Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Heat Check: September 2011

Beef, friendship, free agency, the NBA Lockout and Troy Davis were the hottest topics on the Miami Heat Index in September.

Another Reason Why Wade > Kobe
September began with a story in the Los Angeles Times that Kobe Bryant’s beef with Phil Jackson prevented the Lakers from signing Kevin Garnett. The September 23rd HEATcast explained how the news was just another example of why Dwyane Wade is a better player than Kobe.

Wade’s relationship with Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, LeBron James and Chris Bosh built a future dynasty. Kobe’s relationship with Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal left the Lakers without two of the best big men of the last 10 years. Good luck recruiting Dwight Howard to the Lakers.

Wade vs. LeBron on Twitter and Off
When Wade does beef with his teammates, it’s all in fun. Case in point, the Twitter battle he had with LeBron in the middle of September where the two stars cracked on each other in 140 characters or less. The two tweets below are an example of the jokes they made of each other:

@ DwyaneWade: What does Dirk jumpshot and @KingJames LINEUP have in common??they both have hella ARC in the corners..

@KingJames: What does Ceasar from Planet of Apes and @DwyaneWade have in common? Tell Dwade to take his socks off and you'll see

It’s camaraderie like this that made the question of “who’s team was it” so ridiculous last season. The question of who had the better jokes and the better season was much more interesting and addressed in the article, “Did LeBron Murder Wade On His Own $#!t?”

Can Chalmers Get Paid?
Restricted free agent Mario Chalmers tweeted that he plans on playing for the Heat as long as they want him. The Heat should want him at any cost based on his performance under a rookie contract. The article "Point Guard Competition Is None" explained why Chalmers is the Heat’s best option.

Is David Stern Responsible for Two Lockouts?
After NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that he gets advice from NBA commissioner David Stern regularly, someone needs to ask the question, “How many lockouts is Stern responsible for this year?”

Stern is widely regarded as the best commissioner in sports. If he has the blood from two lockouts on his hands (three if you count the NHL lockout in 2005 since he mentored NHL commissioner Gary Bettman), then that regard needs to be challenged. While reporters tried to blame the NFL and NBA lockouts on the contracts for rookies (in the NFL) and Rashard Lewis (in the NBA) the commissioners are the ones that really have the worst contracts in sports.

Maybe that’s why all the players cheered Wade when he put Stern in his place during last Friday’s collective bargaining session.

Despite any acrimony with the commissioner, Heat players like LeBron, Chris Bosh, Wade, Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, James Jones and Eddie House were just happy that Stern didn’t prevent their favorite NFL teams from getting back on the field.

The Miami Heat Index previewed and analyzed the performance of the Heat players’ favorite teams for every game in September.

NBA Lockout
Optimistic rumors that the NBA Lockout would end in September made their way around the blogosphere but Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said “owners [were] not going to move” and they didn’t.

Ethan J. Skolnick from the Palm Beach Post tweeted the following message from an NBA agent shortly after Jordan’s statement was published in newspapers around the world: "Should be clear by now some owners would just rather kill the season"

The article, “Have the Owners Bargaining Positions Changed?” identified which owners would rather kill the season. According to espn.com, two of those owners set back the negotiations when the media thought the NBA and NBPA were on the verge of a deal.

The article “Death of Optimists Prime” explained why that turn of events should make every NBA fan a pessimist about whether any games would be played this season.

Troy Davis, Digital Activism and the NBA
As a professional sports league that’s 80 percent black with the largest online following of the three major sports, the NBA and its players should have gotten involved in digital activism for the Troy Davis campaign to end the death penalty and its racist use. Several Troy Davis articles at the Miami Heat Index highlighted those that did, and did not, get involved.

Miami Heat Index Articles of the Month

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