How you hanging in there Miami? I know, I know - you don't want to talk about it. But we need to talk about this. He's gone. He left and I know it hurts, but it is what it is. These things happen, people change and they move on and you just have to figure out how to deal. Here's the thing...and you're not going to like it, but...he's coming back to town. We need to talk about how to handle this.
Miami, you have a bit of a reputation for being something of an asshole. Don't get me wrong, it's undeniably part of the charm, but sometimes it goes too far. And I get that it helps smooth out that big ol' chip on your shoulder to be petty and piss on anything that isn't MIAMI, it might just be time to show a certain degree of restraint and, dare I say it - maturity. And with Lebron rolling into town for Christmas, we ought to take a minute to talk about how to go about showing a little class and civility - neither of which are your strong suits - namely by not booing number 23 when he takes to the hardwood at the American Airlines Arena come the 25th.
So...the Decision 2.0 sucked. It sucked for a lot of reasons, from the fact that Bron wouldn't even see Pat in good faith to his nonchalant description of Miami as being like going to college in his Sports Illustrated essay attempting to explain why any man in his right mind would leave Miami for Cleveland.
And there's no arguing that we are hurting without him. Watching the Heat play (and lose for the most part) over these last few weeks has been unpleasant to say the least. Hope springs eternal that we will start to break a bit better, but so far, this season has made it rather difficult to ignore just how heavy his absence weighs on our team and our city's sporting sentiments.
That being said, we simply need to be better at this than Cleveland was. It would be so fucking easy to fill the AAA with a howling wave of boos and "vete pa la pinga"s and in doing so, justify every con word ever said about Miami's merits as a place to bring your talents. It would prove us to be just as petulant and fickle and fundamentally childish. Sure, it's fun to throw up the 305 and tell anyone and everyone who'll listen 'I'm from Miami, so fuck you.' But that moniker has done nothing but keep us firmly stuck at the kids table as far as the rest of the country is concerned. This is a chance to show we can sit with the adults.
How often have we defied expectations as a city? From face eatings to bankrupt backers for public projects to trafficking and prostitution at the strip club (I'm shocked - SHOCKED - to find that gambling in here!), Miami has earned itself a reputation as a city full of degenerates, crazies, and short-sighted crooks. And while there may be a fair degree of validity to that, there is so much more to this city and so much more that we can be that our reputation gives us credit for.
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Everyone is expecting us to boo Lebron and boo him hard. The country will be waiting to see that those Miami mongrels are not only just as bad as the Cleveland hypocrites who burned his jerseys and then welcomed him back with open arms and shit eating grins - they're worse! The rest of the country would like to sew up this going home story by cementing Miami as the bad guy and the image of the American Airlines Arena exploding into a chorus of heckling louder, meaner, and more viciously colorful than any Clevelander could ever imagine would do just that.
But if we turn the other cheek and cheer - cheer for this man who brought us two championships, who led us to 4 consecutive NBA finals appearances, who electrified his adopted city's basketball culture and gave us some of the most amazing ball we'll ever see in this town - then we can do something far more lasting than the momentary instant gratification you might get from stroking your bruised ego and booing your former favorite player. We can show class and gratitude in return for 4 amazing years, and we can show the rest of the world that Miami is growing up after all.