It’s a classic story, really. A hero turns evil and a rising warrior vows to vanquish him. In this case, the fallen hero would be LeBron James and the rising warrior is James Ennis. It’s still extremely early, however it’s time to consider if Ennis is really a rising star. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be, since he’s led all rookies in scoring this preseason. Yes, all rookies, including Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins.
The “Prince of Perth” has earned almost universal praise from Heat fans, Heat players, and the Heat front office due to his exciting style-of-play. It doesn’t hurt that he’s often been the reason that Miami has surged back in games that seemed to be out of control. However, there are some that still doubt his lasting impact on the NBA. What can this kid really amount to? What’s his ceiling? Many Heat fans would quickly answer, “As high as he wants.” This looks to be true, if only a bit premature. Alongside Shabazz Napier, James Ennis has played his way into the heart of Miami. Some have Napier (a hyped 1st-round guard) and Ennis (a sleeper-pick forward whose rookie season was technically his second) compared to #HeatLifers Dwyane Wade (a hyped 1st-round guard) and Udonis Haslem (an undrafted forward whose rookie season was technically his second).
After this offseason, it’s (somewhat) safe to say that James Ennis has a higher ceiling than that of Haslem’s, and could potentially be a superstar in the near future. Perhaps even the leader that pushes Miami back to the top in a few years?
We’ll see, but for now Ennis (and Napier) give Miami fans a reason to be optimistic about not only the short-term future, but (for the first-time in a while) the long-term future.