Olathe Two-time NBA champion Mario Chalmers is planning on cutting down the nets again in 2013-14.
“Next year is going to be a good year, a big year. We’re going for the three-peat,” said fifth-year Miami Heat combo guard Chalmers, a starter on teams that beat the Oklahoma City Thunder (2012) and San Antonio Spurs (2013) in consecutive NBA Finals.
“Next summer, basically our whole team is up. This might be our last hurrah together. We want to go out with a bang,” former Kansas University standout Chalmers added Wednesday in a news conference at his “Miracle Shot Basketball Camp” at Olathe East High School.
Chalmers, who will make $4 million this upcoming season, is a free agent after the 2013-14 campaign. The Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, as well as Udonis Haslem, have the right to decline player options on their deals and become free agents. Ray Allen and Shane Battier could elect to retire, while the team could elect to decline Norris Cole’s option.
“I haven’t thought about it yet,” Chalmers said of the upcoming season. “I’m still enjoying my time off, still enjoying the second championship.”
Chalmers said his second NBA title may have required more sweat than the first.
“The amount of work it took to beat the Spurs (seven games) was a lot different than the Thunder (five games). I’d say the second championship was a little bit harder to win than the first,” Chalmers said.
He scored 20 points a pivotal, series-tying, 103-100 Game 6 victory in Miami.
”My mindset was (to) attack from the beginning. I had three games in San Antonio I didn’t play well at all,” Chalmers said. “I felt I let my team down. I wanted to bounce back and give my team a boost, have my confidence back.”
Chalmers said it was great to have KU coach Bill Self in the stands for two of the Heat’s playoff games — one versus the Spurs in San Antonio and one against the Indiana Pacers in Miami.
“It means a lot. Coming to watch me play at the next level shows he still cares,” said Chalmers, who was in Lawrence earlier this week working out and speaking to KU’s six-player freshman class.
“They asked me what it takes to win a championship. With coach Self, just listen,” said Chalmers, a starter on the 2008 NCAA title team. “That was our main thing. He told us, ‘Just play defense and we can do whatever we want on offense.’ Once we figured that out and how to get our defense going, we just clicked and we played together. The main thing is having fun on the court and be about business.”
Chalmers said he hasn’t had a chance to work out with freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins.
“To be honest, I’ve only seen him play on highlights. I’ve only seen tape of him,” Chalmers said. “I’ve not seen him play in an actual game. I don’t even know what he does well. They say he does everything well.”
Chalmers’ four-day camp concludes today at Olathe East. An all-star game that features former KU players Nick Bradford, Jeff Graves, Jeff Hawkins, Brady Morningstar, Russell Robinson, Conner Teahan and perhaps Travis Releford is set for 7 p.m. today, at the O-East gym. Admission is $20. For information on signing up for Chalmers’ fifth-annual golf tournament set for Monday at Alvamar, click here.
Prep tourney in Shawnee: The Metro Sports KC Prep Invitational AAU tournament presented by 810Varsity.com is set for today through Sunday at Okun Fieldhouse in Shawnee. One of the top players in the tournament is KU target Jayson Tatum, a 6-6 sophomore from St. Louis Chaminade who will play for the 16-and-under St. Louis Eagles in the 17-and-under division. Check the website kchoops.com for schedules and information on live web streaming of the tourney. Tickets are $10 for each day or $30 for a full-tournament pass.