July 20, 2010
No matter how you feel about LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) joining forces in Miami, you have to admit that the Heat are going to be a fun team to watch next season. If they were an NBC promotion from the mid-1990s, they would be "Must See TV," no doubt about it. Not only is it good to have another elite team in the league, it can also be fun to have a team to root against. People are going to love to hate the Heat, and at the very least, that makes for good TV.
Of course, some people don't see the good in the Superfriends getting extra friendly in Florida. They only see the bad things. For instance, Jason Kidd(notes), who thinks these three teaming up is bad for the league. Sports Radio Interviews transcribed a recent ESPN Radio spot featuring Kidd, and he's not quite on board with the concept of more than two stars on any one team.
"Well, I think we would love to spread everybody out. We had 10 or 15 of the top players on separate teams, where guys were coming into town and they could sell tickets. It's not going to be easy for teams to sell tickets in Cleveland or Toronto now because those guys aren't on the team. I think everybody can say Miami will sell out wherever they go all year, but that hurts the NBA in the sense of selling tickets. It's just for them to go West, teams are only going to see them once, and then on the East coast they only go there twice, so it may be disappointing on that aspect but when you talk about just straight basketball it will be interesting and fun to watch."
1. Jason Kidd is a rambling sentence factory and business is booming.
2. Sounds like someone's a little bitter he never got an invite to a pool party after the 2008 Olympics. Cheer up, Jason.
But really, it's hard to agree with Kidd that having another potentially great team in the league will hurt the league. Yes, attendance in Cleveland and Toronto will surely decline, but the Heat have already sold out their season tickets and are charging $100 a person just to get on the waiting list. Considering the Raptors were already 25th in the league in road attendance, it seems like the Heat selling out at home and on the road is going to make up for that. It's not like people are going to be suddenly interested in seeing the Clippers now that Chris Bosh is on the Heat.
Yes, the NBA's rep might take a hit from LeBron joining the Heat, but that's only going to help ticket sales anywhere Miami plays. That's going to mostly make up for the decline in places like Cleveland and Toronto. And furthermore, who is Jason Kidd to say there shouldn't be three stars on the same team? After all, this is a guy who gladly teamed up with Kerry Kittles and Keith Van Horn(notes) for two consecutive finals appearances. He seemed OK with three huge superstars on the same team back then.