Why We Hate the Miami Heat

Why We Hate the Miami Heat
“…I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat. …”
And with that statement by LeBron James, the national contempt for the Miami Heat was born. From that moment on, anything and everything associated with the Miami Heat, elicited a level of vitriol typically reserved for violent criminals and Black Presidents who try and give sick people Health Care. Let’s put it this way, if Osama Bin Laden had bought the Heat, and became their version of Mark Cuban, the public outrage may have been less palpable.
Ok-that’s a bit extreme, a hyperbolic liberty taken; but save for Miami, there is no denying our collective and seemingly irrational hate for the Heat. But is it truly irrational? Many columnists have suggested that now is the time to “let go” of our hate for LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Get over it they say, LeBron James is the best player in the NBA, and all he did was chose the Heat over your team. Well do as you wish, but my hate, rational or not, is here to stay.
To say that all those who hold ill feelings towards the Heat are simply the collective equal to a bitter spurned lover, or maybe better put, admirer, is to over simplify the issue, and moreover is to absolve LeBron and company of any wrongdoing. Simply put, it’s wrong.
To think that this widespread resentment towards James is based solely on what took place  at a Boys and Girls Club gym in Greenwich, Connecticut, is to be erroneously selective with one’s memory. “The Decision”, with its salient lowlights-a distracting checkered shirt, 16 painfully pointless Jim Gray questions, and of course the shameless use of children as props; was simply nourishment for seeds which had been planted by James long prior.

The shirt didn’t help matters

Stephen Stills, the Isley Brothers, CSNY, Aretha Franklin, and a host of others, insightfully counseled us to “Love the One You’re With”. LeBron James apparently never took the song to heart. On May 11, 2010, LeBron James publicly abandoned the Cleveland Cavaliers, his teammates, and most egregiously, his adoring fans. That day saw James, in  Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Celtics, which arguably was the biggest game in team history, shoot 3-14 from the field, for what turned out to be his last 15 points at Quicken Loans Arena as a Cav. James appeared to be at best apathetic towards the games outcome, and at worst intentionally sabotaging it. The Cavs lost 120-88,  and while there was still a Game 6 to lose,  that game was for all intents and purposes, the end of the series, the end of the season, and the end of LeBron James in Cleveland.
What was soon to follow was the disgusting deception fueled circus known as 2010 Free Agency. The NBA world, and in particular a handful of teams and their fans, hung on the every word and action of “King James”. Teams came to him, with elaborate presentations that would serve as nothing more than food for his ego. As “Flash” and CB4 were busy having their ego’s stroked as well, James, casually and disrespectfully dressed as if home with the flu, soaked it all in, insight and judgment as skewed as ever, hubris as conspicuous as ever. All interested parties anxiously awaited word on his decision, sadly much the way one anxiously awaits word from their doctor regarding biopsy results. His decision however, as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh already knew, had been made long prior, the only decision left was on how to announce it. 
“The Decision” came and a universal bout of emesis ensued; we thought that in terms of sickening and gradniose displays of self-indulgence, the worst was behind us. We were wrong. What followed was a  public “welcoming party”,  one which embodied all that was wrong with this entire process. What had started years prior, at the 2008 Summer Games as a simple, innocuous “What if?” conversation between friends, and had eventually led to years of deceit, to broken promises and broken hearts to match, visually culminated in this premature  Championship Parade, which featured promises of “not one not two not three….” and had pyrotechnics to boot.  The message was clear, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh had joined forces to take over the NBA; the Larry O’Brien trophy was theirs until further notice. 
Meanwhile, 1200 miles away, Derrick Rose worked on his three point shot. Joakim Noah lifted weights. New coach Tom Thibodeau was becoming acclimated with his team, and was planning accordingly.  They, and their fellow Bulls realized then what they still realize now: No team, no player, is simply entitled to the NBA Championship-you have to earn it.  
Why do we hate LeBron James and the Heat? We as a people subscribe to the adage that hard work is the path to success, that the best things in life generally do not come easy. We expect, not simply desire honesty and decency. As they planned their incarnation of the Big Three, James, Wade and Bosh, thought that honesty and decency would be all that stood between them and the Larry O’Brien Trophy. They were wrong, and Derrick Rose and company knew it before we did. 
Be Good Friends,


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  • Many superstar athletes are egotistical jerks who wouldn't give you the time of day if they saw you on the street. I think the problem with LeBron is that until this season, he didn't realize that he at least needed to fake being humble well enough for us to overlook that fact.

