Perspective is a funny thing.
Basketball fans love to hate the Miami Heat because of their supposed arrogance. But, the reality is, all they did wrong was boast about winning NBA Championships a bit premature.
LeBron James didn’t endear himself to fans when he made a bad P.R. move and allowed ESPN to air The Decision. It instantly made him the most hated man in Cleveland and NBA fans sprained ankles jumping off of his bandwagon.
But none of Miami’s stars have run afoul with the law.
Heck, none of them have done anything off of the court that should taint their names or reputations.
Fans loathe players who show up only for a paycheck and don’t care about winning, yet James, Wade and Bosh all took pay cuts to ensure they would have the chance to battle for NBA Championships.
Instead of fans rallying around this selfless chase of championships, the Miami Heat have had a bull’s eye placed on their backs for the past two seasons. It’s baffling how two years later fans still haven’t been able to shake two relatively-small mistakes that can be chalked up to youthful folly.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics have been viewed as the good guys and they were the team most NBA fans cheered for in the Eastern Conference Finals this year.
Likewise, the Oklahoma City Thunder are fan favourites in the NBA Finals because they have produced their own talent through the draft while making a few shrewd trades along the way. In many ways, the Thunder are the ideal team for David Stern and the NBA to market and promote.
Basketball fans are quick to forget Oklahoma City’s owner, Clay Bennett, literally stole the franchise away from some die-hard fans in Seattle over some politics and the chance to make more money by moving the team.
That has to be worse than wanting to play with two buddies in South Beach or an ill-conceived TV special, right?
While the players on the Thunder have a squeaky-clean image, the same can’t be said about the Celtics. Kevin Garnett cusses non-stop during the course of games and has been known to bully younger and International players. Rajon Rondo was suspended a game for bumping an official in the first round of the playoffs. Earlier in his career, Pierce had some problems off the court and enjoyed his fair share of shenanigans.
It’s puzzling to me how fans are quick to turn a blind eye to some troubling aspects of the Thunder or Celtics, yet they continue to focus on some trivial things Miami has done off the court.
Plus, Boston started the whole “Big 3″ idea when Danny Ainge traded for Allen and Garnett in a flurry of summer moves that changed the entire landscape of the NBA. It’s not like the Heat started something new when three friends united to play for championships and live in Miami. And, if you’re being honest with yourself, wouldn’t you do the same? Personally, the idea of playing with two of my best friends and living in South Beach would be too tempting for me to pass up.
Somehow, fans are more than willing to turn a blind eye to all of this because they want to root for Boston or Oklahoma City. The reality of the situation is Boston and Oklahoma City both have their fair share of warts that could prevent fans from cheering against them. But, for whatever reason, fans are blinded to this in their hatred of Miami.
Hopefully you don’t fall into the trap of rooting against Miami because they are perceived as being the bad guys. Because, if you take a real close look at things, you’ll probably realize Miami isn’t really worth hating.
But, it all depends on your perspective, right?