Heat Ditch Vice Nights Jerseys After Recent Home Losing Streak
The Heat have "apparently given up on trying to win" in their Vice Nights jerseys for now after they "drew plenty of attention for Miami, but also coincided with a recent home losing streak," according to David Wilson of the MIAMI HERALD. Pelicans-Heat on Friday night was "scheduled to be the seventh straight home game" for the team to "wear its black alternate jerseys." But the team "donned its typical red and black warmups" prior to the game and beat the Pelicans wearing its red "Statement" jerseys to end the home losing streak. The Vice Nights jerseys are "scheduled to be worn seven more times in Miami and once on the road" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 11/30). In Ft. Lauderdale, Ira Winderman wrote there "seemingly is superstition in basketball." Despite not wearing the Vice Nights jerseys on Friday, the Heat "continued to play on the special Vice Nights court trimmed in pink and blue pastels, again opening with the team's special Vice Nights introduction video." The team "continues to sell the Vice Nights merchandise, as well as other uniform styles" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 12/1). YAHOO SPORTS' Jack Baer noted the six-game losing streak "led some players to blame the jerseys on their backs." The win over the Pelicans "might only validate whoever decided to ditch the Vice jerseys," and that "sure would be a shame" if they are not worn again (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/30).
NO CONTROVERSY: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the end of the home losing streak "had nothing to do" with the team's last-minute switch. Spoelstra: "We've done this before as an organization when we go to the red uniforms, just to change the dynamic." He added, "We love the Vice campaign. Our players love it. Our staff loves it. This was just something that we wanted to do for a game to mix it up and it really had nothing to do with anything other than that." The SUN SENTINEL's Winderman noted the black Vice Nights jerseys "had been in the players' locker stalls an hour before Friday's opening tip" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 12/1).