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Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  36 responses

Miami Heat Owner: ‘Please Pick Dallas’


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

More than the amount of world-class talent they acquired last summer, the Miami Heat almost seemed to be built on the hatred of their critics.

All season long, it seemed that everyone was rooting against them. And of course, that did nothing but fuel their run, all the way to the doorstep of an NBA title.

Great job, haters.

The Miami Heat know they’re widely disliked, which they’re more than happy to embrace. Micky Arison, the team owner, playfully dares fans and media to be on the side of the Dallas Mavericks in the title round, an encouragement they probably didn’t need.

From ESPN:

“We look forward to a fun couple of weeks now with a group of guys who are very deserving,” [Micky] Arison said Thursday. “The thing about this is, we knew when this all came together that we’d have a chance to really win big. We didn’t know if we were going to actually win it. But we’d have a chance.”

Arison said that hasn’t been the feeling around the franchise the past few years. Since 2006, the Heat have been eliminated in the first round three of the last four seasons. The one season they didn’t make the playoffs resulted in the team’s tying the franchise record with a 15-67 finish in 2007-08. That represented rock bottom for [Pat] Riley, who retired from coaching after that season to work solely in the front office. Now, the Heat are in position to finish back at the top of the league. Arison had one request of some national media members as he left the United Center on Thursday.

“Please pick Dallas,” Arison wisecracked, insinuating there might not be any room for critics to now congregate on the Heat’s bandwagon.

The Dallas Mavericks will undoubtedly be the sports-watching world’s darlings now, an underdog team looking to avenge its epic, heart-breaking 2006 NBA Finals collapse against these same Miami Heat.

One gets the nagging feeling, though, that people who hate the Heat shouldn’t expect to receive any sort of satisfaction from the upcoming series.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    It won’t matter who picks the Heat in the press….99% of the population is going to be rooting against them so……..fuel up, bit*hes….we’re here now!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    I just want to see an awesome series. I think I’ll watch much of it with the sound turned off. The analysts have been quite irritating during this and the series against Boston. Man, I can’t wait!

  • vtrobot

    OK, will do. On a side note, congrats to the Heat. That was a pretty insane performance at the end. Scary when it looks so easy for LBJ and so hard for an entire team. Great to see Kurt get Booz’s minutes at the end. Wish he could have started game 6 for them. Asik was a pretty big loss. He’s a great backup 5. Peace.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Shout out @vtrobot.

  • monkeyball

    I will be rooting my a@@ off against the Heat. But that has nothing to do with their accomplishments. Even if they lose in the Finals, Wade and James have shown that they are the dominant Jordan-Pippen combo that everyone thought they could become. The most impressive story of these playoffs has been their dominance on the defensive end. Once they rid themselves of the O’Neals, they will bring in some younger frontcourt help. God helps us all.

  • G Diesel

    The only satisfaction I have is that one of these 2 teams will lose. If the Mavs lose, Dirk will be a choker again; if the Heat lose Princess James will be Lechoke forever. It’s a win-win situation.
    And basketball wise, it will be a great series, that will go 6 or 7 (most likely 7).

  • G Diesel

    I also think the Heat have the advantage because of D-Wade who knows what it takes to win a title.
    He’s my pick for Finals MVP. It would be funny if Chris Avatar Bosh aka Rupaul won it.

  • http://nba.com gp23

    Heat will sweep the Mavs. Lebron will get his Finals MVP, and we can all say “The King finally has a Ring” !!

  • Thor

    @G Diesel Dirk should have presented enough evidence for you to not say stupid ish like that. I mean, have you seen what he has done in these playoffs. Even his worst game of the Okc series, he was clutch in the end. And second, something has to go really wrong for Lebron not to win that MVP trophy. Him if Heat wins, Dirk if Dallas wins.

  • vtrobot

    Exactly. Calling either Dirk or LBJ a “choker” makes you sound like a hating fool. Respect the game. You haven’t watched the playoffs yet this year? Welcome.

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    I hope Dallas wins, just for how LBJ did it all, it’s not hate, it’s I can’t respect a player, the best in the world right now, who takes the easy way to win it all.

  • angus

    I like the heat and all, but if they win this year its almost like pat riley BOUGHT and nba championship.

  • f.u.c.k.legron

    Sadly the heat will win. And it will be a very dark day in the nba. Lequeer, Defag and Chris Posh don’t deserve anything for what they have done but sadly the Nba has allowed for this atrocity to happen. I for one will not watch basketball anymore being now you can just buy championships. I feel really bad for all the other teams, especially the smaller market ones, they have no chance of anything for the next 4 years. Hopefully the nba goes on strike next year and out of business. No one will miss this crap anyways.

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    Dirk is the anti-decision. He has stayed in Dallas his whole career despite all the disappointment. Go Mavs! I don’t hate the Heat either or WANT to see them lose. I just wan’t to see Dallas win more.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Mavs payroll is about 30 million dollars over the Heat’s this season….who bought what?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    angus the lakes have been buying championships for a while now… look at their payroll…

  • Tyrant56

    @alan I guess the easy way out is playing more team orienited basketball, making defensive plays, and going against the grain of all the casual sports fans hunh? Well he gave 7 years, how much more do you want? Besides he went there in search of multiple rings much like shaq does now and many other vets instead of wasting away in clevland praying for just one ring because then he’ll never be considered great & remeber this just because the players came to Jordan doesn’t mean they’ll come to you because in this modern era everyone wants to be a cheif. (Ex. big men shooting threes and not playing defense.) SMH

  • JoeMaMa

    @Cheryl: I’ve been saying the same thing about the analysts. How many people out there would order a channel that had OPTIONAL analysis? The rest would just be putting a mic on the floor and hearing the sounds of the game. I don’t know to hear stupid banter and arcane facts…much less rehashed player interviews about “we need to focus on defense”. This is a million dollar idea, people!!

