Friday, July 19th, 2013 at 10:40 am  |  51 responses

Ray Allen Blames Media for the Miami Heat’s Bandwagon Fans

Miami Heat fandom reached its lowest point to date in the 2013 NBA Finals — hundreds of fans bolted Game 6 early thinking the San Antonio Spurs had won the title, and were criticized by everyone including Heat players. Ray Allen thinks the media is to blame for creating such fickle support, and offered his thoughts on how the NBA should market itself. Per the WaPo: “Ray Allen — who helped accept some of the hardware on Wednesday — happened to be in The Post newsroom last week, as part of his trip to Washington to testify in favor of federal funding for research aimed at finding a cure for diabetes. In between health policy talk, I asked him about bandwagon fans. ‘When we go on the road, you see people in Heat jerseys that have never been to Miami,’ Allen said with a smile. ‘We were in Utah, and I thought that same thought — like, these people, some of these people, have never been to Miami before. I think it’s the machine of SportsCenter….Look at all the media outlets, from First Take to PTI to Around the Horn, that talk about the same stuff. We haven’t played for two weeks, and I think every time I turn on SportsCenter, they talked about LeBron in some form. And he hasn’t done anything but just be on vacation. So as much as we blame the fans for being bandwagon, it’s mostly the media’s fault. Because the media’s the one that continues to feed the machine.’ [...] Allen said Heat fandom in Utah is ‘absolutely cool’ and ‘there’s nothing wrong with it,’ but he also said he’d like to see an NBA in which more people rooted for more teams. ‘I went to a Lakers game when I was young, and at the time I was a Lakers fan,’ he told us. ‘When the Lakers and the Pistons played, I knew everybody on the Lakers team, and I knew everybody on the Pistons team. And I thought the Lakers and the Pistons played 20 times a year, because that’s all they ever talked about, that’s all they ever showed … The way the league is portrayed is what [the media] puts out there,’ he continued. ‘So for people all over America, that’s what you see on a daily basis. That’s ultimately what you’re going to end up cheering for and liking. People know Norris Cole more than they know anybody in the starting five for the Charlotte Bobcats, and Norris Cole comes off the bench for us in Miami, just as well as I do. If it’s anybody’s fault, it’s the league’s fault, because we need to do a better job of marketing every team — players, bios, everything. I think the NFL does a great job of that,’ he went on. ‘You talk about every team, every Sunday. I truthfully would like to see even the bad teams [in the discussion]; if you talk about them, you put the pressure on them to have to be better. You can’t be a basement-dwelling NBA team if people are talking about you over and over again and putting the pressure on you to be good. We get that in the big markets; you’re gonna get enough pressure put on you where you’re gonna have to put a contender out there, and you’re gonna have to spend money. In the NFL, every team is in the spotlight one game a week, every Sunday, so you’ve got to put on your best show and your best face to get better continually. As great as the NBA is, that’s something we could do better,’ he concluded. ‘That bottom quarter of teams in the NBA that kind of always hover there — there has got to be a way to make sure they continue to put pressure on them to be better.’”

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  • spit hot fiyah

    epic block of text right there

  • KnicksFan

    I think Ray Allen is partially right. WHy the fans left early is because of parking/traffic etc. They will forever lament their EARLy departure …
    Marketing the Bottom teams is the responsibility of :
    1) Their Agents
    2) Their League
    3) Their Team
    4) The Media
    It’s Only good business, since we will have a chance to see good players on bad teams, or players that might become good players on good teams.. I might go to a mid week, low priced game to see a good player vs drink nite..or Ladies Nite or Guys Nite or whatever promo is being done.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Did it ever occur to Allen that MAYBE there are some people from Miami that went to a Heat/Jazz game in Utah?

  • bike

    I lost it after the fourth sentence. LOL.

  • Enigmatic

    You can’t really blame the media for something that’s been going on since the NBA became extremely popular.

    I mean, I just think it’s cause a lot of fans, for whatever reason, like to root for the best team or whatever team the best player or their favorite player happens to be on. After 2010, you saw a ton of fans switching allegiance from the Cavs to the Heat because of that. My cousin is a Lakers fan, despite never having been to LA, simply because of Kobe Bryant. The Heat are “feeding the machine”, as Allen put it, simply by being dominant and having LeBron.

