With the world seemingly falling apart, it's nice to be reminded that even though basketball stops, Udonis Haslem being the pride of Miami never ceases.
As the local protests began late last month, Haslem took to the microphone to address the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. He spoke about supporting law enforcement, including members of his family, while at the same time understanding the serious and valid issues protesters are taking to the streets to change.
It was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak year. We, as a nation, could really use some good news right about now. Unfortunately, sports won't be providing those much-needed distractions anytime soon. No league is likely to resume games until late July at the earliest.
Until then, we have a few reminders that might do the trick for Miami sports fans. In addition to our hometown hero Haslem, here are four things we can appreciate, if even for just a few moments.
Tua Tagovailoa will eventually play football for the Miami Dolphins
It's tough to remember all the way back to April, but you didn't dream that the Dolphins drafted Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick of the NFL Draft. That actually happened. Barring some unforeseen events that, let's be honest, 2020 is totally capable of, this will not change and will still be the case once games begin again.
Whenever you need a little break from the news, just remember that Tua Tagovailoa is the quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. Don't you feel better already?
The Marlins just added yet another young stud
Trying to be a sports fan right now is a lot like walking around in a dark room: It's tough to find your bearings and identify if anything is where you left it. Nothing is making much sense lately. It's pretty easy to forget what is even normally taking place at this time.
It's likely most Miamians didn't even think about the fact that the Marlins had the third overall pick in the amateur draft on Wednesday. That pick turned into Max Meyer, a flame-throwing pitcher who scouts predict will mature into a top-of-the-rotation starter. In addition to drafting four other picks, the Marlins signed a crop of free agents after the unprecedentedly abbreviated five-round draft.
Baseball will be back at some point, and this week's events will matter. The Marlins just got a lot better.
The Heat will have an edge once the NBA season restarts
Eventually (insert crossed-fingers emoji) there will be a conclusion to the 2019-20 NBA season. As of now, the rumors indicate a return to the court in Orlando toward the end of July. All 22 teams participating in the restart will play their games inside the Disney fortress in Orlando and reside on-site at Disney hotels.
Advantage: Miami Heat. It has yet to be determined just how much players will be able to interact with their families, but for the season to take place in its entirety just a few hundred miles from Biscayne Boulevard is definitely the best bad news that could come out of this for the Heat, which stood in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings when Simon said Freeze .
Every team in Miami has improved during the break
Given that there had to be a months-long break in sports action, we might as well focus on the good news: All of Miami's teams have used the time wisely and will be a better version of themselves when games return. Think of the improvement during the break like getting your braces off over the summer in high school.
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The Heat got healthy. Before the break, a few guys were banged up. Not any more Everyone is ready to go. Tyler Herro has had plenty of time to heal. Same goes for Meyers Leonard. All systems are a go.
The Marlins are adding a player next week and have had months more time to prepare for a very important season — a season that almost certainly will be drastically shortened, a fact that benefits a young, inexperienced team.
The Dolphins got a hell of a lot better through the draft and free agency. They're a totally different team.
So: All of Miami's teams have improved while they've been away. We'll take the good news any way we can get it.