USA Today sure had a big scoop splashed across its front page today. Apparently, everyone in America outside of Miami hates the Miami Heat. That's real breaking news there. Someone notify the Pulitzers.
At least we did learn a few things. Like the fact that apparently people view the Miami Heat as slightly less arrogant then the entire nation of France. Oui, oui!
In sports the only things people view as more arrogant than the Heat are the New York Yankees and Tiger Woods, according to BrandAsset Consulting's research. Besides France, the few non-sports things that Americans view as more arrogant include Halliburton and Harvard University.
The fact that Americans can view an entire country as arrogant should tell you that their thought process on these things isn't exactly always sound and reasoned (let's not forget if you took these ratings in any country outside of the USA, America would probably be rated as one of the most "arrogant things.")
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LeBron James himself thinks the hate is more media-hype than reality.
"That media perception is much bigger than actual perception," he told the paper. "What people say about you and what people actually know about you ... if you actually know me, there's no villain bone in my body. People around me say, 'This is a pretty good guy.'"
"Every team in the league would have done what we were able to do if they had a chance," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra concludes. "People are always clamoring for players to make it not about money, to make it not about statistics. Here you have an example of higher-profile players making those sacrifices, and you still get criticized."
Not that Miami fans really care what other people think. We might agree that "The Decision" wasn't the world's best marketing move (then again, it sure felt damn good to be a Miami fan that night), but at the end of the day this is how sports works. You love your team, and you either hate or take pity on the other teams. We'll take your massive amounts of hate, America, and offer our pity in response.