    I’ve always been a Bulls fan, since the 80′s. I grew up 45 minutes from Chicago, I felt like that was MY team. So I obviously stuck with them through the Jordan years, but also through the HorriBulls years and now with them being pretty good again. But even back in the days with MJ I’m sure there were bandwagon Bulls fans, it’s just without social media we weren’t nearly as aware of them. And I can’t tell you how many older white guys I’ve worked with have told me they were die-hard Celtics fans in the 80′s cause of Larry Bird, and most of them have never been to Boston.

    Nowadays I know cats on Twitter from New Zealand, Germany, England, you name it, claiming to be die hard Heat fans. But it’s nothing new. I remember reading about die hard Bulls fans in Europe, Asia and all over the world in the 90′s. Nothing’s new under the sun….

  • Roy Harrigan

    I agree with Ray for the most part. I think part of the reason for the success of the NFL is because there is more parity. The same teams rule the NBA for the most part. In the NFL a team can be crappy one year and good the next.

  • ChiTown Fan

    Paragraphs are forbidden on this site.

  • King David

    PREACH Ray ! you saved that bum Lebron a** !!!

  • King David

    damn u made a good point ! lol

  • tnrc75

    Ray’s right….if you’re playing in the NBA, you’re not a bum….it’s pretty elite company….it would be better if they could just stop slurping on the big-market teams and note that there are guys like John Wall or Mike Conley or Zach Randolph or LaMarcus Aldridge or Al Jefferson and those guys, if they were on the Lakers, Heat, or Knicks, would be big big big stars.

  • theDankerNuggets

    good point but part of it is that almost any team could win it all every season, not many people would have predicted the Ravens would have won it last year with almost the same exact roster they have had for a couple seasons now, but in the NBA I bet like 80 or 90 percent of fans would have said the Heat will win it all before last season started and they were right. Talent shows out in the NBA, the cream always rises to the top

  • DropDaHATE

    Saved? Without LeBron, the Heat are at best a 4th-5th seed in the East.

    People hate on LeBron so much simply because the media. Dude literally led that team back in the whole 4th quarter and leads that team in pts, rebs, assts, and steals, BUT is always hated on by people like you.

    By the way, how can you hate on a player who video games can’t even rate anymore… http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/even-video-games-t-properly-rank-just-great-175051083.html

    When the Heat win, it’s because of the Refs, conspiracy, “Superstar team”. When the Heat lose, it’s all because LeBron NO MATTER if he puts up a triple double or leads his team back all the time and literally carries that squad.

    People like you are fooled by the media and say, “oh well, LeBron has a super team ha ha ha.” Wade and Bosh have not played like superstars everyone predicted, Wade has not been that consistent 2nd superstar to LeBron that every superstar, particularly the most “gifted … by management” player in league history Kobe has had…heck, Shaq averaged 35+ 15+ 5+ and his stats would go up in the finals. Without Kobe and WITH SHAQ, the Lakers did better (.780 something) than with both (.753ish). With Kobe and WITHOUT SHAQ, the lakers were (.520ish). That’s besides the point…also, Bosh ain’t playing like people in their wildest dreams could’ve imagined. In fact, it has been stated that Kidd and Terry from 2011 outproduced Wade and Bosh in 2013.

    Also, when looking at squads, this Heat team has probably been one the worst in recent memories only better than the Pistons and 2011 Mavericks; that’s due in part to LeBron being on another Cav-like team but with better help…but not phenomenally better as people like to believe due to the media.

    By the way, how can you hate on a player who video games can’t even rate anymore…http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/even-video-games-t-properly-rank-just-great-175051083.html

  • dropDaHate

    My apologies on the “people like you”…there is no need to categorize people based on simple means of entertainment which can sometimes elicit stronger responses from our normally calm selves.

  • King David

    lol u went hard lmaoo !

