Why Hornets fans and Magic fans should be rooting for the Heat to win it all

Published: May 9, 2011

On July 1st, the NBA owners are going to lock out the players because the current economic model is simply not working. The summer will be spent negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and that battle is not just an Owners vs. Players battle; it is a Players vs. Large Market Owners vs. Small Market Owners battle that will be fought to the death. Actually, small market and large market is not completely accurate, as a couple of the smaller markets have mega-wealthy owners, premier locations, or a lack of state income tax. All of those things shift the playing field considerably. But make no mistake, it will be owners vs. owners vs. players, and that is why this one will be much tougher than the 1998-99 negotiation that locked players out from July 1st to January 20th.

What the owners with less resources or (how do I say this nicely?) less glamorous cities will ask for is a level playing field, in which they have the same opportunities to build a contender or keep their superstars. Last summer was brutal for Toronto and Cleveland, and although the Nuggets played well after the Melo trade, they had to go through hell for several months due to the drama. If nothing is changed, we could very well see similar situations arise in New Orleans and Orlando. After that, we will hear talk of Kevin Love and Blake Griffin setting their sights elsewhere, and so on and so on.

That is why every fan of a team that does not fit the criteria that only four or five franchises maintain, should root for the Heat to roll through the competition on the way to the NBA title. After disposing of the Celtics, pray that they destroy Chicago and Oklahoma City, two teams that built their franchises the right way. Strike fear into the owners that this is the wave of the future. Mega stars teaming up in five or six markets while every other team’s best case scenario is to take the Nuggets route of having ten quality players but no superstar. Worst case scenario? The league has eight Cleveland’s.

As human beings, we are all prisoners of the moment, and owners will enter negotiations with images of Lebron, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh hoisting a trophy fresh in their minds. They will see the writing on the wall as Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams all send out congratulatory tweets. NBA fans will start to wonder if they will be stuck with the franchise that becomes the leagues’ version of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Owners will too.

The Heat winning it all less than a month before the real CBA negotiations begin might be the only thing that can create the parity that his league has never had. We all know the numbers. We are all aware that only a handful of teams are represented on the list that reads NBA champions, and even fewer on the list that includes franchises with multiple championships. For some reason, NBA fans and owners have bought this lie that small market teams can build dynasties too because the Spurs did it. As if every franchise will have the ability to have the #1 pick in a year where a top 10 All-Time great (who actually doesn’t want the limelight of a big market) is coming out.

Yes, it is possible, but possible and probable are two totally different things. So here’s to the Miami Heat. All of us fans in markets that can’t overspend or can’t attract will be rooting for you. Your domination will unite the owners, who up until this point, have been a silent majority. But no longer. Hard cap? Maybe. Increased penalties for luxury tax spending? Likely. Franchise tag or something close to it? Most definitely.

And for that, I am willing to sell my soul for the next month to root for this collection of individuals that I hesitate to even label a “team.”


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