Tue Jun 14 11:40am EDT
We start with the caveat that we're sure that there have to be smart, nuanced, longtime Miami Heat fans out there. The ones that really fret over the way the team's offense fell apart when it had to essentially start a possession after six seconds of full-court pressure, and the ones that are worried that the NBA might eliminate the mid-level exception in the next round of collective bargaining because it could hurt their ability to develop depth. You know … dorks like us.
Dorks are loyal, though. They show up on time, and they don't give up their seat at the Dungeons and Dragons table. Clearly, Miami is not full of dorks. For various reasons, most of them good, but the most damning coming in the cheers that we heard from way, way too many Dallas Mavericks fans as their team pulled ahead in Sunday's deciding Game 6. Or the tweets we saw from on-site reporters, telling us that there were heaps of blue-shirted Mavs fans dotting the stands.
And then, in Tuesday's Miami Herald, we read this:
So why were there so many Mavericks fans at Sunday's game, most of them near Dallas' bench? Michael Lipman, whose company helps resell Heat seats, said Heat ticket holders sold 150 seats to Mavericks fans after the Mavs' premium seat department inquired. Dallas fans paid as much as $3,000 for first- and second-row seats by the Mavericks' bench in Game 6, as much as $2,000 a few rows back.
"In Dallas, not one person sold to Heat fans," Lipman said. "They have longtime loyal fans there." In Miami, with some of the best seats, "you didn't necessarily have only Heat fans, but wealthy individuals who are basketball fans and wanted to be a part of this. Some of the fans here said, 'If I sell this game, it will pay for my whole playoff invoice.'"
I know these are tough times, but the sort of people that have seats like this, and think about things like a "playoff invoice" (what the hell is a "playoff invoice"?) aren't going through tough times. And we can pretend that these Heat "fans" were cynical enough about the team's fourth-quarter half-court offense to dismiss Miami's chances as it headed into possibly the final game of the team's season, but … no.
Perhaps the IRS can correct me on this, but can't a tax write-off on a charity donation of a valued asset be worth quite a bit? It can't pay for your "whole playoff invoice," I'm sure, but it could also put some kid who lives and dies with every Mario Chalmers(notes) steal attempt in a seat that could change their life. Or, at the very least, keep a Mavericks fan out of the building, and where they belong -- deservedly enjoying their team's first NBA championship in the face of Heat fans that could not care less, at some sports bar down the block.