  • pposse

    your specifically talking about the playoffs because both Wade and Bosh had pretty good regular seasons, which btw helped the Heat lock up the first overall seed in the playoffs, which by the way played an important role in both of the last two series the Heat and your boy Lebron was playing in. For everyone thats been saying bron joined a “superstar team” there is always someone out there trying to over inflate the greatness of Lebron James..and for what cause Wade and Bosh didn’t have a great playoff run? But then again..there were guys like Ray Allen coming off the bench to drop 20 pts in games in the playoffs.

    Lebron was great, but don’t get it miscontrued the Spurs dropped the ball in game 6, 99/100 times the Spurs are the champions. Ray saved the day, saved Lebron’s a$$, saved the Heat’s a$$ plain and simple.

  • DonnyBrook

    The fact that you said you “know cats on Twitter” from New Zealand, Germany, England crushes your whole point. Good point though.

  • ttc

    “Ray Allen — who helped accept some of the hardware on Wednesday — happened to be in The Post newsroom last week, as part of his trip to Washington to testify in favor of federal funding for research aimed at finding a cure for diabetes.”

    …I really think the media should report more on athletes doing those kinds of things and make it a big deal..they actually seem to be doin a lot for th people; if it was reported a little bit more, it might influence regular people to do some of the same…

  • Dagger

    Believe it or not, it takes a team to win a championship. Kerr saved Jordan’s ass, too. So what?

  • 23

    John Wall is on TV commercials and was a superstar a couple years ago at Kentucky. He has had his own signature sneakers since day 1. He is a bigger star off the court than you probably realize. But he has yet to lead his team to the playoffs, IN THE EAST. So imo he hasn’t earned much, NBA wise. Everything he has is because of his college success. ESPN isn’t talking about jj redick or Adam Morrison regularly. It’s about how successful you are at the professional level. And so far, Wall hasn’t accomplished much. Partly due to injury and his.immature supporting cast.

  • 23

    And funny how you bring up ZBo and overlook Gasol. If anything after this postseason you should know better than that.

  • MikeC.

    I definitely do NOT want a regular diet of Bobcats vs Raptors. No thank you. No thank you very much. It’s not about showing the bad teams more often to shame them into getting better. It’s about those teams being good enough to push their way onto the national broadcast. It’s not surprising that the good teams with the stars are on tv all the time. They’re on tv because people want to see them because they’re good, and they are good because they have the stars. It’s also not just the big markets. How many Knick games were on national broadcasts in the post-Ewing pre-Amare/Melo yrs? I’d guess about 80% less than what we’ve had the last couple of seasons. Get good, be seen.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Unless you’re the 04 Pistons.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    And Robert Horry saved Kobe & Shaq. Good point.

  • Junior Taylor

    Politely disagree with Ray on this one. I never knew that you had to live in the city that the team plays in just to be a fan of said team. That is what separates the NBA from the MLB/NFL and makes it a global sport is that you can be a fan of any team no matter where you live.

  • pposse

    how again? Did Kerr hit a jump shot when the Bulls were down 2-3 in the finals? Did he hit a jump shot when they were down any points? No. Kerr hit a ‘go ahead’ bucket in 1997 to win the championship. MJ never got his ass saved from anybody in the finals, he never even went to game 7 dont go there!

    If anything John Paxon saved the day in a fully team executed play drawn up from Phil Jackson for the first three peat. Even still, if Paxon doesnt hit the shot and the Bulls lose there are still 2 more games to play in that series.

    You have to take each case, case by case. Yes I understand its a team game. But just look at the last minute of game 6 Heat – Spurs objectively…The Heat of all teams get two offensive rebounds (with Duncan out, stupid blunder) and capitalize by hitting two 3′s to tie the game up. On the other end the Spurs miss crucial ft’s, sub out their best rebounder (which no one even questions…just cause Pop is the greatest coach in the game?! i mean c’mon) If this wasn’t lebron james or kobe bryant winning the championship the story to this day would be about how the Spurs dropped the ball. Ray Allen saved the day very similar to Horry’s antics against the Kings.

  • Enigmatic

    Thanks, I think.

  • Dagger

    That’s just such a simple way of viewing basketball.

    “The Spurs lost so they choked.”

    “Duncan was out which was stupid because the Spurs couldn’t get a rebound.”

    “Ray Allen hit a key three so he bailed out Lebron.”