  • ClydeSays

    Congrats Heat fans. I really thought the Bulls would put up more of a fight. Rose going 1 on 5 for 28 shots isn’t the kind of game plan I expected out of Thibs. That’s straight out of the ‘Del Negro/Mike Brown school of ‘coaching.

    Can’t quite call these Finals. Heat definitely have momentum, but Mavs seem to have playmaking, rebounding, scoring, size, and a deep bench. They’d be a tough matchup for any team.

  • Alf

    The sentimental favourite here has to be Dallas…Lots of feel-good story lines:

    J.Kidd returning to the NBA finals for the 3rd (and perhaps) final time of his career? Is 3rd time the charm?

    Dirk and Jason Terry returning – is there redemption for 2006?

    Shawn M. – Proving he can re-live his old Suns days and really be a matrix?

    Or, best of all – Deshawn vs. Lebron. Let the Soulja boy and Jay-Z references being anew!

  • Exile

    Congrats to Eboy and the Miami faithful. I rooted for the Celtics and the Bulls to finish you off… so not a bandwagon jumper… just begrudging respect after being proved wrong.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    @Angus What did they leave, $70 million at the door? I know they don’t make chump change, far from it, but I’d hardly say they cashed in by coming to MIA. For the record, when Ray Allen and Garnett joined PP, they made close to $19 million more than the Heat trio – food for thought. And Mike Bibby threw away his entire guaranteed salary to sign for the league min. They shat on their respective teams, but they didn’t do it for the money, relatively speaking.

  • G Diesel

    @Thor and vtrobot: Pau Gasol was called soft in 2008 before he gave the performance of his life last year and people started calling him tough.
    After this year’s playoffs, he’s back to being Gasoft again.
    Same concept will apply to Dirk or Bron, but especially Dirk. He was a choker when he lost to Miami (06) and Golden State (07),and now he’s the most clutch player in the league.
    However, if he starts bricking his low percentage fadeway jumpers, he’ll be called Choker again. Mark my words.
    As for princess Jimmy, if he can’t win playing aside 1 superstar and 1 star, and also with homecourt advantage, he will forever be known as Lebronze.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    If my name was Mickey Arison, and I owned a team named the “Heat”, I would so legally change my name to Mickey Arson.
    I’m just saying.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    @G Diesel I don’t think people were criticizing Gasol with soft, they were saying he couldn’t play D. There’s a difference between public perception from people who don’t watch games and what really happens. Gasol won the 2008 chip, not Kobe. And Dirk choked 5 years ago, took them back to the Finals. Is Malone a choker? Or one of the best Power Forwards of all time? And as for “Princess Jimmy,” even if he doesn’t win this year, the Heat aren’t going away. To keep hating after the past 3 series finales about how he can’t win with 3 stars and no bench…I dunno. Pretty convincing to me. Of course, we’re both just predicting. Bring on the Finals.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    “low percentage fadeaway jumper” huh?
    Yeah, i don’t need to mark your words. Because they are not based on reality or watching the players you say outlandish stuff about play, apparently.
    Don’t quit your day job, basketball guru.

  • monkeyball

    If Miami is buying a title, so did the Lakers by bringing in Shaq in 96. Or Boston by bringing Garnett and Allen. If Atlanta wins a championship, they bought it by offering all that money to JJ (not that that’s ever gonna happen). I root against James for the way he left Cleveland. He jerked the entire city around for two years. The man has no class. But there’s plenty of classless champions out there.

  • Thor

    @G Diesel – I know Darksaber said it, but “low percentage fadeaway jumpers”?? How many Dallas games do you watch man? There is a difference between listening to the haters and making your own judgments. Of course some people will start calling out players who happens to underachive, which doesn’t make them chokers. do your own observations pal.

  • Leo

    For those of you who never cared for THE HEAT, it just happened… Many thanks to those who stuck with THE HEAT… For the one person who loves to hate Miami ( you know who you ) thanks for the smack talking… win loose or draw I will always be a fan.. WHITE HOT!

  • G Diesel

    @Darksaber and Thor- I know Dirk have been making the most DIFFICULT shots this postseason; that’s why he has become unguardable, no matter who the defender is. I also know that he has missed those same shots in the past when the going got tough. Playing great in conference series is nothing like winning the Larry O’Brien trophy.
    If he can keep making most of those TOUGH shots and win the finals, he’ll be the new Larry Bird or even better. If he doesn’t, the window to shed that loser label will be closing fast.

  • Thor

    @G Diesel No not even close to Bird either way,he’s a great scorer, but bird did way more things on the court. But that isn’t relevant in this conversation. We are talking about being a choker, and that ain’t a word you can use to describe Dirk. Yes, chips do make players look greater, but like 1982 said earlier, there are some pretty good players who never won the ring like Malone and Barkley, and I bet you wouldn’t call them losers or chokers.

  • Thor

    And I got a question too, is the world THAT black and white that we are either a Larry Bird or a choker. Dirk might get locked down by a great miami defense, but that just tells you how good they are defensively, not have bad Dirk is.

  • Thor

    *how

  • http://yahoo Randy

    All these years it’s been OK for the Yankees, Celtics, Lakers, 49ers & Cowboy’s to buy titles, but it’s a SIN if Miami does the same thing. How quaint!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bill Sunday

    @gp23….. Wrong.

  • Demigod

    Right no ?

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