Like the Heat, hate the Heat. Still undecided.

I’m torn.

Not Rip Torn, the actor, but torn torn.  Unsure torn.  Conflicted torn.

Now that some of the dust has settled since LeBron James publicly spurned Cleveland for the oft-unfilled American Airlines Arena, I’m still not sure whether the move was a) good for the league b) good for the fans or c) one I’m looking forward to watching.

While Miami Heat fans are still sipping mojitos in celebration, the general consensus is that LeBron James is the villain, that he took the easy road out and that even if he wins several titles over the next few years, they won’t be as hard-earned as Larry’s, Magic’s or Michael’s.

Either way, his bags are packed and NBA fans are now left to decide whether to root for, or against, this team.  There will be no middle ground.

Look, people.  Let’s put emotions aside (unless you’re Clevelanders) and call this what it is.  A professional and personal decision by an individual to advance his career… with slightly extra media attention.  In what other line of work would a person who wanted to work with the best in his craft be so publicly ridiculed?

James and his new running partner, Dwyane Wade, are two of the three best players on the planet.  They were un-guardable together on the Olympic Redeem Team and have the potential to become the greatest, or at least most talented, duo to ever play alongside one another.  They have a long way to go before they catch Jordan/Pippen, Abdul-Jabbar/Johnson, Stockton/Malone and Frazier/Monroe so we shouldn’t crown ‘em yet, but the table has been set.

Here’s where I’m conflicted though.  Am I supposed to like this or hate this?

By most accounts, the Miami Heat have become Evil Empire South.  They might soon become a bandwagoner’s paradise if they haven’t already.  Call him what you will.  Turncoat, traitor, egotistical, title-less.  LeBron James is still the greatest basketball talent on the planet.  Cheering against the Heat over the next few years might be an exercise in futility.  So I hate it, however….

With the signing of Mike Miller, the Heat now boast two of the most beloved Florida Gators (my alma mater) of all-time, meaning that if I choose to root AGAINST the Heat, I’ll have to start hating two players I’ve revered for years.  In the 2000 national championship loss to Michigan State, Udonis Haslem went a Walton-like 10-for-12 from the floor and 7-7 from the line for 27 points.  Mike Miller boasts perhaps the greatest shot in Florida basketball history, a runner that knocked off upset-poised Butler.  The Don Calvino’s ribs are still recovering from me tackling him when that shot went in.  As anyone who attended a major university will tell you, that allegiance weighs heavier than any professional allegiance.  How can I possibly root against those guys?  So I like it, but…

While there’s been an influx of young talent into the league lately, there’s no player on the horizon as freakish as either Wade or James… and now they’re teammates.  With Kobe’s career (eventually) on the decline, who can pose a legitimate threat to these guys over the next several seasons?  The more I think about it, the more I wonder how that backcourt can be stopped.  Will the “What Will They Do Next” factor be enough to attract viewers or will fans get bored of it?  So I hate it, however…

Although I cheer for the Magic, I am first and foremost an NBA fan.  I want to see talent, highlights, slam dunks and execution.  And we will be seeing PLENTY of that in the years to come.  So I like it.

I think.

Look, I don’t begrudge these guys the opportunity to win a title (or titles) in any way they can.  Heck, they took less money (what’s a few million dollars among friends?) to play together.  They’ve earned that right.

It’s just that the whole thing took us all by surprise and many are still miffed that LeBron’s fairy tale ending won’t come in Cleveland.  But when LeBron does eventually hoist that O’Brien Trophy, and trust me, it will happen, whether you’re happy about it or not all depends what side of the fence you’re sitting on.

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54 Replies to “Like the Heat, hate the Heat. Still undecided.”

  1. A professional and personal decision, yes. But Lebron is still a douche bag. Jordan said it best when he said that it was much better to compete and beat your rival’s brains in. Trades are one thing, but collusion between players is something foul smelling. That’s as bad as a player demanding that a coach be fired. I personally hope that the Heat fall flat on their collective fat asses and ALL of the other teams in the league bring their “A” game every night.

  2. So, Snake, as one of the original Laker-haters, will you root for Kobe assuming it’s a Lakers-Heat Finals just to see Miami lose?

    Will you not watch at all?

    I mean I know you only watch Celtics games anyway but will you watch this team if, and when, they’ll be on primetime?

    Do you think this assembly, collusion or not, is bad for the league?

    And for those of you who forget the origin of the word “douchebag,” here ya’ go.

  3. Cleveland Cavs fans have turned into drunken/drug induced/bank robbing Rip Torn clones. Well, most of them anyway.
    (Ahhh, Torn was so great on “Larry Sanders”…what happened?)

