I have never been to a basketball game in Miami, but I've heard from all kinds of people that it's not a serious basketball town. David Thorpe insists the mood in that building was insane when the Heat went on their title run four years ago, and I have heard some tales of the battles in the grassroots Miami hoops scene (Udonis Haslem!). However, I have also seen Dwyane Wade play to a fairly empty house. I have seen people in the stands in the gear of the Knicks, Lakers or Cavaliers. I have heard that it's a place where people are more into partying with players than appreciating the finer nuances of the sport.
I have heard, to put it frankly, that it's football country.
Now, however, everyone's best guess is that Miami is set to become the center of the basketball universe, more or less, for a half-decade or more. (Not to mention, Dwight Howard and the mighty Orlando Magic are not far away ... that's a lot of big-name basketball players in one state with a strong football connection.)
Which makes me wonder: Is Miami a basketball city? When people say those aren't real basketball fans, are they just being judgmental outsiders? Or is this a place that really hasn't been that into basketball and will be starting a new tradition? What makes a city hoops-friendly, anyway? Banners in the rafters? Knowledgeable fans? Grassroots basketball scene?
The floor is yours. Get talking.
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