Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder's staff introduced the Miami Heat to the sounds of Star Wars' "Imperial March." They intended it as some sort of cheap swipe. I couldn't help but chuckle. After all, I've been rooting for a team that's incorporated Darth Vader's theme music into their game day traditions for years. The Miami Hurricanes play cinema's evilest leitmotif every time their defense makes a third down stop, and those Miami Hurricanes have won not one, not two, not three, not four, but five championships.
Perhaps the Miami Heat of today might have a thing or two to learn from the great Hurricanes teams of yesteryear.
Nothing in sports may ever match the sheer insanity of the Hurricanes of the '80s, but the only thing that has even come close in Miami sports, and perhaps the sports world as a whole, is the Miami Heat of today. Lets remember, on the formation of this team back in July 2010, Sports Illustrated decided to rank the top 25 most hated teams in sports history. The 2010-11 Miami Heat took the 25th spot before they even played a game, but the 1986 University of Miami football team took the #1 spot. The 1990 Hurricanes team took the 11th spot for good measure.
Those teams made LeBron and Co. look like Boy Scouts in comparison. When they weren't breaking actual laws they were pissing all over the laws of tradition of college football, and they didn't give one single fuck. They never apologized. They paid no mind to the haters. They never doubted themselves. At times they were indistinguishable from actual hurricanes, and they won. Oh, they fucking won. Four championships in eight years, and another in 2001 for good measure.
So what can the Heat learn from the Hurricanes?
1. Dress for Domination
Listen Heat, we all know fashion is important to you. We're totally cool with you rocking pink pants, man purses and lensless glasses in the regular season and the early rounds of the post-season. Show up in a silver lamé tuxedo with a bedazzled top hat and a lucite walking canes for all I care. But if you're going to pretend that clothes are important, you're going to have to buy into the idea of the importance of style. Clothes can literally affect they way you feel. It's not lost on me that, yes, the 'Canes lost the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, but I can't help but think that the Heat rolling into& Chesapeake Energy Arena wearing matching camo would be the most awesome thing ever. My head might explode. Seriously guys, don't dress like sales clerks at a 5th Avenue boutique. No one is going to ask you if you have those Dior Homme pants in a size 32, OK. Show up to the arena dressed like fucking coldhearted assassins who are intent on leaving nothing but pure destruction in their paths.
2. Intimidate Your Opponents
The best Hurricanes teams were not only masters of the game, but masters of head games. Yeah, some of those tactics, including cursing, spitting, and boasting, might not cut it in today's NBA, but the Heat have to get into the Thunder's head. After all, the Thunder are nothing but a bunch of kids. They should feel lucky to even be playing the Heat, let alone in the Finals. What do they got? A skinny 23-year-old? They should feel intimated playing the Heat. Come on, guys, you can invite them to shake your hands after the series, but until then invite them to suck your dick. Your Cobradick, that is. It worked against the Oklahoma Sooners, it can work against the Thunder.
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3. Embrace The Hate
There's a reason the 'Canes purposefully play the Imperial March. They've crossed over to the dark side. They've embrace the hatred. Meanwhile, the Heat really do look like sourpusses every time they're confront with the fact that the residents of 49 and a half American states hate their guys. Who cares? Embrace it. Let it fuel you. Use it against them. They'll hate you whether you win or lose, so there's no use caring about it.
4. Be Miami As Hell
LeBron set the stage for the perception of this team by announcing he was taking his talents to South Beach, and the media has run with it. But there's so, so much more to the 305, and you got that sense the 'Canes were playing for everyone form Homestead to Hialeah and from Overtown to Opa-locka. Sometimes, I'm not so sure about the Heat. Get into Miami, bros. Listen to nothing but Trick Daddy's "Take it da House" or Khaled's "Bitch I'm From Dade County." You guys go the keys to pretty much every single city in this county during your now infamous party. Start acting like it. This isn't for your hometowns. This isn't for Chicago. This isn't for Dallas. This certainly isn't for Akron. We're the only people actually rooting for you, and we're the only ones who actually matter.
5. DO NOT EVER GIVE A SINGLE FUCK
This is by far the most important point. The Hurricanes gave less shits than a honey badger. Sure, maybe they didn't have to worry about things like endorsement deals or being role models. And, yeah, the best teams existed in a time before blogs and Twitter, and when ESPN hadn't quite become the juggernaut it is today, but there's no reason to pay attention to that anyway. Pay no mind. Do not expend a single fuck caring about it. Don't worry about what the talking heads are going to say tomorrow. Just play in the moment. Do what it takes to win, and never apologize for it.