Heat Fans Celebrate NBA Championship With 400,000 In Attendance For Victory Parade
The Heat yesterday held their NBA Championship parade and an estimated “400,000 people filled the streets of Miami,” and then “15,000 more got into the arena afterward for a long, loud reception for the NBA's new kings,” according to Tim Reynolds of the AP (AP, 6/25). In Miami, Greg Cote notes yesterday’s crowd “was bigger” than when the team won its first Championship in ‘06. That was the Heat’s “first crown, but this one was more personal, somehow.” This one “seemed to involve us more viscerally” (MIAMI HERALD, 6/26). Heat Fs LeBron James and Chris Bosh, along with G Dwyane Wade “agreed to be interviewed” by Oprah Winfrey. She said that the interview will be featured in an upcoming “Oprah’s Next Chapter” (MIAMI HERALD, 6/26). In Miami, Beasley & Smiley note from Heat President Pat Riley “on down, nearly everyone on stage sported the black-framed glasses that have become the NBA’s trendiest accessory” for the team’s celebration at AmericanAirlines Arena. The message “was clear: The future is bright in Miami.” Wade “gave as well as received, handing out ritzy Hublot watches ($10,000 and up)” to Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra and team Owner Micky Arison (MIAMI HERALD, 6/26).
HEY, MICKY YOU'RE SO FINE: In Ft. Lauderdale, Mike Berardino wrote, “This much South Florida sports fans should know by now: The Arison family will do everything in its power to give this market its first true dynasty since Joe Robbie's Dolphins ruled the NFL nearly four decades ago.” Heat F Udonis Haslem said of Arison, "He's been the epitome of what an owner should be for a team." Arison said, "We've been around this long enough to know a team doesn't get built that quickly. It takes chemistry. If you don't have a team that's clicking together and knows each other's moves before even having to think about it, it's not going to happen" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/23).
GETTING BURNED? In Miami, Hanks & Beasley noted the time “between now and next year’s playoffs will test the staying power of Heatmania.” A question for fans is “whether they will have to pay even more for seats in an arena that already charges some of the league’s top prices.” The Heat’s bottom line “gets particular attention in cash-strapped Miami-Dade County, which has yet to collect any money in a profit-sharing deal with the team now playing its 12th season in the tax-subsidized arena.” The Heat’s second championship in six years “will spark a windfall for the team.” Marlins President David Samson said, “When you win a title, you have a much longer-lasting, almost permanent buzz. The buzz that Miami had when they signed LeBron is nothing compared to the buzz they have now." Still, Heat execs said that even with the team’s championship run, they “do not expect this season’s revenues to top 2011’s, thanks to the shortened season caused by a labor dispute.” That means the arena, operated by an Arison-owned company, “likely will not pay Miami-Dade any rent for the championship season” (MIAMI HERALD, 6/24).