    I’m pumped for the Lakers/Heat finals in June 2011. LA definitely isn’t going to lay down for them so it should be quite a war.

  4. I’ve never been to Cleveland, Drew, but one of my friends goes there quite regularly on business and he definitely qualifies as “drunken.”

    Not sure he’s ever seen “Men In Black” though.

    I can’t believe I’m actually thinking about rooting for Kobe Bryant but seeing him take down those two in the Finals would be something special.

    Unless of course the Magic sign Chris Paul. Then Mickey’s House shares a shot at titletown.

    (That’s just the homer in me talking)

  5. I’m not sold. I’m a hater of the plan of teaming up with the best. I can’t say that his decision was a terrible one since that’s what he wanted to do, and like I said before Lebron wants to be friends with everyone. Jordan calls teammates associates. Lebron doesn’t care who gets the glory and maybe that’s because he was raised by his mom…

    In actuality, I’m more scared of what this will do for the other stars in the league. We already know that CP3, Melo, and Amare were already thinking about joining forces. I don’t see the league being even more top heavy than it already is can be a good thing. I for one like parody, and with the top 20 guys teaming up on six or seven teams, that won’t make for good basketball. We might have some awesome highlights, but it will get old when 75% of the games are blowouts.

  6. Maybe it’s a kinder, gentler NBA, Chap.

    Larry, Magic and Michael would destroy you if they could. King James isn’t like that. Don’t get me wrong. He wants to win (I think). But he’s not cut from that cloth. Kobe is, that’s for sure.

    And you’re right. If guys like Paul, Melo and the like all congregate in a few cities, is that good the league?

    I mean enough NBA teams already suck out loud. This would put even more teams in that boat.

  7. Haha, it’s much more friendly league than the Pistons and Knicks heydays! I wish they’d let guys play defense like they used to negating some of these guys athleticism with being able to hand check guys!

    I’d hate to see four big three’s locked up on four different teams. Then we’d have little to watch until the conference finals for who knows how many years/decades…

  8. Chap… I retweeted your DJ Porter post and sent it to everybody and their mother, so hopefully you’ll see some nice traffic.

    That guy’s insane, man.

    And re: the end of fisticuffs in the NBA, Stern raised the ultimate fist to stop all the fussin’ and the fightin’. He’s the reason for the kinder, gentler, I need a hug, let’s all be friends, NBA.

    We’ll see if a few franchises fold when two, three or four all have ten wins in a season with the Heat whipping that ass.

  9. I don’t hate the Heat as much as the Humidity. On the other hand, I know the Humidity is going to kick my ass and I didn’t have to pay a zillion bucks for the privilege.

  10. What we are witnessing is a sport that’s so corrupt that it makes wrestling look like a legitimate sport.

  11. It’s 100 degrees here daily, Unc.

    Which is why I also choose to stay on my sofa, in the air-conditioning, as much as possible.

    I’m shfitzing just thinking about it.

  12. Chris, I’d watch the Finals if it involves the Heat, just to see them lose. I too like a league where the level of talent is somewhat equal(as long as my Celtics are a little more equal). As for watching the Heat in some featured game of the week. No way.

  13. Chris

    I do believe that LeBron will be force for good down there in Mimi that way all the bangers and gangsta’ wannabe’s will have something to gravitate toward.

    Mayor of St Pete has drawn his line in the sand as it concerns the Rays.


    tophatal ………… 🙂


  14. Wow, Aer.

    That’s pretty harsh.

    I don’t know that the NBA is corrupt (said Mr. Tim Donaghy). I just think that the system is built to allow collusion among its players and this is the end result.

  15. I was thinking about that this morning, Snake. Both Major League Baseball and the NBA, and even college football for that matter, are top and bottom-heavy.

    The NFL, not so much.

    I mean, think about it. Prior to each one of those seasons, only a handful of teams can win a championship.

    But how many NFL teams can you count this year that have a legit shot at winning the Super Bowl?

    Probably at least ten, I would think.

  16. To be honest it is harsh and probably not fair, because I’m starting to have the same opinion of all the major sports.
    I guess I’ve become jaded in my old age.
    Over-hype, steroids, now collusion amongst elite players. I think I would be better off going outside to play.

  17. Al…

    I’m sure there will be plenty of bandwagoning going on, particularly in South Florida.

    That team should draw a fair amount of new fans… and rightfully so.

    Re: the Mayor of St Pete, sounds like a last ditch effort by him to keep the Rays on that side of the water. And it doesn’t sound like the Rays are having any of it.

  18. Aer…

    It’s a beautiful day, might as well.

    Perhaps you can charge your neighbors millions of dollars to watch you play in your yard.

