The In-Season Tournament courts are bad enough. Instead of just creating a new logo, the NBA is attempting to blind its customers by color pollution. At least those are only in use for a few months. The City Edition courts are around for the entire season and the theme that the Miami Heat are going with is narcissism.
Their City-Edition jerseys read across the front “Heat Culture.” The organization believes that they maximize their talent better than the others in the NBA because of their culture of toughness and attention to detail. With rosters that are not as highly lauded as teams they have beaten in the playoffs the last two seasons, fans and media will sometimes lean on that as the explanation for the success. An explanation that ignores injuries to several key players in both the 2022 and 2023 playoffs which gave the Heat matchup advantages to exploit.
While the jerseys are annoyingly self-congratulatory, at least the idea was creative. The court, however, is over the top.
The Heat put in the lane a description of their “culture.” It’s basically Notre Dame’s “play like a champion today,” sign in the locker room but in paragraph form. Printed in the painted area is the Heat’s definition of their organizational culture. Phrases like “hardest working,” “most conditioned,” and adjectives such as “meanest,” and “nastiest,” are used to explain why the Heat are positive that they run a tighter ship than the rest of the NBA.
The Heat deserve a great deal of credit for what they have accomplished in 35 years as a franchise. Of the four expansion teams from the late 1980s — the Heat, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, and Minnesota Timberwolves — only the Heat have won an NBA Championship — three to be exact. They have been to the NBA Finals seven times. The Magic have been to The Finals twice, the Hornets have won four total playoff series, and the Timberwolves have won two.
In a fraction of the time in existence, the Heat have lapped the New York Knicks as a franchise. if not for Stephen Curry, they would have done the same to the Golden State Warriors. Those are two of the league’s founding franchises.
Whatever pride the Miami Heat have in their organization is well-earned. Articulating that pride underneath the basket though, that is a jerk move. We all get it, the Heat have hard practices, Erik Spoelstra is Pat Riley’s greatest student, and Jimmy Butler is so tough that this is the team he desired to play for and eventually was traded there.
Round of applause for the Heat having a competent organization but I don’t need to be reminded of that on every possession. They can keep their self-congratulatory, high-school athletics mantras to themselves. Save that for new players when they get the welcome package.
The rest of us don’t need to see your company’s core values when Bam Adebayo catches alley-oops.