A phenomenon that has occurred with this convergence of talent on the Miami Heat is the collection of so called “haters” that have staked a claim on the NBA media landscape. Instead of trying to explain “why” the NBA media at large has taken to running to the streets with tales of doom for this Miami Heat experiment, I rather explain the phenomenon at it’s roots.
First of all, you have to understand that any attempt at a “corner” of any professional sports market is going to receive resistance, for the mere appearance of “unfairness” is going to unsettle sports fans. The Miami Heat, in brilliantly working their sport’s salary cap in order to “game” the system to land three of it’s biggest starts and build the quickest of contenders in history, has created a sub culture in it’s media culture.
By sport. By habit. By convenience.
Well, instead of the usual conspiracy theories, we have the reality, which is good ole’ plain laziness. You have media figures such as Jon Barry (ESPN) that blurt such inanities such as, “Is this a recipe for success?” pointing to low point production from the point guard and center positions for Miami in a 9 point lead for the Heat over the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day at halftime.
Then, painfully, you have those that you know are watching the games, such as TNT‘s Charles Barkley who bloviates about the Miami Heat’s rebounding weakness at halftime of a Heat/Suns game while knowing that the Miami Heat is a top 5 rebounding team as per ESPN‘s John Hollinger‘s rebounding efficiency numbers.
So what exactly is going on? It is laziness. The simple fact is that most national media types DO NOT watch most Miami Heat games and just “sign off” on what the conventional wisdom is at the time. That is what will possess national Media types such as Bill Simmons (ESPN) to blurt such ignorance as musing about how the Miami Heat’s 4 through 10 rotation group cannot make the Boston Celtics rotation. That is just Dumb.
Well, instead of shaking your fist at your television indignantly, just realize that the national media is catering to what their national audience craves. What they crave is hope. Hope that their teams are still relevant. Hope that no Pat Riley gambit has derailed their run at a title or playoff run. The truth is that Pat Riley has indeed put together a sure thing. A sure thing, as in a team that WILL compete for a championship.
So, do “we” as Miami Heat fans continue to complain about the perceived bias from the national sports media? NO.
We realize that the national sports media, aside from the obvious biased types such as Bill Simmons (Celtics Homer) are just catering to the hopes and whims of the national sports mood at the time. They hope for competitiveness on the court and “hope” that no NBA executive can game the system to corner a free agent market to make an instant contender of ANY team.
We know better. We know that they would if they could. We know that Pat Riley is their dream General Manager. A man that realizes the realities of the NBA salary cap and engineers a windfall for their franchise. A man that sells a culture , a system, a city, a way of life and builds a contender.
Hate “us” for our weather. Hate “us” for our second class sports city status. Hate “us” for having Pat Riley and his wife love our city so much that they stake claim as the Shula’s did before. But do not hate “us” for our success in building, with our resources, a instant CHAMPIONSHIP contender.
As a LeBron James favorite hip hop artist NAS said..”When you are on top, there is envy.” Well, get used to it Heat fans. You are feared, envied, emulated. Pat your back if you supported this franchise with your dollars, if not..enjoy the ride.
(As I type this, the Miami Heat has won 16 of 17 and has set a ALL-TIME NBA record with 10 consecutive road victories in a calender month.)