With the A/C turned on in the AT&T Center, LeBron James proceeded to score 35 points, grab ten boards, and eat the heart of each San Antonio Spur like the Egyptian god Ammit. Miami won the game and tied the NBA Finals at one game each. The series shifts to Miami tonight for a pivotal game three, and we want to get you ready, Heat nation.
But this is a culture blog, not a sports blog. For you, dear reader, it's obvious that the typical pregame fare of Bill Simmons and Will Manso just isn't cutting it for your sophisticated palate.
So we scoured the streets of Miami for the best Heat-inspired murals. The folks at YoMiami arts collective and Wynwood Map, a project to catalog every mural in the arts district, helped us out. So join us on a journey around the threepeat-ready streets of the Magic City. But watch out -- LeBron is still hungry.
9. Black & White & Red All Over
Running almost the entire length of a city block on NW First Court north of 20th Street, this newsprint-inspired mural might be the biggest homage to the Miami Heat outside the massive screen on the front of AmericanAirlines Arena. It's so long that we couldn't fit even half of it in our shot; above, you'll see about a third of the entire piece.
Scroll along the wall and you'll find a roster of the Heat's top talent. Note that the wall is very, very long.
Our trip starts out in the mecca of Heat street art -- Wynwood. Near the corner of NW First Court and 20th Streets looms a wheatpaste of a snarling LeBron James showing utter contempt for his detractors. In reality, the glued work is part of a social media campaign by street artist 8bitlexicon. LeBron uttered the words "stank don't it" in his first instagram video post after winning back-to-back championships last season.
Just look at the swagger in his eyes.
7. Meat the Heat
Let's leave Wynwood for a minute and drive up NW Seventh Avenue, past the Pork 'n' Beans and Charlie Crist's campaign headquarters, and stop at a small market just shy of 65th Street.
There you'll find the work of Haitian artist Serge Toussaint sprawled on the side of the BJ Country Meat Market. Toussaint wanted to use the existing colors of the building to paint a Heat logo.
Started from the bottom, now Michael Beasley is wearing camo suits on the sidelines and Greg Oden is going to get a ring.
6. Vice City
Back to Wynwood, near the intersection of North Miami Avenue and NW 24th Street. This piece is an ode to the pain that Gregg Popovich feels after his defensive schemes are ripped to shreds by a Boshasaurus rex and a white guy who went to Blinn College. (Yep, Birdman played one season in Brenham, Texas.)
We actually have no idea what this is, but it says "Miami Heat," so that's all we need. Next stop!
5. Wade's Wall
On the side of an empty building near the intersection of NW Third Avenue and 29th Street is a piece commissioned by Dwyane Wade. Yes, the Dwyane Wade who missed a good chunk of the year (because the regular season doesn't matter). The same Dwyane Wade who brought the Big Three together.
The mural was completed by British artist INSA, who likes to make GIFs.
By the way, James Jones will get another ring.
4. King James
A majestic mural graces the Alberto Linero Gallery at 2294 NW Second Ave. There you'll find a striking, almost medieval depiction of the Heat's triumphs in recent years. And like any good medieval king, LeBron rules with an iron fist but is just to his people.
He also wears a mask and uses an orange for a basketball. That's cool.
Toney Douglas will swim in champagne soon. Toney. Douglas.
3. The Heat Undead
Next stop is in the same general area. Here, the zombie Big Three are chasing history -- and, of course, brains.
Game three is a pivotal moment in this series. Miami has the chance to win two games at home and put the sleeper hold on the Spurs. While the Heat has been hot at home so far this postseason, nothing is -- HOLY GOD THAT IS AN EXPLODING BEAR WITH A HEAT JERSEY ON!
I CAN'T STOP YELLING BECAUSE THAT BEAR IS STARING INTO MY SOUL AND IS SIMULTANEOUSLY RAISING MY BASKETBALL IQ.
It is said that Mario Chalmers is really the EXPLODING BEAR WITH A HEAT JERSEY ON. Then again, Mario Chalmers is the one who said that.
1. Midtown Masterpiece
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Our last stop on this hype art tour is the wall surrounding the Pyke Brothers & Son body shop located at 35 NE 29th St., across from Morgan's restaurant. This is probably the best-known Heat mural in town and was completed by none other than Serge Toussaint (see #7).