How to Deal With Miami Heat Dominance
We’re a week into this shortened NBA season, and already the Miami Heat look un-fucking-stoppable. After getting bloody revenge against the Mavericks on Christmas day (sidenote: that team looks awful), they plowed through a rapidly aging Celtics team, and just this past Sunday, they slaughtered the Bobcats by 39 points – and that was when Lebron was having an off day!
Admittedly, you can’t tell much from one week of play, especially considering Lebron’s notorious tendency to fade out in high pressure situations. Still, at this exact moment, it’s hard to see how anyone could win 4 out of 7 games against this team. They just have too much talent, and unlike last year’s woefully uncoordinated team, they seem to actually know how to play with each other. All of this could lead to a depressing NBA playoffs, with an outcome that feels all-too-inevitable.
But this is where I’ll play devil’s advocate: would the Heat winning a title really be so bad? Okay, that question doesn’t apply to you if you live in Cleveland, but for everyone else, think about it rationally. Don’t we sort of need this team to win a title at some point? If they don’t, there’s a good chance we’ll start liking them. Yes, that seems improbable, but think about it 5 years down the line. Lebron James will be 31, entering the final years of his prime. Dwyane Wade will be 34, with his best years likely behind him already. If this team doesn’t have a title at that point, we’d probably start wanting them to get one, just so the whole thing didn’t feel like a waste (again, if you live in Cleveland, please ignore all of this).
I know this all sounds a bit strange, but keep in mind, for an evil team to be truly loathsome, their evil has to actually get them somewhere. That’s why everyone hates the Yankees so much. If all their rabid spending, and stealing away of small market teams’ best players didn’t net them an automatic playoff berth, and a shit-ton of World Series titles, they probably wouldn’t be so bothersome. Additionally, the Heat are the only hated team that we started hating before they actually won anything. The Lakers, Cowboys, and Patriots had all won multiple championships before they began drawing they ire of sports fans. Of course, we had our reasons for hating the Heat — they introduced themselves in the most obnoxious way possible, acting as though every championship in the next decade was guaranteed to them by default. But if we’re going to keep hating them, they’re going to need to start winning. Otherwise, they’re playoff failure will only get more sympathetic, until they start looking like a charity case.
Finally, let’s put aside how annoying Lebron can be for a second, and just focus on his athletic ability. He has more raw talent than anyone who has ever played in the NBA. Sure, he may not have the clutch instinct of Jordan, Kobe, or even his teammate Dwyane Wade, but someone this good never winning a title would just be wrong. It would be a sports tragedy, even. At some point this guy has to reach has potential. We can boo him ferociously as we watch him get there, but it still needs to happen. No player this good can go an entire career without winning at the highest level.
In spite everything I just said, I still kind of hope they don’t win it this year. I’d just like to watch this team squirm for one more season before they conquer everyone in their path. But if they do win this year’s title (and I really think they will), I’ll be cool with it. After all, hating this team is pretty fun, and watching them plow through the competition will make us hate them even more than we do now. And anything that makes this even easier to hate is ultimately a good thing.