SBD/October 31, 2012/NBA Season Preview

Heat NBA Championship Rings Feature 219 Diamonds, Three Onyx Stones

Heat's logo comprised of 31 diamonds, "World Champions" framed by 46 diamonds
The Heat received their '11-12 NBA Championship rings prior to last night's season-opener against the Celtics, and the jewelry is "over the top ... even by South Florida bling standards,” according to a front-page piece by Michelle Kaufman of the MIAMI HERALD. Each ring is “made of 14K white and yellow gold and features 219 diamonds (10.8 total carats), 46 custom-cut princess-cut diamonds, and three Onyx stones.” The ring weighs “a quarter of a pound,” and the top features the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy “in 14K gold with a round half-carat diamond in the shape of a basketball.” The Heat logo is “set with 31 diamonds, and the words ‘World’ and ‘Champions’ are framed by 46 diamonds.” One side has “two championship trophies representing the 2006 and 2012 titles," with the word “Family’’ inscribed below. The player’s name is “on the other side, and underneath” is the “All In” team trophy commemorating the team’s motto last season. A circle with the 15 players’ numbers "surrounds the trophy.” Inside is the inscription: “Forged in the fire between a hammer and an anvil," and the date 6-21-12. Jostens created the rings. The team also sold “championship ring merchandise, which ranged from $10 plastic replica rings to the $5,500 Ultimate Fan Ring made of 14K gold and featuring most of the elements on the real rings, including a few diamonds.” They also had “pendants, earrings, bracelets, key rings, and cuff links for sale.” In addition to the unveiling of the rings, yesterday “served as the launch of several new arena amenities” at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat “upped its hip quotient with the opening of Hyde lounge, a 5,000 square-foot nightclub inside the arena that includes multiple bars and a private dining room” (MIAMI HERALD, 10/31). Heat Owner Micky Arison yesterday said that as good as the team’s first two championships felt, “the third and fourth are going to feel even better.” Arison, in his first local interview since June said on WQAM-AM, “Only 10 teams have won multiple championships, and only five have won three or more. That’s a small club we want to be part of” (MIAMI HERALD, 10/31).

FLASHY OR CLASSY? In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes, “I wish Red Auerbach had been in South Beach to comment on the Heat’s hideous handling of the hardware. It was truly ridiculous.” The trophy and the rings were “hidden by a circular red curtain dropped from the overhead scoreboard,” as four police officers “stood guard in front of the precious metal.” Shaughnessy: “Excuse me. Didn’t these guys win a championship in 2006? Whatever happened to ‘act like you’ve been there before’” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/31).

ON SECOND THOUGHT: In Cleveland, Jodie Valade reports Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert "in hindsight ... regrets" the “infamous letter” he wrote to fans following LeBron James' decision to sign with the Heat stating the Cavs would win an NBA Championship before James would. Gilbert said, "Looking back now, that probably was not the most brilliant thing I've ever done in my life." Valade writes, “Particularly now that James is collecting his first ring for winning the NBA championship in June.” Gilbert: "If you're going to predict something that doesn't happen and you're going to do it publicly, you'd for sure take it back. When that happened, when they won, it was the end of the end of the end of that whole thing. Now there's nothing more to talk about” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/31).
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