The Heat and Detroit wore warmup shirts with a different NBA logo and “#NBABHM.”
They won’t be the only teams during February — Black History Month — to wear the brainchild of Heat guard Ray Allen and his wife’s cousin, Julian Santos.
A close look at the NBA logo reveals images of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., Underground Railroad operative Harriet Tubman, former slave-turned-activist Frederick Douglass and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell, the NBA’s first black coach and outspoken on issues involving race in the 1960s.
“I’ve been talking about this idea for a long time,” Allen said. “It’s important that people watching us play understand that people paved the way for us to be out here today. [Working for] the equality of all people and to appreciate where I’ve come from.”
Allen described the design as “a rough sketch,” and they want to improve on it for next year.
“But at least we have some awareness,” Allen said. “Over my NBA career, we’ve never had it. We’ve never had anything to show Black History Month has arrived. This shirt represents the heroes and pioneers of our past. I’m proud of that.”
Allen hosted a Super Bowl watch party Sunday night. The off-day team pal around didn’t include Heat forward Chris Bosh.
Nothing against his teammates, but Bosh figured with a 19-day road trip — two Heat road trips broken up by NBA All-Star Weekend, which will involve Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — starting Tuesday, he would spend the evening with his wife and kids. Asked who went to sleep first, the Denver Broncos or his kids, Bosh shook his head and laughed.
“Definitely the Broncos,” he said. “We had some friends over.”
In reality, every player, not just Wade, is on a maintenance plan.
Although James said last week he wants to play more — and he has let Heat coach Erik Spoelstra know about this — this is a veteran team that anticipates a fourth consecutive long spring-into-summer.
“I would like to start to work Ray back down to a more comfortable level,” Spoelstra said of Allen, who averages more than 26 minutes per game. “Bird [center Chris Andersen] can play now close to 30 minutes at a high-intensity level. I don’t want to go to that tank every single game.”
The Heat made guard Roger Mason and forward James Jones inactives and didn’t play Toney Douglas, Udonis Haslem and Rashard Lewis.
Detroit’s inactives were forward Tony Mitchell and guard Peyton Siva and the Pistons didn’t play Gigi Datome, Josh Harrellson and Charlie Villanueva.