    Or just pay to have you go back inside.

  19. I still don’t get why people are stressing this, he was a free agent! He is free to make any decision he wants. He wants to win a title, and he will.
    If you had the opportunity to join a “dream team” wouldn’t you take it?

  20. Chris

    Last ditch effort or not he know’s it’s political suicide at present to say that Pinellas County alone can afford to build the new stadium.

    Bandwagon jumpers in Sth Florid who knew ?

    Genie of the Lamp

    tophatal …….. 🙂

  21. CF… I agree with you, man.

    That’s why I wrote that in the post. In what other profession do we ridicule people for wanting to work with the best?

    But I DO feel that most are more unhappy with the way LeBron handled it. “The Decision” was a little over the top. I guess there was really no easy way to let Cleveland down but why not announce it with the other two?

    Did he really need his own show? (Even though the proceeds did go to Boys and Girls Club0

  22. So maybe, Chap, each player is allowed one fist fight per season, that way they get the most of it.

    I think we’re onto something!

    I’ll send him an e-mail.

  23. Well I always disliked (hate is a harsh word) LeBron – thought he was overrated – hadn’t paid his dues, and how dare he, just how dare he wear 23….. – dunno, also thought he lacked heart. But now he’s down in MIA and I have a feeling Heat opponents won’t know if it was Lebron Wade or Dwayne James that hit em… – duo be deadely. Yours truly, Basketball Jones.

  24. Perico…

    My favorite basketball jones of all TIIIIIIME!

    First of all, love to your bro, and I will STILL block his shot.

    Second of all, how many times do I need to write about the NBA to get your Panamanian ass back here?

    Third of all, Los Perez are old school Skokie, so it’s no surprise that you’re pro-Jordan on this.

    So you mean to tell me that, as a South Florida resident, you’re still pulling for a solid (4-seed, that’s right, I said it) Bulls team against a top seeded Miami team.

    Buena suerte, huevon. I will always respect your opinion.

    Now gimme three steps.

  25. Chris

    Whatever legitimacy ESPN thought it had when it come to credible sports journalism when we’re told that LeBron and his people were paid in excess of $250,000 to air that piece of fecal garbage. Even the tv ombudsman has stated that as fact . Need one say anymore on the matter ?

    tophatal ……… 🙂

  26. Chris

    How out of shape do you have to apparently be to fail a physical? You’re telling me Albert Haynesworth’s fat a_s couldn’t get himself and in shape ?
    No wonder Shanahan wants “him out” this guy was overrated and overpaid to begin with. Once again proving what we all knew bout Daniel Snyder to begin with. Not only is a schmuck but the guy couldn’t spell the word talent much less spot it from 100 feet !

    tophatal ……………

  27. Chris

    The psyche of Rick Pitino is beginning to bother me. His says his alleged victim forced herself upon him and he was under the impression that the sex as he puts it was consensual but also a “one night stand”. However he’d been back to tap that booty on more than one occasion . Let me get this straight it was only a “one night stand” because he waxed that _ss in a restroom of a restaurant or because each time “he hit Cunagin-Sypher’s ass” it was meant to be a “ one off “ ? How dumb does he expect the jury and the public to be ?

    Like I said originally when this first came about there’s more to this than meets the eye ! And now that he’s been caught the Feds are wasting the public’s money on this nonesensical trial.

    Extortion ? What extortion ? . What the hell ? That’s it folks your taxpaying dollars at work when schools are understaffed and there are a lack of books and teachers in the classrooms up and down the country. Glad to know also that having already spent $20 million on the Bonds’ trial they’re now looking to resume that fiasco. Oh well this is the justice system that’s so beloved by so many wouldn’t you know .


    tophatal ……….. 🙂

  28. Haynesworth is the perfect example of what’s wrong with sports, Al. Signs for 100 mil then doesn’t give a crap.

    I always wondered why everyone was making a big deal out of that guy. For what? Were they paying by the pound?

  29. From a fan’s standpoint, I’m definitely going to be one of those people that roots against the Heat – just something about a situation like this where you want to see the Goliath fall…. plus LeBron just rubs me the wrong way – he did somewhat before, but even more so with this whole Decision debacle.

  30. Easy question: I hated the Heat before the trade and even more now. Here’s hoping they are a big flop!

  31. Chris

    Haynesworth failing a physical is nothing new . His fat a-s has been beating on his wife as a way staying fit to begin with . She’s filed several TRO’s against him over the past few years.

