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Lessons from the Miami experiment

7/12/2014 - NBA Houston Rockets Miami Heat + more
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

The experiment is over.

Four years ago, when LeBron James nervously announced he was taking his talents to South Beach, his decision hit people in different ways. For some, it was personal; James betrayed the sacred player-fan contract. For others, it was a soap opera spectacle; James, in that moment, was perhaps the most-watched reality TV star on the planet.

But for basketball people, this was something different. It was a basketball experiment, a riddle that we couldn't wait to solve. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the same superteam? All in their prime? How was this going to play out?

Now, the experiment has reached its conclusion. James announced on SI.com Friday that he would return to Cleveland next season. Four seasons with Miami. Two championships.

What did we learn?