Sports Sideshow

That didn’t take long.

We’ve barely flipped the calendar to December and the Miami Heat are already doing what most people hoped they would after they signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh to flank Dwyane Wade this summer: crumbling at the foundation.

Saturday, James bumped coach Erik Spoelstra on his way to the bench after Spoelstra called a time out. The contact triggered an avalanche of speculation about the relationship between star player and coach.

And, as former Vikings’ coach Brad Childress will tell you, it’s usually the coach who winds up under the snow when stars like Brett Favre or James disagree with the coach.

Even this summer, when everything was all rainbows, unicorns and bikini girls on South Beach, it seemed likely that Miami’s president Pat Riley would return to the sideline at some point to coach the team the way he did in 2006 when he led the Heat’s championship run.

Now, the move seems more natural than a female sunbather in France.

Injuries aren’t helping the Heat, either. Forward Mike Miller, a guy who was supposed to take some of the scoring burden off Wade and James with his three-point stroke, has been out all year and forward Udonis Haslem, evidently the only player capable of rebounding on the roster, will miss the rest of it.

With all these problems, it makes sense the team has a 10-8 record, which puts them closer to the LeBron-less Cavaliers than to the conference-leading Celtics.

Nowhere are people happier about this than in Cleveland, where the Heat will be taking their talents for a game tonight.¬†Fans are ready to welcome James back to the city. Needless to say, it won’t be with open arms.