The NBA season is ready to begin tonight as teams across the league are set to embark on an 82-game journey. The contracts are signed, the rosters are set and players are eager to get on the hardwood.
However, before that orange Spalding sphere can be tossed into the air and fought over by the outstretched fingers of awkward giants, the Miami Heat must receive their championship rings.
It must be an exciting moment, to receive those big, shiny rings in front of thousands of people. I have no idea how that feels, but it looks like fun and those rings are distracting.
For Miami, this is a night that can have no distractions. Nothing can impede the focus of the defending champs as the Chicago Bulls enter the American Airlines Arena.
The Bulls are healthy and hungry for vengeance; after all, the two teams have had quite a history over the last few years.
There is nothing more the Bulls would like than to beat the Heat, especially with the return of Derrick Rose.
This is not the first time Chicago has witnessed a ring ceremony in South Beach. Miami handed out their 2006 championship rings with the Bulls in attendance. The ring celebration was the only highlight of the night for the Heat as their Windy City rivals took out their frustrations. Miami was used to mop the floor in a 108-66 loss that destroyed the mood of the evening.
So, why would tonight be any different?
This isn’t Miami’s first rodeo. Championship celebrations and ring ceremonies are becoming the norm for this franchise and its players. The majority of the players have experienced at least one championship.
Also, Erik Spoelstra and team leaders have made an effort to set all focus on this season and the three-peat. Last year is now an object of the past and a distant memory.
There is a strong sense of maturity and focus surrounding the Heat. That atmosphere must continue throughout the season, and it all starts tonight. I expect Miami to come out firing on all cylinders. They will need to play strong as Chicago is out for blood.
There will be no disappointment tonight as Miami will get some new bling and start the new season with a victory.