x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

No reason to be hot under collar over the NBA champions Miami Heat

There are three types of followers: actual fans; those who quietly respect their talent; and majority certain they are evil, writes Steve Dilbeck.

Dwyane Wade, left, and LeBron James let everyone know how many titles they've collected in three season.
Dwyane Wade, left, and LeBron James let everyone know how many titles they've collected in three season.

This was the fifth trip to the NBA finals for San Antonio Spurs but never before had so many cheered for them. Not because they were the Spurs; because they were not Miami Heat.

What is it about the Heat that can turn the most docile of NBA fans into raving bundles of outrage? They are the team fans love to hate.

There are three types of Heat followers: their actual fans, mostly in Miami; those who very quietly respect their talent; and the majority who are certain they are the greatest evil in the history of basketball, if not of all sports.

That popular opinion is borne from LeBron James burning the Cleveland Cavaliers by announcing "The Decision" on national television to abandon his hometown team to move to south Florida. And by that space-age news conference when Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and James were introduced down a runway as fog machines went into overdrive.

That preceded the news conference where James announced they would win seven NBA titles, or one more than Michael Jordan.

All a little silly and overblown and immature, but hardly worth a lifetime of outrage. People complain the Heat were engineered specifically to win a title, purchased off the rack. But where was the outcry when Boston Celtics brought together their big three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce for exactly the same reason?

The Heat has won two consecutive titles. That deserves a respectful ovation.

sports@thenational.ae

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