The Heat plays host to three consecutive NBA Finals games in Miami’s downtown bayside arena beginning Sunday night in an even series, and hundreds of Thunder fans hoped to make the trip. The only question was, could they get here in time? Because, who knows exactly how long it takes to traverse the 1,465 miles from Oklahoma City in oxen-drawn covered wagons?
I kid. I don’t mean to suggest all Oklahomans are prairie folk who might experience a culture shock here in South Beach. I know for a fact from having spent a month there this week that they have a vibrant nightlife in Oklahoma City, too. It’s called a 24-hour Whataburger.
Still, when picturing Oklahoma City fans arriving here to support their team, I can’t get out of my head the image of Jed Clampett’s truck backfiring into Beverly Hills.
A quick note while I think of it: Sure, LeBron James fouled Kevin Durant even though it wasn’t called (wink, wink) on that missed attempted game-tying shot with nine seconds left in Game 2. That’s the thing. We get all the breaks. I hear David Stern has a table always waiting at Prime 112.
Also, a quick advisory for visiting Thunder fans: We do have cannibals here, I’ll admit. That and humidity are the big drawbacks. The recent incident that made national news — in which a local deranged naked man chewed off a homeless man’s face before being killed by police — happened just one mile north of the arena.
That was a bizarre aberration, though. Normally, our cannibals attack tourists. I say this not to alarm you, but as a friendly warning that they tend to become enraged by the sound of people walking around chanting “OKC!” or wearing fake beards in homage to James Harden.
Are your lives in danger here, Thunder fans? Probably not.
But are your team’s championship hopes in danger here? Oh, most definitely.
• Happy Father’s Day, fellowpadres
! I always have an idea the type of gift my sons are planning to buy me is based on how much money they are borrowing.
• That reminds me. Pegged to the holiday, HarperCollins is releasing a new book by Heat starDwyane Wade
called,A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball
. Wade embraces his role as a dad, which is nice. Among many other NBA players, fatherhood is an allegation attached to a paternity suit.
won his record seventh French Open tennis title last week, and women’s winnerMaria Sharapova
completed her career Grand Slam. A day later, Nadal had a $347,000 watch stolen from his Paris hotel room. If I’m spending $347,000 for a watch, it had better be able to turn back the hands of time.
• The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has brought formal charges againstLance Armstrong
. The good news? Sponsors are sticking with Lance. The bad news? The sponsors are Whole ’Roids Market and PEDs ’R Us.
• Saw a Belmont Stakes headline that read, “Exciting race, photo finish make up for Triple Crown letdown.” Um, no they didn’t. Maybe to Union Rags’ owner, but not to thoroughbred racing.
• The Marlins’Ozzie Guillen
was named “least respected” manager in a Men’s Journal poll of 100 players. Coincidentally, Guillen also was named least-respected manager in a Little Havana poll of 100 older, virulently anti-Castro Cuban exiles.
• The perfect game by the Giants’Matt Cain
was the fifth no-hitter already this season in a pitching-dominated year. Bumper sticker: “Steroids — Miss Me Yet?”
• Saw another headline about fan violence marring a Euro 2012 soccer match. That isn’t exactly man-bites-dog now is it?
That reminds me. Dolphins stadium hosts Lionel Messi and the World Soccer Masters Tour next Saturday. It’s like a major international match, except that it’s an exhibition that doesn’t count for anything.
The new movie That’s My Boy stars Adam Sandler, Vanilla Ice and Jets coach Rex Ryan. I think the film might have a better chance if they’d kept quiet about who was in it. Ryan is now the only NFL coach ever to appear in more movies than playoff games.
• Dolphins ownerStephen Ross
said he hates the team’s traditional fight song, so it will only play after Miami scores and is leading. In other words, Ross probably needn’t worry about being inundated.
• The racing yacht Groupama won the Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race that swung through Miami. Or maybe I’m mixed up and it actually was won by Groupon, the discount gift-certificate company.
• The Gators and Noles made the College World Series even if UM didn’t, but the Cinderella story is Stony Brook. Just in case, I invested heavily in media references to Stony Brook sounding like “Story Book.”
• Former USC star safetyKevin Ellison
• I don’t wanna say theRoger Clemens
• Jimmie Johnson after winning a NASCAR race donned a multi-colored Afro clown wig to celebrate. Hopeful scientists called it a first indication that Johnson may have a personality.
• College football has agreed in concept to a four-team playoff. Fans from several schools already have begun protesting in anticipation of their team being ranked No. 5.
The Hurricanes were one of 13 football programs lauded by the NCAA for academics. UM fans responded by saying they’d prefer their team to be a bit dumber but win a lot more.