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Via George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel:
The Miami Heat have been disparaged as a bunch of privileged prima-donnas, intent on destroying the spirit of fair play in professional sports.
LeBron, D-Wade , Chris Bosh and their gophers will break all NBA records, glom onto our TV screens every night, celebrate titles with bikini babes on South Beach. They are the alpha dogs. We are the fire hydrants. The forecast calls for constant drizzle.
Doc Rivers doesn’t see it that way. [...]
He laughs at all the swipes and the slights, and the suggestions that the Heat are ruining the game. What’s the problem? Doc embraces the Axis of Evil (my words, not his) as astute businessmen.
“If you were a businessman who could buy two other companies to form what would be a dominant company, what businessman wouldn’t do that?” he said. “That’s what LeBron did. I have no problem with that. It just makes it more challenging for us, the [Orlando] Magic and everybody else.
“It’s puts a bull’s eye on them. Well, everybody wants to beat the Celtics, too. You want the pressure, You don’t want to run from it.”
Good for Doc.
No whining, no complaints, no whispers of collusion. It would be good for everybody else to follow his lead.
The backlash against the Miami Heat has gotten a little out of hand, but it is what it is.
One thing is for certain — the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics aren’t going to bow down to the Heat. Just ask Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. Yes, Miami has the potential to be a very good team next season. But the Magic and the Celtics are the last two Eastern Conference champions and they will give the Heat a run for their money, make no mistake about it.
There’s a great chance that Miami will finish the regular season with the best record in the East but as Orlando and Boston has proven the last two years, the only thing that matters is the playoffs. Nevertheless, it’s refreshing that head coach Doc Rivers embraces the challenge. Likewise with head coach Stan Van Gundy. That’s why they are two of the best coaches in the NBA for a reason.
Van Gundy and Rivers rise to the occasion when an obstacle is in front of them.
In this case, it’s the Heat.
The great thing about the 2010-2011 NBA regular season schedule is that fans are going to have the opportunity to see how the Celtics (sans Kendrick Perkins) and the Magic stack up against the SuperFriends in the opening week — in a span of three days.
That’s going to be exciting.