Miami Heat: Gary Payton says Culture never dies and Game 5 is no different

The Miami Heat have a mountain to climb in Game 5 if they plan to keep playing. Gary Payton and the rest of us think that’s it isn’t as tough as it seems though.

The Miami Heat are in a tough spot. It isn’t the first time they have been in a tough spot though.

Heck, it isn’t even the first time they’ve been in this very situation. Yes, the situation of being down two games in the NBA Finals while the totality of the outside world writes you off.

That is a spot the Miami Heat have surely been in before. Here’s the kicker though and in that scenario, they were the ones to come out on top.

So, who’s to say that they can’t again? Well, a member of that specific team that did it for the Miami Heat in 2006 thinks that this current version of the team might be able to do it as well.

Gary Payton played on that team and can recall exactly what the scenario was. He did it in a recent piece for The Players’ Tribune entitled What this Heat thing is all about.

In it, Payton discussed a myriad of things, but mainly being a member of the Miami Heat, what that means, and being written off in the biggest series of their lives. This is some of what GP had to say in his piece.

The Miami Heat have a tough test before them, but former Miami Heat champion, Gary Payton, thinks they can get it done.

Everyone always wants to know about the culture. They want to know the “secrets of the Miami Heat” and whatnot. They got all these opinions and questions — especially with a fifth-seed team showing out in the Finals. Now everyone’s trying to figure it out…..

Man, if y’all want to know, here it is. Here’s the big secret:

Heat Culture isn’t just about winning.

It’s about how you win.

It’s crawling to the finish line if you have to. It’s leaving NOTHING in the tank. It’s being in the best fucking shape of your LIFE. It’s always wanting more: out of yourself, out of your teammates, even out of the game. It’s being that type of guy where they might talk bad about you in the media — about your attitude or your ego or whatever it may be — but Pat knows you’re going to give him that BULLY on the court.

I’m telling you.

It’s not what you think. It’s not a catchphrase. It’s not some lil bubble storyline.

And yeah….. we had our reputations. Nobody really thought it was gonna work. They thought that Pat went and got him a thug crew. That everybody who he got was always negative, they got an attitude, and stuff like that.

Sound familiar???

It sounds really familiar. It sounds appropriate and about what they have to say of every guy that comes into this Miami Heat organization and experiences success.

When you are built the right way though, that’s what happens and you can just ask Jimmy Butler about that.

Everything that Gary Payton said above and in the rest of the piece is absolutely true. It’s also why even down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, just a game away from elimination, the Miami Heat aren’t afraid.

They have drilled and practiced for these moments. They aren’t going to shy away, as these are the moments that the culture was built on and for.

We told you a while back what Heat Culture was. Everyone sees it now and wants to poo poo it, but it’s real, it’s the reason, and if it were as simple as everyone else makes it out to be, how come every team can’t do it?

Exactly. Because the Culture is real.

Next: 30 greatest players in franchise history

The Miami Heat, again, have an uphill battle to climb to get back into this series. But you know what, I believe that they can and you know why?

Because they certainly believe that they can. That is enough for me and obviously Gary Payton as well, which goes a long way because he knows the Culture first hand.