The Miami Hate

The Miami Heat at their NBA Championship victory rally

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funny leg kick.

When the Mavericks finally eliminated the Heat in six games, the Haters let the Bandwagoners know about it, but at the same time, the Haters knew that the inevitable was down the road and the Heat would eventually get that championship ring. Most fans (and I’m talking 99% here) recognize that James is at least the best player of this generation and will be a Hall of Famer at the end of his career. It’s the bandwagon fans that have become the sticking point for most watchers of the NBA.

“I don’t hate LeBron,” explains Riley. “He is one of the top players of this generation and probably the greatest physical athlete of this century. Of course, he’s gonna win a championship. I’m not mad at that. It’s just these so-called Heat fans that annoy me. If you can’t tell me anything about the Heat before Dwyane Wade’s first Championship in 2006, you’re not a Heat fan. And when they say, ‘I’m not a Heat fan, I’m just a LeBron fan,’ that’s not a real fan. That’s not what real fans are about.”

If you talk to one of the new Heat fans, you’ll get quite a different story. Derrick Hawes is a Washington DC native who owns a commercial cleaning business and is a self-described Heat fan who says he was on board long before “The Decision.”

“I became a Heat fan when Alonzo went there,” he says. “When was that, 2000?”

Actually, Alonzo joined the team in 1995.

“Watching them battle the Knicks was the most fun I had following the team,” Hawes continues. “The worst time was when Alonzo got sick. They went downhill at that point, but I stuck with the team because I sympathized with them. I always rooted for them a little bit because they were an underdog. But then they got Wade. He started putting up points. They got Shaq and won a championship and you can’t turn your back on them then.”

Even though he claims to have become a fan when one of his favorite players joined the team, he says that he is not a bandwagon fan.

“People wanna be with winners. That’s part of sports. People jump on bandwagons all the time. It’s just that because of LeBron, they’re making a big deal about it with the Heat.

“When Alonzo went to the Heat, I was not a bandwagon fan. I’m from DC. I like Georgetown. That’s why I like ‘Zo.”

So Derrick must have been torn when Roy Hibbert’s Pacers were battling the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals this year.

“The Pacers! I don’t like the Pacers,” Hawes loudly exclaims.

But, Roy Hibbert was a big deal at Georgetown.

“I’m an old school Goergetown fan,” he says dismissing Hibbert’s alumnus status.

So you must’ve been a big fan of Dikembe Mutombo’s Denver Nuggets.

“Mutombo,” he asks.

Nevermind.