We've all heard the same thing over the course of the last four seasons ever since LeBron James and Chris Bosh brought their talents to South Beach to join Dwyane Wade in the glorious summer of 2010. There has been somewhat of a backlash and an assumption directed at the fan base that anyone who is a Heat fan became one strictly because of the team's sudden popularity.
Honestly, I can live with people expressing their opinion, no matter how ridiculous it may sound. But the truth is it's really no different than what many franchises have had happen and continue to happen when transcendent talent join a specific team.
So calling out Heat fans as bandwagoners is one thing but when a highly reputable media comglamorate like ESPN decides to go out their way to stoop to that level it, well let's just say it's another example of utter disappointment spewed from the 4 letter leader in sports has left on me.
This kind of behavior I expect from second tier media entities but not ESPN and especially not from one of their most popular platforms of all their network, First Take.
Yes I agree there are many things many have a right to criticize such as fans leaving a Game 6 of the NBA Finals with a game still hanging in the balance with 28 seconds to go (which Miami obviously ended up winning), or fans booing their team in the middle of this year's Finals during their two-game homestand that ended as a complete disaster. But for ESPN to go out their way to make an example of this fan base is downright asinine, petty and just straight up juvenile.
It's not like the Miami Heat are the first team in sports history to garner such sudden rise in popularity overnight.
The Chicago Bulls enjoyed a widespread of national front-running fandom all in the name of Michael Jordan and no one even lifted an eyebrow. Believe me, being a young kid growing up in South Florida, the amount of Bulls fans that existed in my childhood and of people who can't even locate the city of Chicago on a map is all you need to know there.
The New York Yankees are worldwide known not just for the amazing success of their franchise for many years but their "NY" logo is one of the bigger logos in Americas popularized by rappers like Jay-Z and countless celebrities.
The "how long you've been a Heat fan" narrative and lack of context on the "you're a Heat fan because of LeBron playing here" is old, tired and very predictable now and it needs to stop.