The most common, and certainly the most awe inspiring song to play following a sporting championship is unquestionably Queen’s classic We Are The Champions.
I think the lyrics of the song apply to the Miami Heat perfectly.
I’ve paid my dues. Time after time. I’ve done my sentence, but committed no crime.
The Miami Heat have been the most maligned team in the history of professional sport. The past two years has seemed like 10 because of the incomparable frenzy of hatred and craziness that followed this team everywhere it went. They could not make a step, take a breath or utter a word without it being picked apart and used against them. They were sentenced to 2 years of the most belligerent, heinous and unjustified treatment appropriate for only the worst crimes against the sport, things they had not committed.
And bad mistakes, I’ve made a few.
For LeBron James, the mistakes relevant to this chapter date back to the very inception of it’s being. The highly scrutinised TV special, infamously referred to as ‘The Decision’, was the catalyst for the consensus of hate that would erupt following. Only a few nights later Miami held a celebratory party meant for their returning hero and captain Dwyane Wade, which was polarised by the recent announcement that James too was joining with Wade and Chris Bosh. Whilst the Heat will never apologise for the event because it was simply to say thanks to Dwyane Wade and allow the city to show their gratitude, they do regret having TV cameras in the building that only heightened the atmosphere of distaste surrounding the situation. The 8-9 start, the infamous shoulder bump, the 5 game skid, the Finals embarrassment, the three consecutive series deficits all accentuate the few bad mistakes the Heat have made.
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I’ve come through
Despite the pressure from nearly everyone outside the city and fan base of Miami to disband the trio, that they didn’t fit, that they lacked size, that they needed a true point guard, that Eric Spoelstra was a bad coach, that Pat Riley had to save the franchise, the Miami Heat stood strong and knew that they came together for one reason and that there was nothing stopping them from achieving that goal except themselves. The greatest criticism of both LeBron James and this Miami Heat team was their mental toughness, their ability to cope in situations laced with mounting pressure and expectation. This was the overwhelming characteristic of this team the entire playoff run. 2-1 down heading into the hostile crowd in Indiana. 3-2 down heading back to the Boston Garden. 1-0 down in perhaps the loudest arena in basketball. Every single time the Miami Heat found a way to win and every single time it was LeBron James leading the way with spectacular performance after spectacular performance. Game 4 in Indiana he produced 40 points and 18 rebounds. Game 6 in Boston he produced 45 points from 26 shots. Game 7 he closed out the Celtics era with 32 points and 12 rebounds. And in the biggest game of his career, with a Championship as close as it has ever been before, he produces a triple double. You cannot ask for nor will you ever see a better playoff collection than what LeBron James just produced.
We Are The Champions
Nothing else left to say.