    Went to all three of the Rays’ games against the Yankees at the Trop and the place was pumpin’ like a mofo’ and then some ! Brian Cashman is blowing smoke up everyone’s a_s if he believes Kerry Wood and Lance Berkman improves that Yankees’ roster !

    tophatal ………

  32. Who used worse judgment, Al?

    Rick Pitino in that Italian restaurant or the team that decided to pay Albert Haynesworth 100 mil?

    And care to backtrack your stance on the Rays? They are kicking MUCH ass.

    I’ll be over to check out your latest as I am WAY behind on my reading.

  33. Chris
    The Rays have done nothing as of yet it’s the postseason that counts don’t forget that .

    As and when you’re ready concerning the reading. Went to the Trop and saw all three games against the Yankees. Rays kicked much a_s over the three days.

    Haynesworth is a complete moron as too is the Jets Darrelle Revis. You want the big bucks but doesn’t he realize that they could cut his a_s as well if he should get injured between now and opening day ? Who advises these guys Maxine Waters or Charlie Rangel ?

    tophatal ………… 🙂

  34. Chris

    Rick Pitino is like my late father who whored ’round so much that when he lied to my mom he just simply couldn’t tell the truth from one moment to the next. No wonder I hated his friggin’ a_s so much !

    Before I ‘d left to join the military we got into a big fight and needless to say he got his a_s knocked the f_ck out after he’d hit my mom. Compliments of myself and a right cross to the chin and a kick to his groin.

    Soon after he left for good !

    Never really kept that much in contact with him after that even up ’til his death some 5 years go when he died in the West Indies.


    tophatal ………… 🙂

  35. Chris

    So apparently rumors are now percolating and circulating that Brett might indeed call it quits ? And here’s me thinking that there’d be peace in Afghanistan , Iraq and the Middle East before Brett retired for good ! Ah well you can’t win ’em all.



    tophatal ………..

  36. Al…

    Nice job hitting the Trop this weekend. Another solid outing for the Rays.

    What would you say the ratio of Rays to Yanks fans was in the stands?

  37. Chris

    Over the three days I’d say it was slightly in favor of the Yankees but not by much . Now that the Rays sit atop of the division I just hope that they don’t become complacent.

    Brett Favre now allegedly retiring is just like having Congress say that they’ve finally buried the hatchet and have now find a way of agreeing on immigration reform , health care and the ecomnomy. Which if any of those is the misnomer in this instance ? Answer ….. all of them as they’ve yet to agree upon anything !

    Shaq will now join another contender … the Celtics ? Let’s just hope that the same fate that befell the Cavs doesn’t happen to them also .


    tophatal …….. 🙂

  38. Amazing that there were still more Yankees fans than Rays fans, Al, but it’s nice to see it’s changing towards the Rays side.

    I don’t see this team as becoming complacent. Nor do I think they’d be satisfied with just the wild card.

    We’ll see. Still lots of season left.

    I also find it interesting now that Shaq will be playing against the man who he promised to help win a title: LeBron James.

  39. Chris

    Like said they can’t afford to become complement . So Brett pprently sent a picture of his “crank” to Tampa’s own Jenn Sturger ?

    Pics of Jenn just in case you don’t know who she is ? Click on link to view. Jenn Sturger


    tophatal ……….. 🙂

  40. What up Sports Chump?

    Great article. What I like is the poised and actually mature standpoint that isn’t full of people on the hate bandwagon. I really don’t get why so many people got so upset anyway. He left Cleveland, sure, but the media and fans in general are the one’s who created the hype that drove TV specials.

    The things I don’t like: more then ever now to win in the NBA you need a stacked team full of superstars. If he stayed he’d still lose to Boston/LA and it would hurt his career, but maybe the NBA would get over this stacked team mentality.

    The things I do like: while he’s got awesome players on his team, they’re hardly a finished product. They’re not the best team in the league by far and still have a ways to go with plenty of work. It’s really how Lebron’s career should have started helping a losing team in a decent market with strong leadership. Not a cavs franchised obsessed with licking his ass for 7 years that couldn’t build a winner.

  41. Pest…

    It’s good to have you back among the living.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present Full Court Pest. Please support his material. His links can be found in my blogroll. Let’s hope he puts up stuff more than once a semester.

    Now, on to his comments.

    Yes, pest, I’m probably one of the few not to hate on LeBron for his decision. The guy did what he wanted to do. We can’t fault him for that. After all, it’s his life, isn’t it?

    I guess I agree and disagree that only a team loaded with stars can win a title. I wouldn’t say the Lakers are ‘loaded’ with stars. They have two monsters, a cerebral head coach and a bunch of role players. We both know though that the league is loaded with talent these days and you better be able to ball to win. Chemistry trumps stardom. The Heat will see that come June.

    I don’t like that Miami is resorting to isolation play. That won’t win them a championship for two or three years.

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