Sunday, March 13, 2011

Podcast: Heat Haters & the Potential for Greatness

Bloggers from the Miami Heat Index and Hot Hot Hoops got together for a podcast to discuss the Miami Heat.

The podcast can be downloaded HEREyou can subscribe to the RSS feed HERE or you can check it out at iTunes.

There's a breakdown of the conversation after the jump.

When the Heat were going through a five-game losing streak, haters were coming out of the woodwork to declare the Three Kings experiment a failure. Things have calmed down after beating the LA Lakers 94-88 on national television and destroying the Memphis Grizzlies by 33 points, but where did all that hate come from in the first place?

  • Hot Hot Hoops Editor Surya Fernandez says a lot of hate comes from Chicago fans, as evidenced by the responses to this post on Derrick Rose. Sounds like sour grapes in the Second City.
  • Hot Hot Hoops Guest Writer Danny Martinez said the player movement seen during the summer of 2010 is nothing new, but the coverage by NBA writers and analysts (many of whom got the story wrong) is new and may be responsible for some of the hate the Heat get.
  • I agreed that White Noise from NBA writers like Ric Bucher, Chris Sheridan and Chad Ford was part of the problem. Surya and Danny said Chris Broussard shouldn't be left off the list, either.
  • I grouped the haters into four buckets:
    • Barkley, Jordan, Magic, Scottie Pippen, Allan Houston, Avery Johnson – washed up old school hating on new school
    • Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon, Ken Berger, Matt Moore (Surya vouched for Moore) – homers who hate the Heat because they’re scared for their teams
    • Reggie Williams, Tracy McGrady, Marcin Gortat, Anthony Tolliver (Surya vouched for him) – Jealous children of a lesser god (Surya added the entire Orlando Magic organization to this list)
    • Scott Raab, Jason Whitlock, Adrian Wojnarowski – haters trying to profit from hating the Heat


The Bulls, Crunch Time and the Lineup
  • The conversation moved to Bulls vs. Heat and Mario Chalmers vs. Derrick Rose.
  • What's the real problem with the Heat in crunch time? The fact that they blew a big lead and let the games get close in the first place.
  • By a 2-1 vote, we support Mario Chalmers as the Heat starting point guard.
  • Is Dampier the best option at center? A 2-1 vote by the podcasters says, "Yes."

  • Why haven't the Heat been an all-time, great team this regular season? Danny said injuries are a big part of the reason why and I agree with him.
  • Danny and Surya said greatness for the Heat can only come in the playoffs and we conclude the Heat can still be a great team in the playoffs.

This podcast was powered by NerdNumbers and inspired by E.J. Fischer.


  1. Right now (and this may well change in the future) I honestly don't think there are any Chicago fans who wish LeBron had come to Chicago. So "sour grapes" isn't the right term. Maybe Chicago fans are delusional, but they aren't disappointed in the results so far. They are delighted, and doubly delighted that the results have been achieved without LeBron.

    Actually, of the two players, I think most Chicago fans wish we had Wade. And they may be a bit sour about that.

    The hate is all about LeBron, really, and his incredibly poor judgment about what to say and how to say it, what to do and how to do it. All of Nike's media talent hasn't been able to rehabilitate him. No one can deny that he's a great player, but he's made himself into a target.

    It didn't end with "The Decision," either. It extended to the championship celebration held before the season started, to the press conference held after every game, to the birthday celebrations held in multiple cities for James with multiple sponsors paying for the privilege

    To take a different example, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left Milwaukee, he did it all behind the scenes without anything leaking to the media. Now that was a different time, and perhaps it isn't possible to do that any more. But I can't imagine handling it any worse than LeBron did.

    The only way LeBron can overcome this is to win, as Kobe did when he was unpopular. And maybe, in time, LeBron will do just that. But don't be surprised when people are gleeful to see him lose, especially when he insists on taking the last shot and then tosses up brick after brick.

    Injuries are a big part of the Heat's losses but don't explain everything. Miller has not performed up to expectations when he has played. James has not always played up to his very high standards. The Heat have holes at point and center, the two most important positions on the team. And frankly, the coaching is not on a par with Jackson or Pops or even Thibs in Chicago.

    All that being said, the Heat are still perfectly capable of winning it all, especially if Miller finds his shot and Udonis comes back healthy. And if not this season, they will have many chances to come. But instead of wondering why the Heat are so unfairly hated, how about wondering why they can't fill the house on their home court?

  2. Sorry for such a late response to this comment...

    I think the Chicago fans vs. LBJ/Wade was covered pretty well in the podcast. There's beef w/ LBJ in CHI that has nothing to do w/ The Decision. When I had a conversation w/ my friend that's a Bulls fan, he didn't even bring it up.

    The Kareem comparison doesn't even fit because Kareem was an introvert while LeBron is an extrovert. By their very natures they would do things differently.

    This whole "off-season parade" or "championship celebration" beef is also nonsense. There was no parade or championship celebration. There was a Welcome to Miami party that was televised on local television. Every player should respond that they want to win 5,6, or 7 championships. Otherwise, they should get out the game!

    As for the Heat not living up to expectations, it's all explained by injuries and a decline in LeBron's play before the All-Star Break. It's unfair to criticize Miller's performance because he probably won't be right from his injuries until next season.

    As for holes at PG & C - check the Heat Produced Page. The only problem is C and no team is perfect. Outplaying teams at 3 or 4 of the 5 positions should be more than enough to win a title.

    As for attendance - check the stats at No other team compares. Tickets sold out to capacity every game. Cherry-picking footage from the crowds at tipoff is cute, but doesn't tell the whole story or the truth for that matter.