If you’ve been paying attention to the world around you, you may have noticed that the NBA playoffs are happening, with both conference finals currently well under way. In fact, if you’ve been paying attention to ESPN, then you may think that the NBA playoffs are the only thing happening on the planet right now, but that’s a tangent for another time.
I’m first and foremost an NFL and NHL guy, but I do enjoy basketball and follow it casually, or for ever how long I’m able to withstand Stephen A. Smith shouting at me. My interest in basketball really began in the mid 2000s, when I happened to catch a Heat game on TV and saw a player named Dwyane Wade carving up defenses, flinging himself around the court like he was being controlled by a Wiimote in the hands of a toddler in the middle of a sugar rush. I found this guy incredibly fun to watch and that from that moment on, I would be a Heat fan.
And that’s what this is about. Fast forward ten years and you will see an older, wiser, more chiseled version of me watching the Heat and completely regretting the decision Past Kyle made. Why? Because being a Heat fan is fucking awful.
Let me explain.
First, let’s get one thing out of the way of that makes playoff basketball difficult in my life. This is something that only applies to me and that normal people with normal lives don’t have to worry about. I live with my parents still. There, I said it. I don’t care. It’s totally common in today’s generation. Like, VERY common. Stop shaking your god damned head at me, asshole.
So I live with my parents, and there are a limited number of TVs I can use to watch. There’s the one in the living room, my mom’s room and my bedroom. The one in my bedroom has no cable hookup so is used solely for my PS3, which I use for gaming, movies and masturbating to Google image searches on its internet browser.
That leaves the TV downstairs, where my dad sleeps, and my mom’s room, where she sleeps. The problem is my dad is like the mayor from the town in Footloose but instead of dancing and Patrick Swayze being against the law, basketball is illegal. He hates basketball. Like, disturbingly so.
In order to watch any basketball at night, I am forced to sit next to my sleeping mother while watching the TV on mute, wondering if that’s how Norman Bates spent his early 20s. And lucky me! The Heat have made deep playoff runs for the four past straight years! That’s way more hours I’ve spent next to my slumbering mother than I’m comfortable admitting.
That’s reason number one why I hate being a Heat fan.
The next one is probably the most obvious one, and that’s that everybody fucking hates Heat fans and treats them all like bandwagoners. Like, even Pope John Paul II, while alive, probably would have pulled out his dick (I like to imagine he called his dick ‘His Dickliness’) and smacked a person with it if they admitted to being a Heat fan in front of him.
When I say, “I’m a Heat fan”, I’m instantly treated with a disdainful skepticism. It’s like that scene in John Carpenter’s The Thing when nobody is believing each other about not being the shape shifting alien.
Before they pull a blowtorch on me and turn me into a smoldering corpse, I have to quickly explain that I’ve been a Heat fan since the mid 2000s and that the reason I am is because of Dwyane Wade and if you ask my friends who knew me back then, they’d back me up, I swear. Declaring I’m a Heat fan results in five minutes of me, sweating stumbling over my words and begging them to keep listening. It’s like every time I try to ask a girl on a date, but with less apologizing and crying.
The best thing about it though? Nine times out of ten, they still don’t believe me. They just roll their eyes and go, “Suuuure, whatever you say,” and forever brand me a bandwagon fan. But can I blame them? Because here’s the next reason I hate being a Heat fan…
Heat fans are awful. They’re embarrassing. That Game 6 disaster in the Finals last year, where they left in the final few minutes, only to come clamoring back after Ray Allen capped the improbable comeback? That’s a microcosm of most Heat fans. A good amount of Heat fans wouldn’t know what a basketball is if you shoved one up their ass while yelling, “THIS THING I AM SHOVING UP YOUR ASS IS A BASKETBALL.”
The stereotypes of Heat fans being bandwagoners are like most stereotypes, like how all Italian talk with their hands or how all Japanese people get boners from tentacles. Completely unfair, but supported by a bit of tentacle boning truth.
Then there is the last reason I hate being a Heat fan, which is more of a complaint about the nature of the NBA than anything else. You see, the Miami Heat perfectly encapsulate everything that’s inherently wrong about the sport of basketball, and that’s that the sport is far too driven by superstars.
Take a look at the NFL. Football is the ultimate team sport in that nearly EVERYBODY on the team during any given play needs to have their shit together. Your star quarterback can only do so much if he has 350 pounds linemen crushing him every other play because his offensive line is terrible, or his wide receivers can’t get open. Likewise, if your star receiver has an awful quarterback throwing the ball, his flawless route running and smooth athleticism isn’t going to help him dig a trench to catch all the balls being thrown at his feet. And if you’re playing for the Cleveland Browns, then you are going to suck regardless of the situation.
With football, you have to have a roster of 53 men all on the same page or you will not succeed. You need the chemistry of a Walter White meth cooking session in order to succeed. Basketball is the antithesis of this. You certainly need good teammates and chemistry to win games. But you need superstars to win championships. A superstar in the NBA is worth five superstars in any other league, and it’s because the individual nature of the sport. When one person shoots, they either make the shot or they don’t. They don’t have other teammates guiding the ball as it arcs towards the hoop, like some sort of airborne version of curling. And yes, I am totally going to copyright the idea for that sport after I’m done writing this.
When the Heat got LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and one of the velociraptors from Jurassic Park to play on the same team together, they were admitting that, in this league, you need superstars to carry the team.
Every time the Heat win on the backs of James, Wade, or the raptor, it’s a constant reminder of “We don’t care how good your team is, because we have 3 superstars on your team and you only have two/one/none/because you are the Milwaukee Bucks.” Now you see other superstars heading to the free agency, scoping out the market like they are hired guns, trying to find which superstars they can team up with. Now everyone is trying to be a part of the next “Big 3”. It was a system that was, arguably, started by the Boston Celtics with the Garnett, Pierce, and Allen team up but it was perfected and perpetuated by my very own Miami Heat.
I cringe every time we win a playoff series off this corrupted system. I know you are probably thinking that I have 1st world problems with this hing and that I should be grateful that I root for a modern day dynasty that has the best player in the world playing for it. Believe me, I do enjoy having a team that’s successful, particularly when they have recently won back to back championships in the and could possibly win a 3rd. But I do it with a slight begrudging attitude, like I imagine how Jay Z feels when Beyonce says she wants to have sex while he’s trying to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones.
Regardless of my completely unjustified bitching, I will continue to be a steadfast Heat fan even after Wade retires and afer LeBron inevitably leaves and after the velociraptor becomes extinct. You see, I would never think of jumping ship off of any of my teams. I treat being a team’s fan like it’s a terminal disease. It’s something I can’t get rid of and I will be stuck with it till I die.