Make the Miami Heat "Vice City" Jerseys Permanent Already, You Cowards

Make the Miami Heat "Vice City" Jerseys Permanent Already, You Cowards
Courtesy of the Miami Heat /
The National Basketball Association in 2017 stumbled upon what might have been the happiest jersey-related accident in the league's sartorial history. The NBA gave each team a new, third-jersey option as part of the "City" jersey series. Each team got a jersey designed to reflect something about its "culture" — and while some cities wound up wearing utterly hilarious nonsense, the Heat ended up with a set of glorious pink-and-teal jerseys that are 100 percent without question better than the team's current wardrobe. The script logo even references the sign from the old Miami Arena.

The Heat on Monday released a black 2018 version of the Vice City jersey to similar fanfare. So allow New Times to vocalize what everyone is thinking: Let's just make these the permanent Miami Heat jerseys already.

Judging by jersey sales, social media reactions, and our own eyesight, pretty much everyone in Miami agrees with that sentiment. According to ESPN, the Heat's "Vice City" jerseys from 2017 are the single highest-selling third-jersey series in NBA history and outsold every other "City" jersey combined. The NBA was reportedly overwhelmed by demand for Miami Heat Vice City jerseys, sold out of initial stock, and had to set up a waiting list for more merchandise.

With both black and white versions of the Vice City jersey now in circulation, the Heat has away and home jerseys sitting and ready for use. You could easily repaint American Airlines Arena when the Heat is gone during a road trip. Just dunk team mascot Burnie in a vat of neon-blue dye and you're set.
Since the Heat unveiled the Vice City series last year, it's honestly been depressing to watch the team play in the typical red-and-black getup. Miami is, to put things mildly, not a boring city. The Heat — led by Pat Riley, a ruthless sports maven who both dresses and acts like Gordon Gekko — is not a boring team. So the Heat does not deserve to play wearing such boring, pedestrian, and, frankly, normal-ass-looking red, white, and black jerseys.

There is no more boring or trite jersey-color combination in professional sports than red and black. There are multiple red-and-black teams in virtually every pro sports league. Such teams include, but are not limited to, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Portland Trailblazers, Manchester United, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames, Ottowa Senators, Toronto Raptors, San Francisco 49ers, a ton of other assorted soccer teams, and the Heat.

Plus, the jersey change could symbolize the team's symbolic move away from the Dwyane Wade era. Wade, the single greatest athlete in Heat and Miami sports history (suck it, Dan Marino fans), has announced he'll retire at the end of the year. The Heat will then finally be able to step out of the Wade/Bosh/LeBron/Big Three shadow that's been hanging over the team since James left for Cleveland in 2014. The team — along with the city — could signal it's finally moving on by changing up the wardrobe. Now is the perfect time, especially because the current crop of players is a collection of midsize, largely mediocre swingmen that will never bring a championship to the Magic City. Barring some sort of free-agency miracle, Riley will need to jettison guys such as Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside and find a young, new Wade 2.0 through the draft. A new era requires a new outfit too.

New Times has also been begging a local team to adopt some "Miami aesthetic" jerseys for years. The Marlins, Heat, and Panthers (shudder) have boring, nontropical jerseys that could work anywhere from Vermont to Vancouver. The Dolphins' mascot, though tropical, is a sad beached aquatic mammal trying to play a land-based contact sport. (To be fair, this is a perfect metaphor for Dolphins football.) Miami could also take a page from Pittsburgh, a city where every sports team wears black and yellow to match the city's flag. Miami's culture and natural ecosystem are entirely unique to America and deserve to be reflected in local sports: David Beckham's Major League Soccer team, Inter Miami CF, seemingly took our advice and unveiled an instant-classic pink-and-black logo earlier this year.

Heat owner Mickey Arison, who once teased a switch to Vice-style jerseys in 2015, should follow suit.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.