by Ryan Meehan
Sunday the Miami Heat lost their fourth straight game to the Chicago Bulls 87-86 in a game where they were leading in the final minutes.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve heard a lot of these tough guy analysts talk a lot of shit about how you can’t cry in any sport, or at work in general. I understand the psychological implications of this method of thinking, but at the same time it’s also something that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. At least in this context.
I’m a bit of a hypocrite here since I believe that people in this country are WAY too fixated on their feeling and emotions. I think our emotions get in the way of doing business and that’s probably one of the reasons that as a nation we aren’t nearly as developed as our resources would indicate we should be.
When the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup this past year, Jeremy Roenick was calling the postgame with Dan Patrick and he had a bit of an emotional moment when he started to cry because he never won a Stanley Cup during his illustrious career, a majority of which was spent with the Blackhawks. Roenick got a ton of shit for this, as all of the “hardcore” hockey fans started throwing a fit about how hockey is for tough guys and no one should be crying. Most of these guys never strapped on a pair of skates in their life, and would likely be paralyzed after being crosschecked into the walls one time even if they had twice the padding.
If an athlete chooses to cry after a tough loss, it’s their business. Now, I don’t happen to think that it should be all of the time they lose, that would become annoying. But that being said, it does show a passion for their craft if done in moderation. Would you rather every athlete be Donovan McNabb? Would you rather he show up at every press conference with this “shit happens” attitude that implies he doesn’t care? I think that would be boring. I don’t mean to sound like a drama queen (and I hate people like that) but I’d rather it be an interesting soundbite than a bland one.
All of this is good and well but I think that it’s another example of the media trying to cover up the real issue here, which is the fact that Miami can’t close a fucking game to save their life. It’s one of many issues facing the team at the moment. They play like shit and act like sixth graders in the 4th quarter.
Another issue is Erik Spoelstra, who is basically an interim coach trying to balance some very large egos down there in South Florida. The players all say that they respect him and that they “have his back” but athletes say what they have to say to the media to avoid any conflict inside the locker room. Spoelstra is now coming out and saying that he saw “some players with glossy eyes” and that the situation was “greatly over-exaggerated”. Well, it was you that gave that initial report wasn’t it? Did you all of a sudden change your mind, or did you “misremember” the way it all went down? A bunch of grown men who are also millionaires bawling their eyes out doesn’t seem like something that is open to a whole lot of interpretation. I suppose it doesn’t matter as almost every sports fan in America knows Pat Riley is really running the show down there.
And I never thought I would say this, but GODDAMN was Chris Bosh overrated before this trade. Of course he put up a lot of stats in Toronto: There wasn’t a whole lot of other guys to fill the stat sheet. Now that he’s on a team with a couple of legitimate superstars, he’s become this kind of awkward non-entity in the paint instead of the “X-Factor” they were hoping for. I feel bad because I like the guy and he seems really cool, but I never though I’d hear Kevin Durant speak up and say someone was soft and he did regarding Bosh a few weeks back.
I posed the question “What’s wrong with the Miami Heat?” in the forums this morning, and this was a great answer that I got:
They don’t have any depth. Once you get beyond the big two and a half, the only person who they can count on to score more than eight points is Chalmers.
They need a better big man than Dampier and Ilgauskas. They’re both mediocre at best and can’t hang with younger, stronger, and better players like Bynum and Howard.
They don’t have a closer. We all know about LeBron’s struggles in the last few seconds, but it keeps happening. Chalmers hit a last second three to win the NCAA Championship, Wade has the clutch gene, and James Jones won the three-point shootout. I would draw up plays for any of those three players and not eve have Bosh on the floor late in close games.
Udonis Haslem is injured, and while he wouldn’t be much more than a backup to Bosh, it doesn’t help that he’s out. He was part of the championship team when the Heat won their only title.
They’re mentally soft. After every recent loss, Wade and Bosh look like they’re going to slit their wrists. Crying over a regular season loss when you’re still in the playoffs is sad.
Erik Spoelstra is in over his head. He is probably a good young coach, but he’s not the guy to handle the egos on that team.
The big two and a half set themselves up for scrutiny like no team has ever seen before. Stan Van Gundy said it best when he said that they put the scrutiny on themselves by having a celebration before having their first practice. When James said on ESPN that he was taking his talents to South Beach and sat on a stage and predicted seven rings, that made them a bigger target for opposing teams than the two-time defending champion Lakers are. I think the Heat and their “fans” thought it would be easy, and it’s not.
All very valid points, and I love the “Big two and a half” jab as well…
Whether or not you’re pro-crying or anti-crying, the point here is if the Heat are worried about that, they’re in a lot more trouble than I previously thought.
Now, not to sound like a homer but “Crygate” has almost vaporized another great story: the Chicago Bulls. Think about the fact that the Bulls lost their starting center in Joakim Noah for thirty games (over a third of the season), Derrick Rose is an MVP candidate, and they’re still 44-18 and the two seed in the East. (All the while having Brian Scalabrine’s dumb pasty white ass on their roster) All with a rookie coach nonetheless. Are you kidding me? How is this not front page news? Although they’d never say it, I’m sure a lot of the guys in the Eastern Conference playoff race are scared to death of the Bulls right now. Wouldn’t you be?
If the playoffs started today the Bulls would play the Philadelphia 76ers. Anybody reading this think that wouldn’t be a sweep? Of course it would. I have connections out there (obviously) and I’m not even sure I’d want tickets to that game.
Again I’m being a hypocrite, but why don’t we report more of the good stories as opposed to just waiting to bag on somebody to fail? This might have been the first time where I turned on ESPN and agreed with one of Dick Vitale’s points: That we’re junkies when it comes to other people’s failures. And that’s sad. I’m not only enjoying the Bulls being great and the Heat not living up to expectations, because I knew that the Bulls were going to have an awesome season, and I was suspect of the guys in Miami getting along to begin with.
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.