Every good story of a hero rising up — say, Dirk Nowitzki — needs a villain to make it work.
Last season, the Miami Heat were everyone’s villains. How the entire thing went down — from LeBron’s televised decision to the pep rally — turned a lot of fans off. There was both distaste for the team’s perceived arrogance and a sense that the Heat was destined for a title and it was not fair.
The Heat were hated, and Dwyane Wade said the team embraced that to a fault in an interview on Mike Krzyzewski’s radio show, as reported by the Sun Times.
In an interview with Mike Krzyzewski on the Duke coach’s show on SiriusXM Radio, Wade says “we wanted to win to spite people” last season, the first where he had LeBron James and Chris Bosh as teammates.
Wade continued, “I believe that’s the reason we didn’t win a championship.”
Maybe that had something to do with it. I think it had more to do with a lack of defensive presence in the paint and steady point guard play, but to each his own.
By the way, Coach K and Wade are tight after the 2008 Olympics, where they bonded on the way to a Gold medal. They will be reunited in that drive next summer, you can bet Wade makes the USA squad for London.
Is last season’s white-hot hate for all things Miami going to cool down to just red-hot?
I see the comments on this site and in my twitter timeline when I dare suggest that he hatred for all things Miami will cool with time, especially if they win a title or two — you don’t believe it. Plenty of you plan on really hating the Heat until Miami sinks back into the Atlantic.
But Dwyane Wade thinks the hatred for the Heat will cool off as well, as he told the USA Today. (hat tip to I am a GM)
“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.”
Okay haters, have at it. The fine folks of Cleveland will never forgive, I get that. But for the nation as a whole, the Heat hate will cool down, and if they win some rings the pendulum of public opinion will start to swing the other way some. Just watch.
The bigger concern for the league — that hatred for the Heat will cool into apathy after an extended lockout. For many fans, that will be the reality.
The Heat have become black and white — there are no shades of gray with this team. People do not really tolerate the “I don’t like how they handed last summer but that was still a good basketball team” position. Love or hate. Black and white. Evil and good.
How you react to what you read next fully depends on where you stand on the Heat.
Dwyane Wade was being interviewed on ESPN 540 in Milwaukee and was asked about the hate the Heat endured (via Sports Radio Interviews).
Obviously we went through a lot last year. It was unfair some of the stuff that we had to endure but we grew from it. That’s over with. We move on to whenever we play basketball again and we will be a different team….
“It was tough. I’ve went through tougher things because at the end of the day it’s the game of basketball. You find the joy in it and at the end of the day we had a good team.”
Wade was also asked to provide some insights on LeBron, and he said what people don’t realize is they are similar.
LeBron is one of my best friends. A lot of the things in life we have similar from an upbringing and some of our beliefs. He’s human. He makes mistakes like all of us, like every other human being, and he’s going to do a lot of great things as well. I don’t know anything that no one doesn’t know. He’s a big kid man. He’s giddy, he’s goofy, but at the end of the day he’s a great teammate. He’s one of those guys that will bring everybody on the bus coffee in the morning, he’s one of those teammates.”
“I am watching this year because I want Miami to lose so badly. I’m rooting hard against the Heat.”
—Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, on WEEI radio in Boston, talking about if he is still watching the playoffs now that the Celtics are out of it. See, a lot of you do have something in common with an NBA team owner.