MIAMI — With Sunday’s victory over the Pacers, the Heat has now won 13 consecutive postseason games against Eastern Conference opponents, which is the longest streak in Miami playoff history.
Not only that, but the Heat has also sold out a franchise record 59 consecutive games dating back to May 5, 1999.
As the player introduction video rolled with a season’s worth of SportsCenter highlights, the cheers reached even higher decibel levels.
Appropriately enough, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Gotta Have It” blared in the background:
“Ain’t that where the Heat play?/Ain’t that like LeBron James? (Ain’t that just like D-Wade)?”
But the love for the Heat doesn’t stop at AmericanAirlines Arena. During a timeout, HEATV aired a video in which fans from all over the county — from the Seaquarium to Dolphin Mall — showed off their White Hot fever.
In another segment, fans from all over the world posed for photos with a sign that showed their support for the Heat.
This global appeal will only continue for the organization, which began in 1988, thanks to the Summer 2010 decisions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join Dwyane Wade in South Florida.
Aside from the sponsorships in Asia and stateside, tourists visiting Miami decide to watch a game because it’s a destination in itself. And the Big Three is universally recognizable.
Minutes before the Eastern Conference semifinals got underway, James had the crowd on its feet, celebrating the presentation of his MVP award.
After posing for photos with commissioner David Stern at midcourt, James took the microphone to address the fans dressed in white and wearing the day’s giveaway: Nike James MVP headbands.
“Your electricity and your enthusiasm and support is a big reason why I can stand up here today and accept this award,” James said. “This is not just my award, it’s my teammates’ and it’s you guys’ award also. Let’s keep the excitement and the electricity for this round. Gracias, Miami.”