I’m going to go out on a limb and say most fans were happy to see the Dallas Mavericks win this year’s NBA Finals. The Mavs are old school: one bona fide superstar (Dirk Nowitzki), a couple of guys past their prime (Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion), guys that have accepted their roles (DeShawn Stevenson, Tyson Chandler), and two exciting spark plugs (Jason Terry, J.J. Barea). They are the quintessential team.
Unlike the Miami Heat. The three headed superstar monster that have agreed to reject the notion of “team” for as long as they are together. Assuming the collective bargaining agreement somewhat resembles what it is now (or makes it even harder for teams to sign free agents) the Heat will be over the salary cap each of the next five seasons. In 2015-16, 65 million clams will be tied up in the three man “team” known as the Heatles.
Just because Miami’s front office decided to allocate their money in a certain way does not on its own explain the Heat hate. There’s the over-the-top celebrations of dunks and three point shots. Then there are the on-the-court moments that show a blatant disregard of a sound offensive strategy (hesitation/fake crossover dribble pullups for three don’t exactly whet a basketball fan’s whistle).
But for me, it’s been the constant theme of this team always counting their chickens before they hatch. Whether it’s LeBron James counting future championships before the season or Dwyane Wade and James engaging in a Championship-caliber embrace after they beat the Boston Celtics in five games. This type of attitude seemed to permeate everything about the Heat. It even got to their coach- the supposed level-headed, even-keeled, salt-of-the-earth-type guy. Here’s Erik Spoelstra giving advice to Craig Sager trailing the Celtics in the fourth quarter of Game 5:
To paraphrase The Big Lebowski, “You’re not wrong [Spoelstra], you’re just an asshole.”
I originally cut this in preparation for a “gotcha” post. And then the Heat won and I questioned the existence of “the basketball gods”. Instead of posting the video anyway, I tried to think of ways to emphasize the likeness to “-olestra” in Erik Spoelstra’s name.
One of the only redeeming qualities about this Heat team had finally bought into all their hype.
If you’re like me, you are in the midst of your “few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy [but will soon] have to get back to the real world”.
I’m not sure how long this feeling will last but I think it’s best if we use this time productively by dissecting the things we as Celtics fans hardly had a vested interest in.