Heat deserves a couple of lower-profile games

The Heat’s season could not have begun more intensely wrapped in emotion.

First it was opening night in Miami and the much-anticipated, championship-banner-raising ceremony prior to a victory over the hated rival Boston Celtics. The night was a mix of prideful joy and the kind of on-court vitriol personified by Kevin Garnett snubbing former teammate Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo’s flagrant, around-the-neck foul on Dwyane Wade.

Then it was on to New York’s famous Madison Square Garden, where a region hit hard by Hurricane Sandy celebrated a cathartic victory by the Knicks. Some thought the game should not even have been played, much as the New York City Marathon was canceled in respect to the thousands affected by the storm — a devastation that inspired Wade to donate his game paycheck (about $210,000) to relief efforts.

The emotion and intensity will ramp back up Wednesday when the renamed, revamped, and star-laden Brooklyn Nets visit Miami — perhaps accompanied by star part-owner Jay-Z.

So we needed the break that Saturday night brought with the game against Denver here, and the one that Monday’s game against Steve Nash-less Phoenix also will bring.

Thank you, faceless, star-less Nuggets and Suns, for being a brief sedative to help us calm down.

Tuesday is Election Day. Remember to vote, particularly if you support my candidate. I’m Greg Cote, and I approve this message.

• Baseball free agency is under way and the Marlins have signed pitcher

Zack Greinke

and slugger

Josh Hamilton

. (Hey, we can dream can’t we?)

• San Francisco still celebrating Giants’ sweep of Tigers, led by rotund

Pablo Sandoval

, World Series MVP. Cannot confirm Sandoval is news spokesman for the President’s Council on Physical Fatness.

• The NFL trade deadline passed with the Dolphins making no deals, although the media, with nothing better to do, had fun amusing itself with baseless rumors involving receiver

Dwayne Bowe


• The NHL canceled its Winter Classic, latest casualty of the ongoing lockout. Said the organizer of the Winter Classic: “It’s like losing the Super Bowl.” Said everyone else: “Um, no it isn’t.”

Countdown: 14 days till the NASCAR grand finale at Homestead, with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson now in the Chase for the Cup points lead and on the pole again Sunday. Looks like nothing will stop J.J.’s sixth crown short of forcing him to drive Hertz rental car.

• And in other news, the World Series of Posers ended. Oops, I meant World Series of Poker. Sorry, Freud.


Charles Barkley

now says

LeBron James

could be better than

Michael Jordan

. The NBA has new rules against flopping, but I guess flip-flopping is still allowed.

• Cavaliers owner

Dan Gilbert

now admits he regrets angrily guaranteeing that Cleveland would win an NBA title before LeBron’s Heat. It might be no coincidence that Gilbert got rich off a company call Fathead.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves are being criticized for having only five black players on their 15-man roster. The Minnesota Timberwhites.

• Update: It is now only 14 months until NBA commissioner

David Stern’s

• Three Pitt football players played against Notre Dame on Saturday despite being charged with assault. Anybody seen Pitt coach

Paul Chryst’s

missing spine?

• South Carolina coach

Steve Spurrier

said No. 1 Alabama could beat a couple of NFL teams. I think that’s ridiculous. Everybody knows the Jaguars and Chiefs are barely even real NFL teams.

• Kansas State quarterback

Collin Klein

, a Heisman trophy candidate, said his first kiss came at the wedding altar this past July. Nobody believes him, but it’s still a cute story.

• The father of rapper

Trick Daddy

is suing ex-Cane

Bryant McKinnie

in Miami alleging that McKinnie owes him $375,000 borrowed to spend in strip clubs. I’d be inclined to shake my head if the money hadn’t gone to such a good cause.

• Toronto Maple Leafs player

Tyler Bozak

was criticized for wearing blackface as part of a

Michael Jackson

Halloween costume. The irony: Since when does an impersonation of M.J.’s complexion require blackface?

• Somebody check on the LPGA. Something is wrong. For two weeks in a row now, the tournament winner has not been a South Korean.

• Saw the headline, “Shark falls from sky onto golf course.” Turns out a large bird dropped a 2-foot leopard shark on a course near the ocean in California. Thank goodness. When I first saw the headline I worried that

Greg Norman

had been seriously hurt.


Jonathan Vilma

and other Saints “Bountygate” players don’t want ex-commissioner

Paul Tagliabue

to hear their suspensions appeal. Who do they want, the mayor of New Orleans?

Drew Brees

, perhaps?

•  Peyton Manning

• The four-team United Football League announced it has postponed the second half of its season until the spring, surprising analysts who were unaware the UFL existed.

• A 20-year-old woman from Brazil auctioned off her virginity to a man willing to pay $750,000. What was I thinking!?


Parting thought:

This is not a good sign.

Mike Redmond

has been the manager for four days now and the Marlins still have not won a game. Owner

Jeffrey Loria

is getting impatient.

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