With the upcoming NBA season hanging under a cloud that could cover half the United States, the only direction we can really look is back. Looking back at the 2010-2011 NBA season, it was a year defined basically by one team, the Miami Heat, and all the negativity that surrounded them. This team was vilified like no NBA team in decades and the bashing they received has to rank as as the most ever seen, thanks to the wide world of the internet where every opinion is out there for all to see.
The question is, however, did they deserve it?
If you look at it honestly, the only reason they were hated is the same as the main reason they lost the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James. James made such a public fudge-up when it came to the big summer of free-agency that people had no choice but to root for the Heats on-court demise. I mean, both Bosh and Wade kept their 'Decision' low key enough to not stir the masses (well, that's more for Bosh because nobody was overly pissed Wade stayed in Miami), but James made such an ill-advised spectacle of it all that every eye glued to it (which basically was every eye in America) couldn't help but cringe when he uttered that now infamous line 'I'm taking my talents to South beach'.
Then, Wade and Bosh slipped up when they, and James, had that horrendous introduction spectacle that was akin to some rock concert. The three of them, parading on a huge stage, claiming they will win over 7 NBA titles, on the heals of the 'Decision'…well, let's just say that every eye that cringed rolled upwards in disbelief on that one.
Honestly though, how could we NOT hate the Heat at this point?
Every bit of anger, hatred and boo's directed their way was well deserved because, frankly, they brought it on themselves. On all levels they put themselves in the position of the villain and good or ill, that's where they will remain for as long as they will be together. The only bright side is that things should calm down next season, if there is one anyway…at least that's what Dwyane Wade thinks.
"It's always going to be criticism. There's always going to be hatred. … It's like the first time LeBron went to Cleveland, it was this crazed thing," Wade says. "Then we went back again, and it wasn't the same.
"No matter what people say about the Miami Heat, it will not be the same as it was last year. There's still going to be stuff out there, but not like the first time."
That remains to be seen. One thing to keep in mind is that you should never underestimate people's ability to hold onto a grudge because even if they do it more out of habit, it's still going to be there. Just look at James. He was on top of the world before he went to the Heat and now, as recently as just the other week, he was voted in the top ten of a most unpopular list.
It doesn't take much to anger people but it takes a hell of a lot to make them forgive and forget. That is something Wade and the Heat will find out the hard way.
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