The world of sports media has been lit up by comments Eric Spoelstra made during the press conference of the Heat’s fourth consecutive loss at the hands of Chicago last night.
“This is painful for every single one of us to go through this, there are couple of guys crying in the locker room right now, it is not a matter of want,” Spoelstra said.
It was perhaps the strongest statement made by Spoelstra as long as he has been in charge of this team, and a statement that certainly made me respect him more. He is clearly sick of losing, but more sick of the media celebrating each victory with an out pour of distaste and blame.
Dwyane Wade feels the same.
“Inside our locker room, we stick together, we’re like brothers,” Wade said. “We win together, we lose together. Outside, the Miami Heat are exactly what everyone wanted, losing games. The world is better now since the Heat is losing.”
Perhaps the strongest statement Dwayne Wade has made since he took Miami to their first championship in 2006. He too is sick of the constant Heat bashing, although he chose his words with more vigour.
People will now say they are complaining about nothing, they had all this coming when they put together that team. And to an extent you’re right. But has the world honestly come to a place where the media has more control over the general public than the athletes themselves.
You bet it has.
A few months ago ESPN televised a special called The Decision. I’m sure most of you haven’t heard of it but it was centered around LeBron’s free agency and which team he would sign with. It was not until a few nights after this special that ESPN and millions of other media sporting services went beserk over the spectacle and framed LeBron James as public enemy number one. Now look at every single stadium he steps in to that isn’t named American Airlines Arena, he is unequally booed. Many say he deserves it. But the hate that has generated from that day in July was expanded infinity fold because of the media.
The media now move their attention to his team and the hate has only intensified. Most people hate winners, at least here in Australia we love an underdog, and I assume it is the case in the USA also, but whilst they may hate winners, they respect them. The media are showing no respect for the Heat right now and I don’t think there is any respect from the rest of the country either.
Which brings me back to this issue of crying. As soon as the words came out of Spoelstra’s mouth, every single media outlet’s eyes lit up and they are somehow using this against the Heat. If nothing else this is the greatest moment of humanity we have seen from a team that we do not associate anything of the sort with.
I hope the players that were crying were James, Bosh and Wade. That would be the ultimate sign of growth from the three players chosen to lead this team.
If I were in that locker room and I saw a teammate crying over that loss, I would have gained an everlasting appreciation for the commitment of that player or players to the team and I would do anything and everything in my power to ensure the Miami Heat are there in June.
I cannot say it any clearer than that. I think that would have been the feeling in that locker room.
They are at rock bottom right now, and although most of you will disagree with me, I think it is the best thing that could ever have happened to them.
A storm is coming. I guarantee it.