Hate is not a bad thing in sports. You need the good guy and the bad guy and not everyone can be the good guy. When you have the good guy matched up against the bad guy, that's what we all want to see. We don't want to see two good guys go at it. We want to see the adversaries and the rivalries. Right now I think it's great for the NBA and it will be great for all these guys in their careers as time moves on that having a little hate and being a little despised that's not bad all the time.
That's what Isiah Thomas recently said on a Miami radio station. I couldn't agree more (although, in this case I'm not quite sure who the good guy would be). The Heat should embrace the hate. They should walk into every arena with that swagger that will cause opposing fans to shout obscenities and bring signs deriding the Big Three. At this point there is no way for the Heat to become the good guy. So why not embrace being the bad guy?
There was news yesterday that made me think the Heat had embraced their role. Matthew Bellamy, the fan who was escorted out of an Indians game for wearing a LeBron heat jersey posted on Facebook that he was getting an all-expense-paid trip to South Beach to meet the Heat. But a spokesman for the Heat said they had decided against it. That would've been a great start. The Heat should be like a WWE villain. You know the guy who eggs on the crowd and showboats to no end. They should do everything in their power to play the villain card. I actually think that by taking that approach they might win over some fans. While they don't need to do anything more to get good ratings, being even more polarizing probably would attract even more viewers. It's like that stat from the Howard Stern movie "Private Parts," about how the average listener tunes in for an hour and twenty minutes but the average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours.
So for the shear sake of entertainment, showboat after dunks, dance on the sidelines during a blowout, and make derisive comments about every city you visit because every Hulk needs his Iron Sheik.