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An Ode to Mario Chalmers

Yo, Rio!

There is a -37.4% chance that you’ll ever read this, Mario Chalmers, and that’s fine. That won’t stop me from writing this, or tweeting the link to this to you whenever the article goes up on the site.

There have been a few great players in Miami Heat history; Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James come to mind. (You could throw Rony Seikaly in the mix in terms of Heat greatness, but he wasn’t a star.)

That wasn’t you, Rio.

Guys like Brian Grant, Udonis Haslem, Anthony Mason were all loved for their toughness and grit. Even when their production didn’t necessarily shine through in the box score, they made their presence felt. Ultimately, those were the kind of guys that everyone wants to go to battle with — in a basketball sense, anyway.

That wasn’t you either, Rio. Although you surely didn’t mind mixing it up from time to time:

In fact, most people see you as a decent combo guard that rode the coattails of the Big Three en route to two rings. In a way, that’s fair. You had three jobs: knock down threes, play good defense, and get yelled at:

I mean, even Bosh got in on it (also, Joakim Noah is extremely petty for this):

So sure, you weren’t a superstar (or star), had a very defined role, and was probably a better scapegoat than an actual basketball player. You sure have the confidence of a superstar, though, and that’s part of what made you so fun in Miami.

You were never afraid of the moment. You didn’t mind taking a big shot, or trying to thread the needle on a tough pass, or going for a tough steal or rebound.

On any given night, nobody knew what the heck to expect from you. You could be Super Mario like you were a couple of years ago when you tied the Heat’s franchise record for threes made in a game:

Or when you set the Heat’s record for steals in a game (which reminds me, you were No. 6 before LeBron got there):

Or that time when you lit up Russell Westbrook in the Finals:

Of course, there were also the shenanigans like this:

 

“Good Mario, Bad Mario” was a real thing for a reason. For every good play you’d make, there would be a silly foul. Or a dumb turnover. Or a forced shot. Or a bad pass. Or a technical.

You get the point.

Virtually every minute you were on the floor was an adventure, good or bad. And for that, I say thank you.

I—and other Heat fans—will miss you. It’s already pretty awkward seeing you in a Grizzlies jersey, although you’ve played pretty well so far:

I’m going to miss that little Nash-esque scoop layup you do when you attack off the pick-and-roll. I’m going to miss how you bodied up opposing guards off the catch, even if you got called for an absurd amount of reach-in fouls because of it.

It’s going to be weird not yelling at you through my TV or computer screen after dribbling baseline and trying to force a pass that you know you have no business making. I mean, I still might, but it’ll be with you in a Grizzlies uniform, manning their second unit.

Again, thank you for all of the memories, elation, and frustration over the years. Thanks for making key plays and big shots during Miami’s title runs. Thank you for coming in and starting from day one, because I just don’t know how if I would’ve been able to deal with Chris Quinn as a full-time starter after that dreadful 2007-08 campaign.

Most of all, thank you for giving me so much troll material. 

DERRICK ROSE HAS NOTHING ON YOU:

And neither do these “elite” point guards:

Rio Finals

 

Ball out in Memphis, man.

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