“The Heat have trailed in three different series this postseason. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team entering this postseason has won a title in NBA history after trailing in three different series in a single postseason.”
It seems like forever ago that we were counted out against the Pacers and then the Celtics.
“The Heat is the coolest and most famous team in South Florida’s history, but here’s what makes it the most interesting team we have ever seen around here, as well: There has never been a team this loved locally — not the perfect Dolphins of 1972, not the underdog champion Marlins, not the popular teams of Shaquille O’Neal or Dan Marino, not the anarchist Hurricanes football kings — that was this hated everywhere else. Very little is going to connect a community and a sports team quite like that. America’s hate and South Florida’s love, in fact, are directly proportional. Sports teams always are symbols for civic pride, so the more villainous America makes this team, the more the Heat’s players become our villains, damn it. … And now, after 82 meaningful meaningless games, here comes the best stuff. Finally. The most interesting team in South Florida’s history, and one of the most polarizing in America’s, begins the playoffs Saturday, and it really and truly is us against everybody else. Are you ready?”
“These guys care. They care a lot, actually. Yes, they care what people think. They care that their legacies are on the line. They care about the city of Miami. They care about the NBA. They even care about you, their haters. How do I know they care? Because I know how much you have to care to cry after a loss…
… Furthermore, the guys who cry after the games don’t cry because they are terrible and have no chance. They do it because they’re close. So close it hurts. I’ve never seen a last place team cry after a game. Nor have a seen a team with no chance for serious success do it. It’s only the guys whose will is strong enough to do something about it afterwards. My senior year of college was the biggest setback of my life. Since then I’ve done nothing but grow and get better, because my will to do so is strong.
I’m not here trying to convert anyone into Miami fans. I’m not even a Miami fan. I actually think it’s fun and easy to ridicule them. But when I see tears in their eyes, I get the idea that the fun and games are over, and maybe they’re poised to turn things around after this setback. Heck, maybe they won’t, but I’ll never again question how much they care.””
Rod Benson, on crying in basketball.
One more time, for emphasis: “…But when I see tears in their eyes, I get the idea that the fun and games are over, and maybe they’re poised to turn things around after this setback. Heck, maybe they won’t, but I’ll never again question how much they care.”