What's the problem, Miami Heat fans? Are you too busy sipping mojitos and grazing on patatas bravas to get your butts in the seats on time? Is it the economy? Do you secretly hate LeBron James as much as the rest of the country does?
These are the allegations lobbed at Heat fans by the New York Times today. According to the nation's most venerable newspaper:
Ticket holders straggle in long after the opening tip and flee en masse midway through the fourth quarter to beat the
traffic. Clusters of red-and-orange seats remain blindingly vacant, making American AirlinesArena appear half-empty on television.
You're missing LeBron James' famous pregame powder toss, people. What's wrong with you?
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Ah, New Yorkers. They fly in for a quick playoff visit and think they know the place. Last summer, when James announced he was "taking [his] talents to South Beach" to join an all-star team with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, locals predicted the fan base would be tenuous.
James left Cleveland, a town that pours its heart and soul into sports teams, partly because its economy, politics, and weather are so abysmal. In South Florida, the gorgeous weather is extremely distracting.
You'll find a smattering of die-hard Marlins, Dolphins, or Heat fans, but mostly you'll find people who are too busy tanning or doing Jell-O shots before a night on Lincoln Road to notice a basketball game. And have you ever met a citizen of Miami who shows up on time for anything?
So seats at the arena are empty until halftime. What else is new? James and Bosh abandoned the frigid north for a town where the sun always shines and the parties never stop. They got exactly what they wanted.