Home > Uncategorized > The NBA, it’s FANtastic. Well, except in Miami…

The NBA, it’s FANtastic. Well, except in Miami…

When LeBron decided to go to Miami I was disappointed. Not in a he disgraced all of humanity and should be burned on a stake in Salem kind of way, more like, huh… Miami? Really? Her? It wasn’t that he made the wrong choice, it’s just that he didn’t make the choice I’d have made. I’m sure Miami’s nice and everything (I hear it’s got a great personality), but if I were the greatest basketball player in the world, 25 years old, a free agent with the chance to take my talents (and the talents of one of my uber talented friends) anywhere in the basketball Universe, I’d have taken those talents straight to Madison Square Garden.

Whatever else you want to say about New York City, it is the center of the sporting world (North American edition). And while Football rules everywhere, and the Yankees are the greatest thing since moldy sliced bread, New York is a hoops town. New York City is the center of the basketball world and while it wasn’t created there, it was created there. On the playgrounds, in the Garden, it didn’t matter, basketball was interwoven with the street culture in a way I couldn’t hope to understand or explain. But, basketball rules in New York not just because of its history, but also because it’s the only one of the big three sports that’s actually played on Manhattan. It’s not in the Bronx, it’s not in Jersey, it’s in Manhattan. When Mark Messier led the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994, he became a GOD in New York. And that was hockey.

If you were young and great and you took your talents to MSG, you’d have the greatest City in the world eating out of your hand. You’d be playing in front of a packed house, with extremely savvy, rabid fans, hungry for some success, any success. Their energy alone would power you through the doldrums of January, when the schedule starts to look longer than Greg Oden in the shower. You would be their King. And that’s just for showing up, if you led that team to a title? Well… damn. You’d be bigger than Oasis, who were Bigger than the Beatles, who were BIGGER than Jesus.

So, that’s why I would have chosen New York, but instead James chose Miami and while I’m sure he doesn’t regret it, thus far it’s been somewhat underwhelming. And I don’t eve mean the team and their 7-4 record. When I’ve been watching Miami Heat home games, the whole proceedings seems to lack the sort of sizzle you’d expect form the most hyped team ever. At this point, I’ve watched four Heat home games this year and frankly, I’ve seen more excited crowds at a scrabble tournament. The arena has looked half empty, with whole sections barren and fans walking the aisles while the play is live. And the sound… well, lets just say that the crowd isn’t exactly reaching rock crowd decibels. It’s more like something you’d expect from a Rafi concert (who actually has something in common with LeBron, as he also turned the opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden).

So, it was with some amusement that I heard on today’s PTI that the Miami Heat have sent out a memorandum to their fans, asking them to be, ahhh, well, fans. No, seriously. The Miami Heat have recorded a video asking their fans to “fan up.” Alongside that, they’ve also put up a banner on NBA.com:

FAN UP, Miami

Now, I can’t really blame Heat management, I mean you manage the coup of signing the top three free agents (two of whom are arguably the biggest free agents of all time), something that’s never been done in basketball and your fans reward you by arriving for the last half of the second quarter… and leaving before the end of the third. I’d be pissed too. I’d want to rile up my fans and give them a kick in the ass, but on the other hand, it’s Miami. Since when do the Heat have fans? Or the Marlins for that matter. Or the Or whatever the heck their hockey team’s called (I kid, I kid, I know it’s the Cougars…).

Outside of Dan LeBatard, the Dolphins and the Hurricanes, Miami is a TERRIBLE sports town. Their arenas are always empty, fans either arrive late and leave early, or don’t arrive at all and even those that are in attendance can’t be bothered to cheer. I get it, honestly, I do. If I lived in Miami I probably wouldn’t go to the games either. I mean, it’s Miami, there are freakin’ nice things you can be doing outside in the lusciously warm weather surrounded by hot people. Still, it’s pretty sad when an NBA team that doesn’t exist in Minnesota and isn’t owned by Donald Sterling has to remind its fans to “stand up and make some noise.”

  1. November 19, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    And, yes, I know that Miami’s hockey team is actually the Panthers.

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