Wednesday, June 21, 2006

One word

OK. So I can't get through a day of blogging today without mentioning this:

I know what most people think about this team. I've read all the columns and blog comments. People outside of Miami have just never liked the Heat. Pat Riley, Shaq, Zo: they've over the years been the bad guys to many people. The team's not a team, it's a business proposition. They're dirty players, mean and rough. The players bought in this year are just hired finishers.

But I've watched this team since it started and since I went to my first game in the old Miami Arena, probably the first or second season, '88 or so. Great players like Steve Smith, Glen Rice, Dan Majerle -- Tim Hardaway and Zo -- we wanted them to get a championship so badly. So many heartbreaking losses. I was in the stands for the last game when Charlotte swept Miami. That hurt badly.

Now: who can not love Dwyane Wade? And, despite having to listen to the commentators' hype over and over during the games, who can't rejoice for damaged warrior Alonzo Mourning, local kid Udonis Haslem, many times All-Star Gary Payton, erratic and disrespected Antoine Walker, who've gone through so much disappointment and still ended up -- finally -- champions. And how could you doubt the love this team feels for each member? I don't think you can hype that.

(And, if I've been sloppy blogging the last week or so, it's because of the late nights watching these finals games. Up til 1:30 last night and wide awake. Back to normal now.)


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