    Basically you’re taking a fact and then interpreting it by reaching the simplest, knee-jerk conclusion that fits your existing preconceptions. We’ve argued about this before, and many other people have written better criticisms about this kind of thinking than I have the energy to muster now.

    But the bottom line is that basketball is a complicated game, with many variables and possibilities. If you love the game, it pays to follow every thread as far as it can go.

    Believe it or not, Lebron can be fantastic and Allen can STILL hit the clutch shot. The Spurs can lose yet STILL be incredibly clutch. Duncan can sub in but the Spurs could STILL lose that game in a different way.

  • danpowers

    11 mavs, 94 / 95 rockets and would the spurs count as well?

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    IMO the first Rockets championship is debatable. The spurs had the better talent in all of their finals victories except maybe in 05.

  • danpowers

    the knicks were favored as far as i remember (can be wrong, its been some time).

    the spurs were more talented but not really a big market team with a big pay roll.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the Knicks were favored, not heavily but Hakeem was the best player. And the series went down to the wire. It’s not like what dude said about “Talent shows out in the NBA” is wrong. He wasn’t talking about the market. He was talking about how winning and talent relate to one another.

    Same can be said for the Spurs. They may not have been favored (although they were favored in every finals series they ever played, except this year, the only year they lost) but they always, while actually winning championships, have had the best player.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I’m not sure either but just looking at talent wise alone I don’t see either team having a clear cut advantage. As far as the Spurs go I know they aren’t a big market I just feel they were more talented than portrayed at times.

  • DropDaHate

    Bro…no 1 is trying to overinflate the greatness of LeBron like they do Kobe. No 1 is saying that LeBron didn’t get bailed out by Ray Allen, but people always forget the position that LeBron puts his team in day and night. LeBron could average (and did average) 38 8 8 a playoff series (Magic) and still get blamed for the Loss. LeBron could get 27 19 10 ish in a close out game against the Celtics in his last game as a cav and still be looked at as quitting on his really lame team. But once LeBron does something of “any value” like lead his team back from verge of defeat, lead his team in pts, rebs, assts, steals for the whole season, never have consistent help, is the ONLY REASON small ball and the Miami Heat work, people are quick to point out “unsubstantiable statements = false statements fueled by nonsensical bitterness and hatred stemming from who knows where and why”…statements like “The refs helped the Miami CHEAT” “LeBron uses steroids”…when in fact the same people who say Kobe is the best player of all time never go to the evidence that the REFS ACTUALLY HAVE BEN SHOWN TO HELP THE LAKERS WIN (Tim Donaghy/this years game agaisnt GSW in which Kobe hurt achilles)…

    Nutshell, Bro, no 1 trying to overinflate greatness of LeBron…if you want to know, look up stats and accomplishments and overall game and (for emphasis) efficiency and how he makes his team better overall to see that LeBron is on pace, if not already, easily top 1-3 all time player ever to play.

  • danpowers

    sure. imo hakeem back then was just one of the greatest stories in sports. he has been pretty much overlooked untill he made david robinson like a helpless child. by then it should have been pretty clear he’d be too much for the knicks to handle.

    my bad then. i thought he meant talent AND big money as i misunderstood his term “cream” as C.R.E.A.M. lol.

    basketball just emphazises individual talent more than any other sport i know so thats pretty much stating the obvious here. more players on the floor like in american football or soccer may decrease the impact of individuals.

    if we would want to realistically increase the chances for underdogs we would have to cut the playoff format of best of 7 and number of regular season games. imagine the nba finals just being one game. i dont know if i would want that but that would provide us with more cindarella stories

  • danpowers

    got the initial statement wrong coz i misunderstood “cream” as “c.r.e.a.m.”, my bad

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i personally watch basketball to see the very best, performing at the very best. if there were no fatigue and injuries i would want the season and the playoffs to be longer. so, LOL, i don’t agree.

