Entering the season, LeBron James said his Miami Heat teammates 'understand where I stand' regarding the future. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)
Miami — For the 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 its NBA Finals rematch against the Spurs might dictate what happens in July, when James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can become free agents.
A looming offseason of decisions has been a taboo subject for the Heat “Big 3” this season, and Wade insisted Monday Miami’s stars have not said a word to each other about what might happen.
“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 its first workout in preparation for the NBA 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. People are dying to get here.”
Regardless of the outcome of this Heat-Spurs 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 might think about doing the same, while Mario Chalmers, James Jones and Rashard Lewis are notable free-agents-in-waiting.
But, it’s not just the “Big 3” who aren’t thinking too far ahead, yet.
Allen said no one in the room is looking past anything but this series — especially with Spurs All-Star forward Tim Duncan saying San Antonio will get it done this year after falling short against Miami last season.
But, as James noted, both teams have their own form of motivation.
“That’s the great thing about having veterans,” Allen said. “Nobody worries about what’s not here yet.”
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.
“Whenever it’s all said and done, the legacy of this team, it’s going to be a great team,” Wade said. “It’s going to go down in history as an unbelievable team not only in South Florida but in NBA history.”
Bosh, Wade and James all made it clear in September they were not going to let the summer of 2014 turn into the circus the summer of 2010 was.
Entering the season, James said his teammates “understand where I stand” regarding the future.
And on Monday, James said he wasn’t going to let himself be distracted by thinking about what impact the result of these NBA Finals will have on the legacy the Heat have created over the last four seasons.
“No, because I live in the moment,” said James, who is looking to win a third consecutive title. “It’s almost the same with my individual accomplishments.
“The only time I’ll be able to appreciate it is when I’m done playing the game.”
Knicks president Phil Jackson has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for a tampering violation involving Thunder guard Derek Fisher.
Jackson told reporters last week that Fisher is “on my list of guys that could be very good candidates” to coach the Knicks next season.
Because Fisher is under contract, that was deemed to be in violation of league rules.
The Thunder was eliminated from the Western Conference finals last weekend by the Spurs, and Fisher is expected to retire.
... Bulls forward Joakim Noah and Pacers guard Paul George received the most votes for the all-defensive team.
The rest of the first team includes Clippers guard Chris Paul, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala.