The drama of Saturday night’s Heat-Celtics Game 7 here played out after the deadline for this column, so all we could do is imagine the polar-opposite feeling that would be sweeping across South Florida right now depending on the result.
An expected win sending Miami back to the NBA Finals would find all right with the world, coach Erik Spoelstra hoisted onto the city’s shoulders for a victory ride to replace those “Spo must go!” chants. Pat Riley’s genius card would be renewed, his Big 3 brainchild given new life. LeBron James would be swept in as Miami mayor by raucous acclaim.
The “Good Job, Good Effort!” kid, superfan and media sensation Jack Meyer, 9, of Coral Gables, would be spasmodic with delight, perhaps even drafted to duet with the team’s lucky-charm little girl singer on the national anthem at Finals home games.
Yes, even the barest one-point victory Saturday was all that was required for South Florida to ebulliently await Oklahoma City as Heat fans set forth with racing hearts and no greater care than to create ways to mock the frightening, Biblical beard of the Thunder’s James Harden.
But any loss, even a valiant one-point defeat meaning premature elimination, is all it would have taken for a pall to cast across this region like an eclipse, the gloom undercut by roiling anger.
A Miami loss, by consensus if not logic, would have called into question and doubt the whole package: Riley’s vision, Spoelstra’s job, the very future of the Big 3 nucleus. Everything.
Heck, I think even the “Good Job, Good Effort!” kid might have been sent spiraling into an expletive-laden rant, his catch-phrase repeated but now with dripping, venomous sarcasm.
I can only prefer that Miami won last night, partly because I like to see my city happy, but mostly because I hate to hear a 9-year-old boy curse.Charlie Sheen Novak Djokovic