The 2013 NBA season has culminated with the Miami Heat successfully defending their championship and having another summer of pride in South Florida. This review will cover the Heat's season, the start & growth of HeatBasketball and a personal statement from me, the founder, on what this NBA Championship meant to me.
The Miami Heat entered the season with high expectations as always. The Heat made a splash by signing Ray Allen and weakening one rival in the Boston Celtics. It seemed the rest of the teams in the league were searching for ways to bolster their teams to defeat the Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers in particular brought in a couple of stars to power their team back into contention. Others were building on what they already had such as Oklahoma City, New York and the LA Clippers.
The Miami Heat started the first few months of the season on a bit of a lull by their standards. These standards were so high that a 2 game losing streak seemed like a 5 game losing streak. They seemed to be having trouble defeating the top teams in the East like NY, Indiana and Chicago. The teams in the West were not an issue and this seemed to be a good sign that the Heat were going to find their way through their funk as they reestablished their team chemistry. This finally clicked when the Heat began shedding unwanted contracts and acquiring role players like Chris Andersen. Starting in February the Heat started a 27 game winning streak that saw them mow down opponents in every way possible while sporting mainly red uniforms throughout. The Eastern Conference was left in the dust as the Heat clinched the Southeast division for the 6th time and following the streak subsequently clinched the East and finished with the best record in the NBA for the 1st time in franchise history.
The 1st round of the playoffs were a breeze for the Heat as they ousted the Milwaukee Bucks in a sweep. The 2nd round showed that the Eastern teams have found that the only way to make up for their lack of talent was to play dirty against Miami. The Bulls did this in Game 3 after stealing a win in Game 1 and being blown out in Game 2. The Heat then promptly put the Bulls out to pasture as Chicago's only superstar feared to play. In the East Finals the Indiana Pacers employed a similar system but had actual talent to back them up. A tough 7 game series was played as the Heat once again played big when it counts. The NBA Finals then putted them against their toughest opponent, San Antonio, a team which boasted Hall of Fame coaching and talent and has been an enduring symbol of success in the basketball world for a long time. The Spurs not only lead the series 3 times but were less than a minute away from winning an NBA Championship. But then The Comeback happened. Mike Miller had lost his shoe making a 3. LeBron James lost his headband scoring and would play the rest of the game without it. He lead the charge to get the Heat within reach of tying the game and a Spurs missed free throw allowed for Ray Allen to make The Shot. The overtime saw the Heat push to no end and Chris Bosh made The Dino Block. HeatBasketball was there to see it live and we still can't believe it happened. We also were there for Game 7 as the Heat and Spurs possibly played one of the most intense and nerve wracking game ever. Two titans duking it out but LeBron James continued to cement his legacy by sealing the Heat's victory with help from Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier. The Heat now have 3 championships and have become the best team in South Florida professional sports history.
HeatBasketball grew out of necessity from PanthersHockey, which had covered the Heat's 2012 run to the title and the art of Heat fans, as the Heat have become so big in the world. Our membership grew quickly and our views have been extremely promising as the artists have embraced us and have liked our almost all-encompassing approach to fan art. If you love the Heat or have a great work that highlights the best in the Miami Heat then we show it off and promote it to the world. All skill levels are equal in our book.
And now a personal note from me on the meaning of this NBA championship. I lost a very dear friend and family member to me during this championship run and the loss has been a lot for me to bear. I have found ways to cope with it and the Miami Heat were one of those ways. It seemed I had pinned a ton of my hope on happiness and life on them and I know a lot of other South Floridians and Heat fans felt the same way for their own reasons. It revealed to me who the real fans are and who the bandwagonners and fakers are. I saw it personally in Game 6 when folks were walking out on this team instead of cheering them on to the end, good or bad. I stayed, I learned to deal with loss bigger than basketball and had accepted that we would lose that night but then the Heat showed me hope. They showed us all hope and how life throws lots of twists quickly but that there should always be hope. The win in Game 6 was like a new lease on life for the Heat and for all their fans. Bandwagonners don't associate with the team in loss. They hide and run away. They don't say "we lost" they say "they lost". After Game 7 and the victory I walked outside AmericanAirlines Arena and realized how much I still have and how wonderful life is and to celebrate even through the losses and to appreciate the wins, both in life and in sports. Thank you for all the artists as well as art is a wonderful expression of the ups and downs of life. Now we celebrate and look to do this again this time next year.
I'm a Grad Student currently that has been a basketball fan since 1998 and a Miami Heat fan since 2004. My favorite all-time Heat player is Dwyane Wade as he is the reason I fell in love with the team in the first place back in the 2004 NBA Playoffs. Since then my love for the team has grown and now they are among the elite of the NBA. This site will be a labor of love and I hope lots of fans take the time to enjoy the art and not be afraid to submit their own. If you are for the Heat almost any artpiece you submit is good here. Take care everyone and LET'S GO HEAT!