    He's not putting on the humble act again and trying to show contrition. Whether he's actually changed (unlikely) or at least better understands that he needs to cultivate his image better (likely) is unknown.

    The die hard fan was never going to like him anyway, because the diehard fan doesn't like superstars on someone else's team. Especially when they have to compete against that team.

    However, the casual fan will let it all go, because they aren't all that invested, and that's as much as LeBron really needs anyway.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug you're correct in your general assessment per usual. I will however note that I believe there are degrees of dislike w/regards to superstars on opposing teams. While I agree the diehard fan will generally dislike stars on other teams, that may be too easy a diagnosis with respect to James and company. Wade was a superstar pre decision, and he was generally liked at arenas across the NBA (as much as an opposing star player can be). Rose I think is similarly liked.

    Die hard fans saw a player, who had talent which was literally unparalleled, not have the insight and judgement to match that talent. Or maybe he simply didn't care? Either way, it was, and remains maddening to fans.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I've been waiting for this post from you since I knew it was coming eventually. It's only natural to develop some sort of hatred for an opposing team's star, especially over the course of a 7 game series (Jeff Foster). Hard fouls, overcelebrating, and of course a small skimirsh are more than enough to want a superstar to suffer some type of horrific tragedy- car accident, parachute failure, deadly disease (Jeff Foster). We hate James for alot a few reasons. One is the same reason most rooted for against the Lakers in the 2004 finals. Karl Malone and Gary Payton took what they thought would be an easy road to their first championship, but but the Detroit Pistons stood in their way with their emphasis on hard work, defense, and teamwork. If the Heat manage to win (they won't) it will give GMs a blueprint of how to buy a ring and not earn it. Maybe it's too late. Maybe free agent Chris Paul is already headed to New York to be with Amare Stoudermire and Carmello Anthony, and whoever else wants to take a paycut if it means a trip to the finals. I still hold out hope that it's not that easy. This series I'm rooting for hard work, teamwork, and loyalty. And for James to break both his legs.

  • In reply to TonyGray:

    Fantastic comment Tony...very funny but also so spot on. Greate example with the Lakers and Pistons in '04.

    I love how people, when defending LeBron and company, reference the pay cut they took...I mean come on. Yes, lets applaud their enormous financial sacrifice. (Their is no state income tax in FL-so the numbers basically match up anyway.) This isn't baseball-they all got near the max money allowed, so spare us that argument.

  • In reply to TonyGray:

    My hatred for LeBron started when he was first drafted. I just hated the hype and I always feel that hype like that is really unfair to the player and the fans. I hated how everyone wanted to swing off his nuts before his first amazing dunk in the NBA ever took place. I hated hearing that he could take a quarter off the top of the backboard. I hated his fake attitude. I hate how he seems more concerned with his image than the amount of rings on his fingers. LeBron James is definitely a punk and now he realizes that he can't be larger than the NBA. The decision fiasco was just the icing on the cake of my hate. The biggest problem here is that Lebron isn't even the one to hate the most from the situation. That distinction goes to mass media.

  • In reply to swole85:

    No one would have held it against him to act like a egotistical, oblivious fool for a few years-I mean he was 18 or whatever when he was drafted. But its 8 years later, and yet the bravado and ego are as irritatingly apparent as ever, The question for him is what can he even do? His apologies seem insincere, never lacking a "but", or some other preface/qualifier. And even if he and the Heat win numerous titles-will he ever be vindicated? More importantly-does he care?

  • In reply to swole85:

    Sounds like you hate the branding and marketing strategy of Nike and ESPN very understandable. I wish more people could make this distinction. Its funny that you and others would hate LeBron seeing as how you don't even know him personally. He's not a sophisticated amazing personality but neither was Jordan.

  • In reply to threalReginald:

    I obviously don't literally "hate" him-I am simply strongly averse to his personality/lack of judgement/poor insight/narcissism/disingenuous acts of contrition/ostentatious tendencies/commercials/headband/cartoon...besides that he's fine I guess.

  • In reply to threalReginald:

    This article was a tired shabbily written pile of flammin bullshidd.
    Chicago is no stranger to championship banners. Your franchise has and currently enjoys a great consumer interest in your merchandise, and has a very large market for ticket buyers people who can afford season tickets. Therefore my theory is that if Wade and or Lebron decided to pick the Bulls then your town would not feel the need to celebrate as much. How dare you pick on the Miami Heat for doing every thing they can to get their market excited about the level of talent they acquired. I guess YOU would have liked to have seen a humble Lebron and Wade apologize and never speak about a desire to win multiple championships. I'm also assuming that YOU were never a Heat fan. A thats why what YOU think doesn't matter!!! You don't get to dictate how or what Miami does for its market. So YOU (anti-fans and haters) can sit back bubble with rage when LECHAMP is holding the finals trophy. And when I walk through your city with my Heat gear on I better not hear a peep out of anyone or might grab someone and start Lechoking them for being a hater. Also if you hated the decision so much then why don't point the finger at ESPN. I guess you would rather believe that Lebron sat down in his evil lair and composed this whole event by himself. You're sad.

