MIAMI - For two years, it has been an amusing, recurring sideshow during Heat games: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scolding Mario Chalmers of Anchorage.
Sometimes, Wade will stare at him because, well, "my stares are deadly," Wade said.
Chalmers insists he takes no issue, that he knows his teammates are trying to help him.
"He's got a hard shell," James said Sunday. "We have a great relationship. I get on him a lot, but it's all for the best of the team and for him.
"I know there's a better way sometimes to express what I may see on the floor. Sometimes, in the heat of battle, I know he can take it. We've got such expectations for him, so we don't like him to mess up. (But) he makes a lot of good plays as well. We wouldn't be in the Finals without him."
In Game 2 on Thursday, Bosh yelled at Chalmers because "he thought I was somewhere I wasn't" on defense. "I was explaining I was there in a unique way. Our opinions, it's not always going to come out the right way."
But why is Chalmers seemingly the only one subjected to public floggings?
"It comes with being a young guy," Bosh said. "He's Mario. It has always been that way since the team came together. It's a little brother mentality. We stay on him because we want him to be better."
Wade said "if he couldn't take it, we wouldn't do it."
When did Wade decide he could talk harshly to Chalmers?
"After his rookie year," Wade said. "Rookie year, with him, Deaquan (Cook ) and (Michael ) Beasley . Oh my God! It was tough. Once Daequan and Beasley weren't around, he came and said, ‘I know I've got a lot to learn. I want you to teach me. I want you to be honest with me.' He said it every year. When you give us that green light, we're going to use it every now and then."
When Chalmers spoke back to James during a playoff game at Madison Square Garden, Juwan Howard started laughing. "I don't really hear when Rio responds," James cracked.
Wade said that particular exchange "kept going for a long time and I thought LeBron was holding on to it too long, and I was like, ‘Hey, squash it.' I went to Rio and said, ‘It's over with. Move on."'
Wade added: "I like when we talk to Rio and he fires back... . Not saying anybody is going to listen. One day, I'm not going to be playing with him. We don't know if LeBron is going to be playing with him. One day, he's going to lead other guys. We're teaching him."
Coach Erik Spoelstra said teammates yelling at Chalmers "is not a bad thing" and it's sometimes worse in practice.
"Both sides brush it off," Spoelstra said. "He's absolutely fearless, almost to an unrealistic level. That's part of why he's able to succeed at this level. And why he's able to be the point guard on this team. Because he has the guts, the thick skin to play with veterans who have had a lot of success."