Regular readers of these pages are well aware that I grew up in Boston, and was a Boston Celtics fan from the time I was just a toddler. Back in the late eighties the Celtics went up against the “Bad Boys” the Detroit Pistons who after trying for years finally replaced the Celtics as the reigning power in the Eastern Conference. I was never a fan of those Pistons teams as they conducted themselves as thugs both on and off the court. Their “mug and thug” style of play on the court slowed down the game and influenced play in the Association for many years. I was truly glad to see Michael and the Jordinares beat them in the Eastern Finals in 1991 and replaced them as King of the Hill.
The Miami Heat are starting to replace the Pistons as the villains of the Association in my mind this season; not for what they do on the hardwood but for the statements they make when they are off the floor. One would think that after LeBron James has made inflammatory statements all year-long and gotten bitten in the behind by Karma the team would stop saying stupid stuff. However it seems to be as much of their make-up as a team as breathing is.
The latest episode took place Thursday morning as Miami held a practice session before taking the court that night to take on the Dallas Mavericks in game five of the NBA Finals. The “Sun-Sentinel” has reported that Dwyane Wade and LeBron James decided to make fun of Dallas All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki by pretending they were sick in front of members of the media. Wade emitted a make-believe cough and then asked reporters “Did y’all hear me cough? Do you think I’m sick?”
Funny as a rubber crutch, right? Karma would strike back at Wade during game five as he injured his hip and had to spend a significant amount of the game in the locker room as trainers worked on the injury. That time Wade was off the court may have cost Miami the game as Dallas beat them 112-103 to take their first lead in the match-up at 3-2.
There is no question about the talent level on the Heat as they have two of the best players currently in the NBA with James and Wade and an All-Star forward in Chris Bosh. However their egos are just out of control and right now they are acting truly like a bunch of punks. Every time they go through an episode like this it decreases their respect throughout the country dramatically. However they never seem to learn from their mistakes and keep throwing grenades which end up exploding on their side of the line of combat. Will this latest episode change their behavior? I doubt it but we will find out on Sunday when the two teams meet again for game six in Miami.