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ESPN SportsNation poll reveals surprising results about Heat's likeability

Even though the question that was posed in the latest ESPN Sportsnation poll about the Miami Heat was awkward and four of the five answers were negative in tone, the top vote-getter wasn't what you might have expected despite what you've heard this summer. The question? "How much do you dislike the Heat?" As of Wednesday evening on October 20th, these were the results out of 30,654: 34% - Not at all: I like 'em 26% - Some: Too much hype, too soon 26% - Passionately: "Three Kings" are a joke 14% - Plenty - My new least-favorite team Sure, if you add together the negative ones you have the majority but given the fact that only one option was a positive one it's still a strong showing for Heat fans or admirers given how fierce the national reaction was when LeBron James announced his intentions to play in Miami. Or so it seems. This also dispels the long-repeated myth that this was a team that would only have fans located in a section of one state and wouldn't have any national appeal. It's an odd question as well. It's not just asking whether you like the Heat or not, it's asking you to pick a side and then quantify your hatred for them if you do, in fact, dislike them. There is no "neutral" option, nor an option to say that you respect the team but won't actively root for them. Personally, there are a lot of teams such as the Blazers that I respect but don't necessarily "like" or "dislike" them. As a fan of the NBA in general, I don't see an option like that to choose in this poll. Although it's just a curiosity and little else, it would be interesting to see the results of a similar poll once the regular season starts, at the midseason point, and after the playoffs. Back when Michael Jordan made his viewpoint of the Heat known ("There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team.' ... I was trying to beat those guys."), most sports fan agreed with him. According to a SportsNation poll at the time, 87% of over 3900 participants thought that Michael Jordan’s comment about the Heat’s "Big Three" was fair. When LeBron tweeted that he was taking mental notes over the summer, visitors of SportsNation were asked if they loved or hated the recent tweet by James and an overwhelming 62% of the 4,920 polled hated the post. Does it matter to you if your team is nationally like or disliked? Do you prefer one or the other? In other words, do you enjoy it if other people outside of the fanbase actively hate your favorite teams or does it damper the enthusiasm a bit?