There’s a reason for the Miami Heat to have a rivalry with many of the teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
The Knicks…. naturally, though that’s now going back more than two decades to any real relevancy.
The Pacers, because of all those times Paul George fell short in South Florida, after his stops at Tootsie’s.
The Magic? Well, everyone wanted this to be something, but it never was, since Orlando has had Mickey Mouse front offices for so long.
The Celtics? Yeah, f— Paul Pierce. Forever and always.
The Bulls? For a while, for sure. And the sight of Joakim Noah still makes you wretch, wherever he is stealing money these days.
And of course, the Cavaliers, because of that whole LeBron thing. Heat 2, Cavaliers 1.
But the 76ers?
How could anyone get worked up about the 76ers? They haven’t won a championship since 1983, five years before the Heat were born. They have faced the Heat in just two playoff series, one win apiece. They spent half a decade bottoming out, telling you to Trust the Process, and while they came out of it with Joel “Out-Due to Something” Embiid and Ben “Scared to Shoot” Simmons, they also botched a number of picks, from Okafor to Noel to Fultz. Oh, and Dion Waiters is from Philadelphia, and but it’s not clear whether Heat fans are reclaiming him again yet.
Now, though, the Heat and 76ers have made a trade for the first time since Miami sent Arnett Moultrie (who?) there. Jimmy Butler is with the Heat, or will be, once he stops partying in Amsterdam. Josh Richardson is with the 76ers, and he suddenly went from an entirely overlooked player to the greatest 3-and-D guy who has ever lived according to the anti-Miami national media.
And even though many believe Richardson will fit well, and even though Butler wasn’t in Philadelphia very long, 76ers fans just can’t get over Butler wanting out of their fair little city, and choosing no state tax, beaches and a winning organization instead.
Evidence: this cute little Players Tribune parody.
The title is Why I’m Retiring to Florida.
Here’s a clever excerpt:
A big reason all my teammates love me is my drive to win. Winning is literally the only thing I care about, so leaving a championship contender in Philly was tough. But the lifestyle that comes with being rich, famous, and retired in South Beach was just too good to pass up.
I couldn’t be more excited to begin my four-year retirement tour with the Miami Heat. Just look at how they treated Dwyane Wade last season! Although it was close, the Heat had more Wade nights than the Sixers did Iverson nights, and that ended up playing a big part in my decision. I fully expect a Wade level send off from these Miami fans, and I think Adam Silver might even give me an honorary spot in the next few All-Star games.
This is, um, confusing.
The 76ers have achieved the lofty heights of the second round of late.
Give them that.
But there’s a small issue with mocking Butler for leaving a winning situation for a non-winning one.
Basically, it’s bullshit.
I’ll leave you with this, the same way Allen Iverson left Ty Lue.