  • danpowers

    i didnt say i want that, just that it would provide us with more cindarella stories.

    that cindarella aspect would be a nice one but in no f*ckin way would i like to spare a single game of nba basketball neither lol

  • Lloyd

    I’m from Toronto and grew up watching the Raptors. They’re my team because they represent my city, but it gets hard to be loyal when we don’t even have a chance to win every year (Vegas puts our odds to win a chamionship at 1/125 this year)

    However, every year I have a secondary team that I appreciate and cheer for based on different factors (likability/exciting play/fun to watch/winning potential). Fact is, it’s just easier to cheer for a team that has a chance to do good and win. Those teams are always going to have bandwagon fans, especially those from cities that don’t have NBA teams.

  • Basketball_iQ

    (begins slow round of applause)


  • Basketball_iQ

    Just an epically inept losers in life roots for the teams that’s winning…. Have some pride for once in ya life,,,, stick with home base,,, Dayum bandwagonships.

  • Basketball_iQ

    When the Miami Heat was Utah in 2009,,,,wouldnt one soul in the building thinking about nothing Miami,,,,, that’s what he’s talking about.
    The only people in here speaking are people have a bandwagonship.

  • M.Phoenix

    I’m from New Zealand – I am the biggest Heat fan I know (in real life). However, I’m not a bandwagon fan just because I’m not from Miami. I have 2 DWade jerseys and a Zo jersey along with other Heat merchandise, and the Heat have been my team since I was old enough to form an opinion. DWade has been my guy since his rookie year and the Heat was my favourite team before LeBron arrived, and obviously still is my team. Even during the 15 win season. Even during the Beasley experiment. I’ve been to Miami once before and loved the city, wish I could live there!

    All I’m saying is that just because you’re not from the city does not necessarily make you a bandwagon fan.

    Enigmatic is right.

  • pposse

    “the spurs lost so they choked” – NO! the spurs choked, so they lost. There’s a difference. The choking happened first, when your up 5 pts with 28 seconds left, and 2 key offensive rebounds happen and a missed ft within those 28 seconds, i view it as a choke, i might have made it a simplified view but that is exactly what happened!

    “duncan out which was stupid so the Spurs didn’t get a rebound” – he was their best rebounder, an ALL NBA 1st teamer yet was not in the game at the crucial moments to secure a defensive rebound. And no one, not one person wants to question Pop’s coaching?! I mean c’mon, he’s earned his stripes but the guy never messes up now? He is immune to coaching blunders?

    “Ray Allen hit a key three so he bailed out Lebron” – Ray Allen bailed out the Miami Heat. He was the one that hit the impossible shot, he earned that right and credit. Granted the ball could have fallen in anyone’s hands and they could have drained the shot…but alas..it was Ray Allen who hit the shot..he bailed out the Heat.

    You can sit there and say i’m making knee jerk reactions that fit my preconceptions, but thats false. I seen the games, I’ve seen the mistakes that were made on the Spurs, if that same situation arises with 28 seconds left, the Spurs win that game 99/100 times in my humblest of opinions! If it wasn’t Lebron James or an elite ball player’s team, the Spurs would have been torched by the media for choking. Lebron lived up to the hype, but this rhetoric about him carrying the team on his back is overblown. He had a lot of help along the way and a little bit of luck.

  • Shooting Guard

    the media gets blamed for everything these days

  • francisdebois

    Um, I’ve never been to Miami, been a Heat fan since ’95. Just because you’ve never been to a city, doesn’t mean you can’t be a fan of the team & organisation.

  • tnrc75

    I don’t think Gasol is a big star coz of this post-season.

  • tnrc75

    Well, I think if there was more attention given to excellent players throughout the league, Wall would be a bigger star. Sure, he has those sneakers but again, I think if the pub was shared around a bit more evenly, he’d be a bigger star.

  • hoodsnake

    The ‘cure’ for diabetes is to eat healthy and responsibly.

  • theDankerNuggets

    One example of a surprise compared to Miami ’13, ’12, Lakers ’10, ’09, Celtics ’08… I could keep going. I’m not saying there is never ever a surprise winner just that very often the or one of the favorites to win does.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I wasn’t disagreeing just putting that out there lol

  • Sombrenoire

    Very good point. I’m still super loyal to the Raptors. Unfortunately, I find that at times I’m looking for a secondary team that at least wins more than they lose. (Just to not be frustrated every time I watch basketball) Now I realize that I’m just an all around NBA fan, trying to watch as much of all teams as possible.