The Miami Heat Are Not Your 2011 NBA Finals Champions
Admit it, America. That’s what you feel right now. As great as it is that the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in 6 games to win the 2011 NBA championship, it’s even sweeter for you that the Miami Heat lost in six. With all due respect to the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki, outside of fans from my home state of Texas, the 2011 NBA Finals were about the Miami Heat losing.
I was walking home with a friend after watching the game at a bar in New York City, when something she said epitomized exactly how everyone else on Earth felt about this Miami Heat team. She said, “I just don’t like the way they expected to win.” Now of course, there’s nothing the Miami Heat said prior to the series or any of these games that would lead you to believe that they “expected” to win. Sure, they probably thought it and had the confidence that they would win, but other than “cough-gate,” the Miami Heat said and did every thing right during the NBA Playoffs. Now, you can go all the way back to the premature celebration in the preseason when the Heat’s Big Three came out of the ground to an arena full of smoke, but if you still hate the Heat for that, you have your own personal problems.
Certainly, my friend isn’t the only one that hates the Heat. At the bar, I heard people saying they think the Heat are selfish, don’t play as a team, and don’[t have enough heart. I heard people actually say things like J.J. Barea has more heart than certain Heat players, or that some Heat players weren’t trying all that hard. Again, there’s no evidence that proves any of that, but people believe what they want to believe when the story line fits their confirmation bias.
More specifically, people are going to hate this Heat team so long as LeBron James is on it. America didn’t like “The Decision,” they didn’t like LeBron counting off his championship rings and they certainly didn’t like his attitude—or did they?
A mere 12 months ago, LeBron James could do no wrong. He was a basketball prodigy who said and did everything right from age 16 to age 25. But after one mere decision that moved him from Cleveland to Miami, people began to hate everything about him. Twelve months ago, he was a great dresser, a media darling, a commercial success, the next Michael Jordan, and a good looking guy. Now as I roam the streets of New York, read blogs and have random chats with fellow bar-goers, everyone thinks LeBron’s press-conference suit was too snazzy for a Finals loser, he disrespects the media, his commercials suck and his receding hairline is unattractive.
LeBron can do no good.
The Heat can do no good—at least not in the eyes of a basketball-watching nation that can’t help but wait to see a guy fail merely because they don’t like a personal decision he made—one many of them would have made, or relatively speaking, have made.
I will confess though; I too was happy that the Miami Heat loss, and it’s not because I’m from Texas and am rooting for the Mavericks. I just like anarchy. My rooting against the Heat had nothing to do with a disdain for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. No, I just hate Eddie House! Just kidding.
But seriously, I (incorrectly) predicted Miami to win the championship, and rooted for them several times throughout the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The only reason I rooted against them at all is because of the very crap-storm that would ensue after they lost. It’s nothing personal, and I still think LeBron James is the best player in the NBA (as of this moment anyway). I just enjoy the soap opera that is sports, and this off-season wouldn’t have been as dramatically-inclined as it now will be had the Heat done what they set out to do.
For those of you who also rooted against Miami winning it all because you too wanted to see the drama that ensued, obviously, I think you have great taste in entertainment. However, for those of you who hated against the Heat just because of your own personal feelings against Miami and LeBron James, well, you’re entitled to do so. But own up to it. Admit it. Hell, enjoy it. Your dream came true—this year. The Miami Heat did not win the NBA championship. LeBron James is not Michael Jordan. And as Dwyane Wade put it, America is happy now…the Miami Heat are losing.
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