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April 19, 2014 Updates

How does Chris Bosh get fired up for a game? He doesn’t. Bosh prefers to play classical music or jazz while he is buried in a book before games. It does not get his blood pumping any faster, but it does help settle his mind and prepare him for the mental challenge ahead. When Miami opens the playoffs at home against Charlotte on Sunday (3:30 p.m., ABC), Bosh plans to prepare himself by starting in on “The Art of War” because “it’ll put me in the mood for this time of year.” Palm Beach Post

April 18, 2014 Updates
April 17, 2014 Updates

The Miami Heat's LeBron James once again tops the National Basketball Association's list of most popular jerseys, where he has reigned as No. 1 since winning his second NBA title. The two-time NBA Finals MVP, who has held the top position six times, is joined by nine players that will compete in the 2014 NBA Playoffs beginning on April 19. The rankings are based on overall retail sales on NBAStore.com since the beginning of the 2013-14 season. NBA.com

April 16, 2014 Updates

With nothing at stake as far as the playoffs are concerned, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will rest LeBron James and Chris Bosh in tonight’s game against Philadelphia (8:00 p.m., Sun Sports). He hopes to play Dwyane Wade if he is available. Palm Beach Post

James, who didn’t utter a peep about his intentions before becoming a free agent in 2010, uttered one at mid-season when asked if he could see himself leaving Miami. “At this point I can’t,” said Bron. “Now,” says an NBA GM, “you’ve got Luol Deng, Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat. “And then we’re done.” Forbes.com

April 14, 2014 Updates
April 13, 2014 Updates

And do what you will with this: The Heat was offered Evan Turner before Indiana. All they had to give up was Haslem, who wasn’t even playing. Haslem, like Danny Granger, has spent his basketball life with only one team, and he talks a lot about the Heat way and family. The Heat didn’t make the trade at least in part because it didn’t like how the message contradicted what it was selling James when it met him, or what it might do to the locker room. And Haslem, the old pro who has twice given up in excess of $10 million to stay in Miami, never once said a negative syllable from the bench, telling anyone who would listen that a time would come when he would be needed. And, as the Pacers continue an uncommon short-circuiting since the Granger-for-Turner trade, that was the undersized Haslem pushing around Roy Hibbert, the giant who called his teammates selfish, in the most recent game to help decide the Eastern Conference’s best team. Miami Herald

What got lost in James' recruitment four years ago, as the splashy Riley literally placed all his championship rings on the table, is what was being sold everywhere else in that same room. The people surrounding James? Sent to represent and introduce him to the Heat way? There was Mourning, now a team executive, whose journey from All-Star-to-kidney-illness-to-champion-to-Hall-Of-Famer unfolded at Riley's side, in sickness and in health. There was Eric Spoelstra, who rose from Riley's knee as video coordinator to the coaching job everyone in the sport would covet. There was Andy Elisburg, who began as an intern when the team was born in 1988 and is now Riley's general manager. ESPN.com

When Chris Bosh's wife is pregnant, the wives of Riley and Arison are at the baby shower. When Wade is getting engaged, he's making the announcement at Riley's South Beach apartment, at the team holiday party. When Wade is celebrating a birthday, Riley and Arison are having drinks on his boat. When James is vacationing in Europe, he's meeting up with Arison. And when he's getting married, you'll find Riley and Arison on that dance floor. And it isn't just for the super-famous guys, either. Heat lifer Udonis Haslem has rarely been as moved as he was at his mother's wake, when Riley came to his rough neighborhood trailed by members of the Heat front office. ESPN.com

But this year's silence has been by design, and it does not come naturally to Riley, not after so many years on this intoxicating sports stage. He was a runway model as a champion coach, helping make Armani popular in this country, ringleader of those Showtime Lakers that were ballet and opera with flashbulbs allowed. But now, as he approaches 70, enjoying his retirement years like so many people in Miami, Riley feels his age. He actually pulls young people aside once in a while to remind them, "Don't you forget about us. Don't you dare forget about us." ESPN.com

April 12, 2014 Updates
April 11, 2014 Updates
April 10, 2014 Updates

Adi Joseph: The NBA has confirmed that Mason Plumlee's block against LeBron James was clean, that he got the ball first. That was NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn who confirmed it and said it was "very, very close." Twitter @AdiJoseph

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN HEAT HISTORY
Getty Images

Many players from the current squad in the list – including the two guys at the top.

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