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A Miami night: Brash, Flash and Unabashed

It was overdone. It was flashy. It was schmaltzy. It was a little late. It was everything that defines a true Miami event. And that's why it was so great. No team in the NBA would dare dream of hosting an event like the Miami Heat held at the AmericanAirlines Arena last night. A team with a long stretch of success, like the Lakers or the Celtics, would consider it gauche, dishonoring the importance of its history. A lesser team would't have the chutzpah. But the city of Miami has always been defined by youthful exuberance. Whether it was springing up from a sleepy backwater to a major metropolitan area in 20 years at the turn of the last century or Pat Riley promising a parade down Biscayne Boulevard in 1995, Miami is defined by defying historical expectations. That usually rubs some the wrong way. And last night's blowout surely rubbed a lot of people the wrong way outside of South Florida. It was confident, if not cocky. It took this stroke of good fortune and rubbed it in the face of a lot of people. But Miami's not a city of humble people. It's full of transports from the northeast with a huge dash of Latin American flair. What would make you think it would be understated? And that's why this team is now ready to ascend to the top spot in the Miami sports hierarchy. Even when the Heat were near the top of the NBA, and even when they won the title in 2006, they were a "gritty" team, even though I hate that cliché. They were workman-like. They had "Pat-Riley-after-Showtime" all over them. Now, this team assembled has every mark of those Showtime Lakers on it. And that's what Miami responds to. A show. And what better way to kick off that era than a gigantic show before the first tipoff?