Wade County Region
Dwyane Wade (1) vs. Udonis Haslem (4)
Haslem is no easy matchup for Wade, with the whole having been in the league for over a decade despite lacking any discernable talent thing. UD is a straight thug, forming one half of the Heat’s obnoxious goon tandem with white Birdman. (If Haslem and Birdman starred in a buddy cop movie, would you watch it? I would. But I digress.) Still, Wade has to advance here. Long before Lebron’s arrival in South Beach, Flash (nice nickname you dildo) was known for getting every call (see: 2006 NBA Finals) and whining when he didn’t. Most telling about Wade’s hateability? In the 2011 Eastern Semis, a Wade cheap shot injured world-renowned little bitch Rajon Rondo—and everyone sided with Rondo. Boom.
The Fans (2) vs. Erik Spoelstra (3)
A very tight second round matchup, complicated by Spoelstra doing that thing where he thinks he has any impact on his team’s performance. Dude could be the water boy and I would bet Lebron would still be doing his thing. There is something remarkable about the empty suit on the Heat sidelines though: his smoking hot wife, a former Heat dancer 18 years his junior. Walking into work in 2006 and scoping out a then 18 year old team dancer? That’s…hold on, I don’t think I have the word yet…I respect that, as much as it pains me to say. Sigh. This sliver of apparent respect I have for Spoelstra probably means I need a stronger drink, but it also means the Heat fans—not respectable in the slightest—advance to the semis.
Lebron’s Mom Region
Lebron James (1) vs. Shane Battier (4)
You can tell that Battier really wants this one. He wants to be the bad guy. All those thoughtful and insightful interviews, his reputation as the cerebral player and team mentor, the fact that he almost definitely reads books. Fuck you dude, I haven’t read a book in three years! But Lebron’s public image is second to none in hateability; for every douchey Battier quote, we get five Lebron gems of insipid paranoia like this quote that I couldn’t make up if I tried: “You could be watching cartoons with your kids and you don’t like it, you say, ‘Blame it on LeBron.’ If you go to the grocery store and they don’t have the milk that you like, you just say, ‘It’s LeBron’s fault.’” Riddle me this Queen James: you’re the best basketball player in the world (sigh), so under what circumstances would you EVER say things like this unless you want me to hate your guts? Jordan would NEVER say stupid shit like this, and that’s the only argument I need Sean. Lebron moves on.
Birdman (3) vs. Mike Miller (7)
I give Miller plenty of credit for pulling the first round upset on the Boshtrich. His uncanny ability to drain a high volume of his three’s despite playing through rigor mortis is hateful, and I would not be excessively sad if lightning struck his mobile home. Let’s be honest with ourselves though, Birdman is a powerhouse of hatefulness. Beyond his physical appearance—my disdain for his tattoos and Mohawk could fill this space until Tuesday—dude is the quintessential dirty Heat bench player. Nothing was worse than watching him lose the ability to miss shots in the Pacers series, and I couldn’t have been the only one just praying that asshole would miss a layup. Evil White Birdman is onto the semis.
Wade County Region
Dwyane Wade (1) vs. The Fans (2)
Friends, follow me into a deep, dark place in my past to a time when I—gasp—didn’t hate Dwyane Wade. Before Lebron rolled into town, Wade was a very good player carrying the Heat. Yeah, he got all the calls and yeah, he could at times be a whiny bitch, but without Lebron, Wade’s identity was primarily that he was simply a good player. The Fans, on the other hand, are monsters. They show up late to playoff basketball games when I don’t even have the nerve to show up late for my summer internship. They text through crunch time from the second row seats. They wear all white like the complete assholes they are. Heat fans are a mercilessly hateable group of people who make any real basketball fans cringe, and for that, it’s The Fans who advance to the finals.
Lebron’s Mom Region
Lebron James (1) vs. Birdman (3)
A grudge match of pure hatred that can only be broken down with statistics. (Yeah, I know statistics, fight me.) Like his shooting percentage and like he was during much of his time in Denver, Birdman’s hate percentage is stupid high. That is, given that I see Birdman in the game, hear about him being discussed on SportsCenter, or run into him during one of my weekly meth runs, I will invariably hate him. But one of the ways that God makes a case for existing is by ensuring that we don’t see too much of the Birdman—he doesn’t play that much, is discussed only in passing by the media, and I don’t do meth. Lebron actually has a lower hate percentage than Birdman, but his existence beats us to death. The last time Lebron went a full 24 hours without being mentioned on ESPN was 2005, and when it comes to hatred, I’m a volume guy. Also, The Decision.
Lebron James vs. The Fans
This is it folks. The heavyhate title bout. Basketball’s biggest villain vs. a mass of douchebags who collectively would rather go to Ultra than a playoff game. Asking me to hate one of these entities more than the other is a tall order, but because this is my bracket and I can do whatever I want I’ll make it easy—if a bit painful. See, I hate Lebron James with every fiber of my body and I’m not really sure why. I’m not from Cleveland, Lebron hasn’t really done anything to me, and in a league full of thugs, Lebron doesn’t actually seem like a bad human being. More importantly, if I didn’t hate Lebron, I would objectively view him as a great basketball player, the best since MJ, and a joy to watch because of how damn good he is. And as much as I’d rather drag my unprotected testicles through a mile-long patch of steaming coals that write this, Lebron James is an awesome basketball player and basketball is better because of him.
Heat fans suck. Maybe I’m jealous, and rightfully so. Lebron’s Heat team is the best NBA team in at least a decade, and Heat fans will never truly appreciate what they’re watching. Lebron is a super douche, but facing an army of douches clad in all white just waiting for the game to end so they can hit LIV is too steep a challenge even for LBJ. (Yeah, LIV is a nightclub in Miami. Do you know what kind of an asshole you have to be to go to Miami nightclubs?)
So there you have it guys. Everything that’s wrong with the Miami Heat can be traced back to their abysmal fans. In a perfect world, their white clothing would be shit-stained and Flo Rida would be deported, but for now, we normal Americans have nothing to do but root for the Spurs.