If the NBA bubble were a season of Big Brother, the Heat would undoubtedly win the show.
Playing great and having their shit together inside the bubble is working out great now, but for the Miami Heat, that success will pay dividends in the future. The organization has used the bubble experience to showcase Miami as the place free agents should want to be.
How have the Heat used the bubble to recruit a star of the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal, or Donovan Mitchell? Quite a few ways.
Family matters. Sometimes it's the little things. The Heat went out of their way to make players comfortable when they arrived in Orlando, even covering the walls with photos of the players' families to make them feel a little more at home. Word is, players for other teams have continually checked to see what the Heat will do next for their guys.
Cool look inside the Heat room in the NBA’s Orlando bubble. Family pictures are set up of all the players and coaches. This is where the team holds meetings, eats together and just hangs out. (Video via @MiamiHEAT) pic.twitter.com/WmCLx859h4— Will Manso (@WillMansoWPLG) July 14, 2020
That won't be forgotten when players choose where to land in free agency or which teams are on their approved list when demanding a trade.
Come for the sunshine and no state income tax, stay for the friendships. One of the most fun parts about this Miami Heat team is that the players seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company, which has made the entire bubble experience more like a throwback to sleepaway basketball camp than a tedious inconvenience that delayed vacations to the Caribbean.
The Jimmy and Goran bromance continues postgame pic.twitter.com/TgwfTDZbrA— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) August 22, 2020
A player like the Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal or Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell — both very obviously not in the most comfortable of homes — recognize that and envy it. Come to the Heat if you want to win, with people that don't suck.
We got shooters. Everyone knew the Miami Heat had shooters, but being forced to sit in your hotel room and watch them drain a plethora of three-pointers in opponents' faces is louder than seeing it in a boxscore. There isn't much else to do there. No kids to look after, no errands to run. Just watching the Heat shoot the crap out of the ball.
Duncan Robinson and goran dragic lighting up the pacers*— ???????????????????? is depressed (@DipoWRLD) August 23, 2020
The pacers pic.twitter.com/NnZF8Oho2Z
The Heat have been on fire from beyond the arc in Orlando. Everyone is being forced to watch each basket go through the net. Quite the showcase.
Erik Spoelstra is getting a lot of love. If NBA stars weren't already aware that the Miami Heat have one of the best coaches in all of sports, they're getting an education on the matter now. Coach Spoelstra has managed to mix and match his lineups to perfection, even as the team started the bubble experience without starters Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn because they tested positive for COVID-19.
Spo is elite. Seriously. Top 3 coach in the NBA. Never gets credit because he’s a Riley protege and he got to coach the Big 3. Other teams don’t like to play the Heat because they know how well conditioned, prepared and smart the Heat are— David Lang (@Dukielang) August 22, 2020
Having a competent coach with a history of championships is a huge selling point to free agents. The Heat are using the bubble to showcase theirs.
A guy like Washington guard Bradley Beal has to be looking at Miami as the place where his 30-plus points per game would best fit in on the court. Off the court, it's quite obvious the Heat is the team that would give him the least amount of drama to deal with.
The next star who comes to Miami won't care about his stats — he'll be coming to Miami to win and to play with teammates who sacrifice in order to do so. The Orlando bubble has proven once again that the Heat has those sort of guys in its locker room.
Other players know this. They see it and play against it. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Future Heat stars know the Heat will make moves, and smart ones. The team has proven as much.
Miami has proven it is championship-ready. Any star who chooses to come to Miami can see the team is already damn good without them.
Come to play with Jimmy Butler, stay for Bam Adebayo. Miami is an attractive option because of its barely legal-to-drink star.