LeBron James' return to Miami is finally upon us, and it seems like everyone has an opinion on how Miami Heat fans are supposed to act when he faces their team for the first time since leaving in July. Most outside Miami believe Miami Heat fans should be grateful for the four years LeBron James graced us with his presence, basically telling them to get over it.
I say if you feel like booing LeBron tonight, go for it. Voice your anger, if you please. The lamest thing in sports is people telling other people how to be a good fan.
LeBron might actually deserve it, and you are after all a fan. Here are a few reasons it's AOK to let those Bronx cheers fly tonight.
5. People outside of Miami wildly overestimate how much Miami cares about their opinion of Miami
Let me get this straight, the same people that take every possible opportunity to take a shot at the city of Miami as a sports town are now asking said city to "be nice" and "have some class"? It's obvious to me at this point that the national media has about as much a clue as to how much Miami cares about what they think of us, as they do where the Miami Heat actually play. Hot tip, the answer isn't South Beach.
If your hot take as to why Miami Heat fans shouldn't boo LeBron James has anything to do with how that might make them look, you better rethink that hypothesis -- we don't care.
4. Just because the rest of America ate up the "I'm Coming Home" public relations coup, doesn't mean Miami did.
Listen, Miami is the Ponzi scheme capital of the world -- we can smell a rat. LeBron left Miami after four straight NBA Finals appearances because he saw the perfect opportunity to go back home and play with better, younger, teammates; if you believe anything else I have a nice plot of land in the Everglades to sell you cheap. We don't knock the hustle here in Miami, we just like people to own it.
Everyone wants to compare Miami to a mistress that's angry LeBron went back to his wife, but they fail to realize Miami is married to the Heat just as much as LeBron is married to the city of Cleveland; we were using him just as much as he was using us. If you want to use that analogy for the one-thousandth time just make sure you work in the details of the affair, because only one of us picked up and moved across the country to move-in with their ex; and last time I checked, the Miami Heat still play on Bayside.
3. You might find it petty, but Miami Heat fans are still pissed off LeBron never thanked them. Yes, we are salty.
How soon people forget just how much the rest of the country hated LeBron James when he came to Miami. It was borderline psychotic at some points. Of course Miami Heat fans had good reason to point and laugh at all the people bashing LeBron when he abruptly left Cleveland, because he was ours now! Still, Miami Heat fan spent four-long-years supporting LeBron when the rest of the world hated him; and he has never acknowledged their support.
You might say it's petty wondering aloud why LeBron has yet to publicly thank the Miami Heat fans like so many other athletes do when they leave an organization. But it's weird that it hasn't happen yet -- hell, he even gave his Cleveland neighbors cupcakes because people were parked outside their house! We get nothing?!
At least we own our saltiness.
2. LeBron didn't exactly leave the Miami Heat in the most professional way possible
There seems to be a theme regarding how everyone felt when the season ended; most people felt like LeBron and the Miami Heat were going their separate ways. The problem with that is the LeBron very well knew the Miami Heat had limited resources to improve the team, and even less time to use them. LeBron constantly gushed about how much Pat Riley meant to his career while he was in a Miami Heat uniform, but when Pat Riley tried contacting him after the NBA Finals to ask him about possible free agents or draft eligible players -- radio silence.
It's understandable that LeBron would need some time to think things over, but to not even respond to a team that had provided him with so much the last four years was a pretty dick move. The Heat ended up blindly signing Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, and so far both have failed to work out. That's not LeBron's fault, but one has to wonder if the Heat would have signed those players if LeBron made his intentions clearer to the people that needed a feel for his thinking most. It's been said LeBron may even have played defense against the Heat in free agency to help out the Cavs, but we'll never truly know.
1. LeBron started a roster domino effect when he left, and now we are losing to the 76ers. BOOOOOOOO!
Again, losing to the 76ers at home is not necessarily LeBron's fault -- but it happened because he left. Right after the season ended LeBron took a little vacation with Ray Allen and James Jones, and coincidentally, James Jones signed with the Cleveland Cavs this offseason, and Ray Allen may follow as the season grows closer to the playoffs. Not just that, Mike Miller also followed LeBron to Cleveland, so he's basically tainted everyone we love in less than half a year.
You might judge Heat fans if they boo LeBron James tomorrow night, but they have every right to be displeased with him.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.