As 2014 winds to a close, looks back at the stories that made the year memorable. Producer Shane McNeil reflects on when LeBron couldn’t handle the heat.

Originally published on – December 24, 2014.

Things Heat Up in San Antonio

With LeBron “going home” during the summer, is it possible that the entire Big Three era in Miami will end up playing like some kind of hardcourt fever-dream?

After all, the team enjoyed nearly unprecedented success almost immediately after assembly and looked primed for a dynasty after winning back-to-back NBA Finals over Kevin Durant’s Thunder and the previously perfect San Antonio Spurs.

But a funny thing happened on the way to a three-peat. Things got, well, kinda hot.

The first half of Finals Game 1 was a back-and-forth affair, picking up where the 2013 Finals left off.

Near the end of that half, the temperature started to rise. It started with fanning in the fans, then there was ice on the bench. Then, with four minutes left on the clock, LeBron James finished a lay-up and cramped.

He cramped so bad that he couldn’t run back on defence… So bad that Dwyane Wade had to escort him to the bench… So bad that the Heat’s training staff had to carry him to the dressing room.

At that point the Spurs were up 94-92. They would finish the game with an 18-1 run.

The Heat would win Game 2, but looked otherwise ordinary in a five-game series loss.

Less than a month later, LeBron wrote a letter to Cleveland and the NBA woke up.