  • In reply to threalReginald:

    Wow-where to begin. In terms of "shabbily written", it would be difficult for I-or anyone else for that matter, to match your evident level of rhetorical prowess; so please forgive me.

    Secondly-do I mention Heat fans once? (that article may be soon coming) We all know they're more concerned with being social elites than Heat basketball, and that calling them bandwagon fans is being generous

    Thirdly-I didn't "pick on" the Miami Heat for their marketing campaign, I "picked on" LeBron and Co for their overt displays of entitlement w/respect to championships.

    Fourth-No, I have never been a Heat Fan-but I once played as them in NBA Jam.

    Fifth-LECHAMP-Really? Corny my friend-how about LeBron and your boys just win tonight.

    Seis-You shouldn't threaten to obstruct the air flows of Chicagoans-it's a bit psychotic.

    Seven-No, contrary to your belief, I am aware that ESPN, Bosh the Dinosaur, Flash and also Riley, were all down in the "evil lair" as well. I'd like to think Sarah Palin was involved too.

    Thanks for your feedback friend.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    You're welcome. Enjoy the game tonight.

    PS as you write your piece about Miami fans please research and consider the group of S. Floridians who have endured many a losing season, injured star player and incomplete and or undersized roster for years. This our time like in 2006. I do concede that there are many Social Elites that have bought up lower level season tickets and refuse to show up on time or at all and I hate them for it but I'm willing to bet that the upper bowl is full of long time loyal fans who happily scrape together funds to watch the Heat live. Make sure you mention the two homers Haslem and Jones as well as Zo's summer groove and other charitable events. If your gonna do it do it right.

  • In reply to threalReginald:

    All fair points my friend....it must be tough enduring 4 seasons without a title. In all seriousness-I applaud anyone who does any charitable work-and I'm sure Haslem and Jones do great things in FL. Is your avatar Chris Bosh?

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Bosh's face bothers me and distracts me from the game. It looks like hes eating his own chin. Its so small.

  • In reply to threalReginald:

    You had one season (2007-2008) that you were under .500 (an abysmal 15-67). It must be hard to have suffered through that. Talk to a Minnesota Timberwolves fan.

    I give you credit, not alot of people would write posts and declare championships after a 21 point bashing in game 1. Can't wait to see what you have to say tomorrow.

  • In reply to threalReginald:

    Blogs are fun cause you can write your opinion and say what you want, but I like facts. Fact is LeBron shot 5-15, mostly because the Bulls played aggresive team defense. LeBron and Wade could not get into the lane all night and their outside shots weren't falling. Having help inside gave Deng and Brewer/Bogans the ability to play tight and aggressive defense, out front and didn't let a shot go up uncontested. Even Amer Asik held his own on Lebron, playing decent defense (Lebron was 1-2). Bosh benefited from Lebron and Wade finding the open man occasionally when the Bulls rotated. Plus, his jumper was falling. Heat just rely too much on their isolation offense, which works well against most teams in the regular season and an aging Celtics team.

    I don't think anyone blames the Miami Heat for doing whatever possible to get Lebron, Bosh, and keep Wade. Good for them, and good for their fans that they have something to be excited about. Lebron is a different story.

    Please tell Spoelstra to play that small lineup again. I like rebounds.

    Relax. It's only 1-0 and nobody has won any trophies, yet. Well wait, someone did win an MVP trophy.

  • In reply to TonyGray:

    You and your pretentious subjective facts

  • In reply to threalReginald:
  • In reply to TonyGray:

    Never before has a mustache wielding man spoken a truer word

  • In reply to TonyGray:

    If think the Miami Heat don't work hard or play team ball you are a delusional non fan who would be better off reading comic books or playing video games. I wont ever touch the Lebron legs comment because I'm assuming that it was some twisted attempt at humor related to clownish writer of this article.

  • In reply to threalReginald:

    Where exactly is the "team ball" during their half court sets? I see a lot of iso's personally-but that's coming from a delusional (paranoid mind you) fan who would be better off reading Spider Man and playing Resident Evil IX-(Zombies in Space?)

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