These days, Miami Heat fans and Miami Heat “fans” have largely been lumped together. As any long-time Heat fan knows, he/she almost has to justify his/her reasoning for being a Heat fan.
“Hey, I liked the Heat before LeBron,” or “I remember watching for Zo and Hardaway, man.”
That’s because of an influx of bandwagon fans that, according to Ray Allen, has been created by the media.
Allen was in Washington to testify in favor of federal funding for research aimed at finding a cure for diabetes, according to the Washington Post. While he was there, he told the Post:
“When we go on the road, you see people in Heat jerseys that have never been to Miami,” Allen said with a smile. “We were in Utah, and I thought that same thought — like, these people, some of these people, have never been to Miami before. I think it’s the machine of SportsCenter….Look at all the media outlets, from First Take to PTI to Around the Horn, that talk about the same stuff. We haven’t played for two weeks, and I think every time I turn on SportsCenter, they talked about LeBron in some form. And he hasn’t done anything but just be on vacation. So as much as we blame the fans for being bandwagon, it’s mostly the media’s fault. Because the media’s the one that continues to feed the machine.”
When the Heat visit, they sell out almost every arena on the road. That’s no surprise, as NBA fans from all over the country want to see the greatest player in the world LeBron James, maybe boo a little or even cheer at the team’s sheer athleticism and exciting style of play.
In fact on average, the Heat sell more tickets on the road than any other team by far, with 19,090 attendees per road game in the 2012-2013 season, according to ESPN.com. The second-highest attended team on the road was the L.A. Lakers with 18,866 people per game.
It’s no surpise, then, that after the Big Three came together and won back-to-back championships, some fans might succumb to the bandwagon effect.
Is Allen right? Partially. But without the media, like SportsCenter, you might not even know the Big Three came together. I mean, how else would you? Your sources? (Also, depending on how loosely you define “media” an NBA might not even exist. So there’s that.)
To Allen’s point, the media could also be blamed for beating the whole villainous Heat thing to death two years ago too; and manufacturing many Heat haters as well as Heat fans.
I always get a little crunchy when it comes to players talking about the media. But I have to remember, pretty much all we do is talk about them. So there’s that, too.