The 2014 NBA Finals start tonight, sadly marking the beginning of the end to another basketball season. For the first time since 1998 there is a rematch in the championship series. That time the result stayed the exact same, 4-2, Chicago Bulls over the Utah Jazz.
Poor Karl Malone.
This time I expect the Eastern Conference team to repeat again, with the Miami Heat winning over the San Antonio Spurs in seven games – just like last season. Except the home court has flipped but I really don’t think Miami puts as much stock into homecourt advantage (See: Conceding #1 Seed to Indiana) as the Spurs do. (See: Games 3/4 vs. OKC in WCF)
But my prediction is worthless to even me. However, that’s been my prediction since last season’s NBA Finals concluded, so for it to be right would be pretty cool for me and the millions of others who went out on this ledge.
Whether the Miami Heat join the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics in super-ultra-mega rare company of 3-Peating, here’s why I’m rooting for the unpopular choice.
I root for several teams in sports on a secondary level. The cause is not hard to decipher: Either a player I’ve always loved ends up in a place with a team I have no reason to hate (Gordon Hayward-Utah Jazz, Goran Dragic-Phoenix Suns) or I’m influenced by relative’s upbringing that love their teams and spoil me with team gear and trips to stadiums.
Those include the San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays and all Miami teams. Marlins, Dolphins and yes, those damn Heat.
Let me be clear, when the Jazz or Suns play the Mavericks, it’s not even in the globe of my brain to root anything but Mavs. If the Rangers are playing the Giants or Rays, I’ll hate them for the time being. (2010 World Series, 2010 and 2011 ALDS) If the Mavericks happen to be playing the Heat, oh yes, every intolerable player on their team…specifically Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier…become public enemies. It’s an on-off switch in a sense, but when it’s on it’s frikkin’ on, when it’s off, those teams have my support.
I love LeBron James, too. Say what you want about “The Decision,” he took less money to play with All-Stars instead of a max contract to stay with Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison and a front office with an awful string of draft picks (Ex: Dajuan Wagner and Luke Jackson) and attempts to give LeBron James a “Robin” (Larry Hughes, please!).
Also, the Miami Heat are hated for being great and doing it without building from within. Who in the NBA besides the Spurs exactly does that anymore with any success? They drafted Wade and he was the ultimate recruiter, bearing some really, really turrible basketball seasons so Pat Riley could save all the money and roster flexibility and assets they possible could to have a shot at a once in a lifetime Free Agent.
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
And they got him.
I was way, way, way on the San Antonio bandwagon during the Western Conference Finals. I don’t hate a team more than the spoiled, poorly coaches, overly glamified and flop-master-ing Oklahoma City Thunder in all of sports.
No. All of everything. Even more than avocados that, like OKC, have a huge fan base that, as Rami says, grinds my gears. Or Peter Griffin/Seth MacFarlane said. You’re not reading anyway.
I am not a Spurs fan. I respect the Spurs. I am not a Heat fan. But I support them. There’s a difference. So call me a bandwagoner or a traitor or a poopoo face, I’m rooting for the Miami Heat.
Last year. The year before. Obviously not the year before that year. This year, too. And unless Dallas or Utah is in the Finals next season, that year as well. Don’t you want to be remembered as the only team to beat the Heat in the “Big 3” era?