Archive for Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Outrage over Heat amusing

July 13, 2010


— The Miami Heat has become the most hated team in America, and it might be this way for a long time. LeBron James turned from adored to abhorred overnight, apparently. “The fallout continues,” ESPN keeps telling me.

Isn’t it great?

Love this. I am dancing with delight — reveling in the misery of basketball America and all the haters out there.

Do I speak for all of Miami and South Florida? No. There are approximately nine people down here who used to live in Cleveland prior to escaping and feel a little bit bad. But other than those nine people I think I speak for everyone in saying the national vineyard of whine from all your sour grapes — it amuses us!

The LeBron jersey burnings, the outrage, the blatantly petty jealousy, these latest desperate, hopeless whispers of collusion and conspiracy, we toast the helplessness of others with our toes in the beach sand and an ocean breeze caressing our good fortune.

(Look! In the Zapruder film, isn’t that a grainy likeness of Pat Riley on the grassy knoll? He appears to be — to be tampering!)

I am delighted by the news of the past few days first because LeBron James coming to a sports columnist’s city is like a fat guy awakening to find an all-you-can-eat buffet has been built next door.

But mostly I am reacting to the comical disingenuousness of the complainers.

I mean juvenile Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Cleveland fans shouting “betrayal!” I mean Magic coach Stan Van Gundy mocking the whole process as a “parody.” I mean the Bulls’ Joakim Noah lampooning the new Heat as “Team Hollywood.” I mean Mavericks owner Mark Cuban beseeching the NBA to “examine” how the Heat was able to land all three of the summer’s top free agents.

I mean everybody out there who sees outrage or conspiracy in what Miami did.

Hypocrites, all of you. Mad because it wasn’t your team that struck the mother lode. Y’all wish you were Miami right now. Admit that, at least.

The smitten Cleveland Plain-Dealer fanned the ire Sunday with an analysis explaining that a “multi-year process” led to James, Wade and Bosh aligning. No duh.

These three players are friends who have talked among themselves for years about maybe playing together when each reached free agency concurrently. Unless our Constitution has been amended, I believe freedom of speech allows such conversation.

What so much of the rest of the country sees as underhanded, I see as refreshing.

Usually the billionaire owners, team presidents, head coaches and agents have control in steering this process. Here, the players seized the wheel.

Usually franchises rely on free agents following the money or their egos. Here, the players followed their friendship and their desire to win championships.

So much else about this has been silly.

That includes LeBron’s one-hour announcement special, Gilbert’s and Cleveland’s thoroughly unbecoming reaction, and, yes, Miami’s over-the-top welcome party at the arena Friday night. Oh, and let’s not forget Monday’s splendidly irrational ESPN SportsNation poll that asked who has damaged his reputation more — LeBron or Tiger Woods. (Anyone who answered LeBron should be Baker Act-ed).

Just about the only thing that hasn’t been ridiculous in all this is the simple rationale that led James to join two exceptional teammates and friends in a city where he’ll wear flip-flops to practice in December.

Meantime the supergroup Heat will be hated, and it will be delicious.

Said Wade: “We’re going to give Miami a show every night. And on the road every place is going to sell out when we come to town, so they can thank us now.”

Thanks won’t be what those crowd reactions will sound like all over the NBA. Something closer to resentment and disdain will pour down on the Heat on the road.

“Bring it on,” said Wade.


TopJayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Yawn.......... It is no gaurantee that they will win anything. I don't think they will have enough money to build a decent supporting cast around them. We shall see.

jaywalker 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually, I don't know how much 'supporting cast' these three need. Two MVP's and Bosh, Haslem giving up 14 million to stay with the Heat, Mike Miller just joined, and Chalmers - the steal of the draft two years ago - no they're going to be ridiculously good.

That being said, this columnist is a moron and a blind homer to write this piece of garbage. I said before "The Decision" even aired it might be the dumbest ploy and TV "Special" since Geraldo's worthless "Capone vault" travesty. And I wouldn't compare it to Tiger's damning publicity nightmare, but only because Tiger didn't stage his on purpose! Up until this point, Lebron's maturity had been phenomenal. I can't think of a player ruining his reputation this badly -again, intentionally - EVER. As soon as I heard about the show he lost huge points. And then to actually schedule something like that only to give his hometown the middle finger....?! The only way that show is even a halfway decent idea is if he comes out and says he's staying home.

Naw, this writer is out of touch if he thinks this won't be a serious issue for some time to come. When Boston landed their Big Three it was refreshing and admirable. This whole sham gives all sports a black eye and all fans a sore groin.

MelWill 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with just about everything you said Jaywalker, I must disagree with your point about Lebron's maturity; case in point his display of poor sportsmanship when they lost last year in the playoffs and his rationale for why he didn't feel it appropriate to shake any of the other team members hand. True, this year he did but I believe that came about only because of the hit he took last year. I find him to be very self-centered, look how he treated the Cleveland fans, and concerned about himself, himself and himself.

He is a phenomenal basketball player but I guess I put him in the same box with Duke relative to whether or not I like him or them, i.e., Duke may have great basketball teams but I don't like them and probably never will and it comes from the arrogance they and many of their fans have displayed for so long...

jaywalker 7 years, 7 months ago

That's true, Mel, not shakin' the hands and his quitting on his team in this year's playoffs don't speak to his maturity, I didn't think about that. I was mainly thinking of how young he was comin' in, no father, all that fame...I guess it's more accurate to say - for the most part his maturity had been impressive.

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