Nice piece by Scott Cacciola in today’s Wall Street Journal on Mario Chalmers: The Most-Yelled-At-Man in the NBA:
Ronnie Chalmers, Mario’s father, spent 22 years in the Air Force and coached Mario’s high-school basketball team in Anchorage, Alaska. “I wouldn’t say I was strict, but I had boundaries,” he said. When Self hired Ronnie to be his director of basketball operations, Mario got it even worse. “I was tough on him,” Self said. “I didn’t want guys to think he was the teacher’s pet.”
It turned out to be good preparation. Ever since James signed with Miami before the start of last season, Chalmers has been getting the full treatment. In the Heat’s Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, Chalmers appeared to miss a couple of open teammates on one possession. James leaned into him during a timeout and breathed fire. Chalmers turned his back to him, inserted his mouth guard and walked toward the court.
James and Wade both say they wouldn’t be so hard on Chalmers if they didn’t think he could handle it—and none of it is personal, James said—but Chalmers has defended himself more this season. “If I feel I’m doing something to the best of my abilities and they don’t feel that way, I have to voice my opinion,” he said.
For what it’s worth, Wade said he likes it when Chalmers fights back. “He actually thinks he’s the best player on this team,” Wade said. “That’s a gift and a curse.”