This won’t feel right unless Miami Senior High Hall of FamerUdonis Haslem stays with the Heat. But that aside, there are a few things we can be certain of today.
- It’s a mistake to compare what the Heat have done in the NBA salary cap environment to what MLB teams [Yankees and Red Sox] do when they routinely outspend competitors. Pat Riley and the Miami Heat organization’s accomplishment was not clearing cap space, heck even the Knicks can do that. Their achievement involved salesmanship and professional credibility. That is much different than adding a zero to contract offers.
- This generation of Cleveland sports fans will produce better writers than this generation of Miami sport fans. Sports-type suffering will do that.
- Dan Gilbert is the right man to lead a hostile takeover of under performing and inefficient botánicas under the holding company, Changó’s Rack. [Overheard at Changó board meetings, "do we or do we not stand behind our curses people?"]
- This Miami Heat team will be gearing up for their 2nd year in the playoffs as the new Miami Marlins stadium opens in my Little Havana neighborhood in April 2012. Wow.
- There may be other communities as deserving as the City of Miami for this sports-related good fortune, but none more. A little reminder of where things stood back in early 1989. This from the Sports Illustrated vault:
Life at the bottom of the Midwest Division was especially trying last week for Ron Rothstein, coach of the 4-32 Heat. After riots in Miami’s Overtown section caused the postponement of the Heat’s game with the Suns, Rothstein suffered a blowout just a few blocks from the disturbances. Police helped Rothstein change the tire, but the next night nobody could help Miami stop the Bulls’ Michael Jordan, who flattened Rothstein’s team, scoring 34 points and leading Chicago to a 112-108 victory.
My brother Fernando and I rarely missed a minute — my cousin Ramiro once caused me to miss a first quarter [it cost us the game, check it out] against Milwaukee back in 1993, but I’m almost over it now — let alone a game during the first six years of the Heat. Current Heat assistant, Ron Rothstein, was the coach in the beginning and we remain big fans of his. I would describe Rothstein as old school, except that term seems too hip for him. Again, like Udonis, this wouldn’t feel right if he wasn’t part of the Heat’s future. From the sidelines, here are lineups Rothstein has and could … witness [sorry my bad].
The New York Knicks free agency period is being described as an “utter disaster.” Bill Simmons – of whom I am a fan, but who is clearly in despair over the Heat’s ascendancy – wrote [before the Lebron decision] about that franchise:
I ruled out the Knicks last week after details trickled out about LeBron’s comical New York meeting, which sounded like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch because of Donnie Walsh being in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace (he just had neck surgery), and James Dolan being James Dolan. Now the Knicks are gaining momentum thanks to the “He’s coming!” buzz that drove MSG’s stock price up 6.5 percent Wednesday. Where did this buzz come from? As far as I can tell, nowhere. But there’s buzzing. You have to believe me. My BlackBerry practically blew up yesterday with e-mails from sports-industry friends with “KNICKS???” in the subject heading.
If he spurns them, then suddenly we’re looking at the most disastrous decade in the history of New York sports — first the Layden Era, then the Isiah Era, then Walsh spending two years gutting the team so he could spend $100 million on a guy with a bad knee and a bad eye who hasn’t played defense in six years. Do you realize the Knicks will have given away top-10 lottery picks in 2004, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’10 and, potentially, ’11 and ’12 without making the playoffs or landing one superstar? How is that even possible?
(Important note: The fact that David Stern stuck Rod Thorn in New Jersey, Walsh in New York, David Kahn in Minnesota and Stu Jackson in Vancouver has to be added to his Wikipedia page. Like, right now. He’s the Pied Piper for putrid GMs.)