Strolling through the underbelly of the American Airlines Arena you are reminded of the celebrated past of this storied franchise. Murals of Wade, Lebron and Chris Bosh smiling, celebrating adorn the walls. Those days are now gone and at the Miami Heat media day, you quickly felt you were Ebenezer Scrooge being taken back in time by the Ghost of Christmas Past unsure of what the future held.
Just minutes prior to Heat Coach, Erik Spoelstra, addressing the gaggle of media, news permeated throughout the interview room that Pat Riley had effectively said the Chris Bosh’s Heat career was essentially over. Erik made his way to the microphone looking like a defeated man. They were preparing for a season without Wade and then moments prior to him addressing the media, he learned that he had in fact also lost Chris Bosh. His roster is filled with no names and journeymen and those are the guys that are suppose to be the ones to help Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow win games.
As the media made it’s way to the practice court for player interviews it was eerily quiet. No excitement. No buzz. The practice court felt hollow with no emotion. As player made their way for their photos members of the media were asking each other what some of the players names that were walking by as no one has ever heard or seen them before.
And those no names are what make up the majority of the 2016 – 2017 Miami Heat roster.
Hours go by and it is just the newly acquired players strolling about. Then one by one, the main stays of the Heat appear with Goran Dragic appearing first. He was quickly engulfed by the media while sticking their phones and recorders in Goran’s face making sure not to miss a word. The same happened with Whiteside, Justise Winslow and Udonis Haslem.
All the players talked about the challenges ahead and how excited they are to prove people wrong. Of course they were first bombarded about the departure of Wade and then more recently about Bosh. I felt bad for them as they’ve must have answered the same questions a million times. They put on a good face of they’re going to be competitive this season, but I felt like they really didn’t believe that. They know they will have more bad times than good this season. They also must know that the teammates they have now probably won’t be there come the trade deadline.
The mood of the Miami Heat media day was that of a funeral. Somber and sad, but appropriate for this team as the old championship Miami Heat teams are now dead. Life goes on and so must the Heat with their makeshift roster of journeymen and no names.