Your DVR likely has been filled to the brim with Miami Heat playoff games, championship celebration and the parade plus much more. Thankfully, all the best highlights of the Heat's title run have been compiled and released by NBA Entertainment in the form of the "2012 NBA Champions" film out now on a DVD/Blu-ray combo.
The film doesn't disappoint and features tons of highlights, many of them in slow motion that gives the viewer plenty of time to soak in a fantastic play or a thunderous LeBron James dunk, and exclusive interviews with Heat president Pat Riley, owner Micky Arison, coach Erik Spoelstra, assistant coaches and the entire team and all of it is presented in high definition on Blu-ray. This is the first time I've seen NBA footage shot on HD from a Blu-ray disc and the presentation is stunning.
Starting from back in the summer of 2010 when Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron decided to join forces, the film opens with the first footage of the Big 3 together in Heat uniforms during the infamous show the team put together at the AmericanAirlines to introduce them to their fans and to the world. With the familiar but appropriate "road to redemption after the disappointing Finals loss" theme to open the 75-minute film, the viewer is taken through a concise summary of the regular season with hardly a mention of any lowlights that might have occurred along the way. Each round of the playoffs progressively gets more screen time with nice detours sprinkled about and further augmented by current interviews, such as LeBron's MVP presentation or a short profile on Spoelstra's tenure as the Heat coach.
The game tape looks great but the more cinematic footage from games, interviews and candid "behind the scenes" shots from the locker room, practice, team buses and many other locations take this film to another level. Everyone from Keith Askins to Dexter Pittman make interview cameos at various points while the bigger names have their say throughout. Team practices and game timeouts take on a fascinating touch with the steady (but never overbearing) use of the audio captured by the mics that Spoelstra, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and OKC Thunder coach Scott Brooks are wearing. If you think you've seen everything with regards to this Heat season, there's plenty of exclusive moments that are revelatory, such as a brief exchange during practice between assistant coach Ron Rothstein and Spoelstra about how to contain Russell Westbrook that is shot from a long distance and incorporating the audio from Spo's mic.
The NBA Finals is presented with each game getting its own chapter of the film and expands to include sound bites from a variety of sources including journalists, former NBA players such as Chris Mullin and many others. Before the Game 6 highlights begin, there's a break in the action that allows Wade and LeBron to talk about their time together on the Heat in their own words along with the team's preparation to close out the series, which sets up the final game perfectly.
This is one movie where there are no spoilers. Everyone knows exactly how it ends and the footage of the trophy presentation, locker room celebration and parade are spectacular. Put simply, this is a great keepsake for Heat fans to treasure for years to come.