defensive team, released Monday. Noah was the only player to receive more than 100 first-team votes and earn more than 200 points in voting. George had 65 votes. They were joined on the first team by Clippers guard Chris Paul, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, and Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala. James heads up the econd team, along with Pacers big man Roy Hibbert, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, and guards Patrick Beverley (Rockets) and Jimmy Butler (Bulls). Celtics guard Avery Bradley received one first-place vote and 5 points. Teammate Rajon Rondo finished with 1 point . . . Larry Bird wants Lance Stephenson back with the Pacers, at the right price. Bird said Monday he hopes Stephenson stays with the team, headaches and all. ‘‘I think his ceiling is what he wants it to be,’’ said the Pacers’ president of basketball operations. ‘‘I always want him back. You just don’t let talent like that walk away if you can help it.’’ Stephenson, 23, will soon be a free agent. He has had no bigger supporter or more important fan than Bird, who was unhappy with Stephenson’s mind games with the Heat. ‘‘That’s not what we’re about,” he said.