"It's a disappointing loss," said James. "Sure, it would have been nice to have won an NBA title or two by now, but maybe that's not realistic."
The Heat are 5-4 with none of their victories coming in the playoffs or NBA Finals, meaning they remain 73 regular season games and a full postseason away from being able to come together as a team and prove themselves.
"Not only that, but we all have six-year deals," said Wade. "We probably can't be truly evaluated until after those six years are over. I mean, what if we had won an NBA title in our regular season opener this year but then never won one again? That would be a failure, right? But what if we start this season 5-4, like we have, and still win 3 or 4 titles in the next 6 years that would be pretty good, right? I'm honestly asking. I'm so overcome with personal failure right now I can't think straight."
James said he didn't want to focus on Miami's many failings.
"Hey, the NBA isn't about us right now," he said. "The Hornets started the season 7-0. Everyone knows they are the best team. So I want to congratulate them on their inevitable NBA title in June. We're just going to regroup and try to be better than the Hornets in 2011-2012."
Heat coach Erick Spoelstra said he will begin bringing Wade, James and Bosh off the bench.
"How much longer can I watch this failure without making some changes?" said Spoelstra. "More than 9 games? Really? That seems so long."