The Miami Heat are the prized possession of the NBA. The media hype and advertising dollars that surround the South Beach franchise are tremendous. With the combination of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, Miami is now the mecca of basketball.
So much hype and attention also puts the defending champions under a powerful microscope. Players must be on their best behavior, provide carefully constructed responses for the media and conduct themselves with great pride. The best situation for the Heat is to avoid as much publicity, especially bad publicity, as they can.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has not been one to avoid publicity, good or bad. The boxing great spoke with Miami today in a speech that remained between the basketball powerhouse and the champion fighter.
It is indisputable that Mayweather Jr. knows one or two things about winning. He has won numerous titles and accolades as well as holding an undefeated record, but his out-of-the-ring reputation is not as glorious as his boxing career.
The “poster child” of boxing has been involved with several legal cases over the years, and the crimes have been rather concerning.
On a few occasions, Mayweather Jr. has been accused of domestic violence charges. The latest incident was in 2011, when he pleaded guilty to a reduced domestic violence charge and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Mayweather has also been known for an arrogant and flashy lifestyle that demonstrates that his maturity is way behind his skill level.
Having said all that, Miami should tread carefully on his words. The NBA is a global brand and is viewed by men, women and children. The players are viewed as role models and heroes. Even grown men dream of stepping onto the court or hitting a game winning shot.
With such pressure and expectations, every individual must take their role seriously and maintain a sense of professionalism. It is an odd world we live in, but in this odd world the professional athletes and movie stars are considered the heroes.
I concur that Mayweather Jr. is a strong and talented boxer, but he is not a role model or a hero. The Heat should take his words with a grain of salt and continue to be a mature and professional basketball squad. If they keep their heads down and stay modest, the three-peat is theirs to lose.