Micky Arison has watched his Miami Heat advance to the NBA Finals several times in recent memory. None, he says, was like watching this year’s team take a roller coaster ride through the Eastern Conference. Many thought the Heat were done when down 2-1 to Indiana, and many thought they were doomed again down 3-2 to Boston.
Instead, the Heat will open the Finals tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder after mounting impressive turnarounds. Arison is expecting another dramatic series between two great teams. I’ve got the Heat coming through again. How about you?
Miami heat owner Micky Arison joined 790 The Ticket in Miami with The Dan LeBatard Show to discuss the lowest of lows in this playoff run, how his team is covered by the media, if it hurts more because folks can tweet at him, his $500,000 Twitter fine during the lockout, if he’s ever thought his team would lose a series, LeBron’s performance in Game 6 and comparing this playoff run to those in the past.
Before we talk about the highs, what was the lowest of lows during this run in the playoffs?:
“When we were down 1-2 to Indiana and 2-3 to Boston were both pretty depressing moments, but we came through.”
How do you feel about how your team is covered in those moments in the media?:
“I actually stopped watching because after watching for a few minutes, especially after the Game 5 loss here, watching the post-game ESPN coverage, even my close friend Magic I had to turn off. It was just ridiculous. Thank God for guys like Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Van Gundy who put some perspective into what’s going on.”
Does it hurt you? Because you’re on Twitter where people have access to you:
“Yeah, but what happens is I get like 400 of them simultaneously and it’s impossible to read, so I just let it go. … If you read that stuff and take it seriously, and most of it they say anonymously and some of it they say with great profanity, I can easily see how that could get you upset and make you say something stupid. … Twitter is a dangerous thing, and as I found out can be expensive.”
You got fined $500,000 for tweeting during the lockout to a fan complaining about greedy owners that they were barking at the wrong owner. Did you know instantaneously that you were in trouble?:
“What honestly happened, about five minutes later my cell phone rings and it’s my son Nick and he said, ‘Have you lost your mind?’ He has my passwords and he deleted [the tweets]. The problem was that about 20 people retweeted them, including some of my favorite local beat writers.”
Do you regret sending that tweet?:
When your team is on the brink as it has been, do you ever sit there and think that you’re going to lose?:
“Until the final buzzer sounds, there’s always hope. We’re a team that makes some great runs. You really don’t believe you’re going to lose until you lose, but you also don’t believe you’re going to win until you win. I don’t know if I’ve told you guys this story, but Game 6 in Dallas in ’06, Dwyane misses those two free throws and two of our guys wind up tying up the ball and get called for travelling and Jason Terry puts up the 3 and Dwyane throws the ball up in the air. I turned to my son and said, ‘What is he doing?’ He said, ‘We won.’”
Is there anyone in Boston that you, as a fan, find happiness in the fact that they lost?:
“You don’t want me to name names, do you? The answer is yes.” Is there more than one?: “The answer to that is yes.” Is one a point guard?: “No. … I think Rondo and KG were just amazing and they had just great series and are incredible players and KG’s had just an amazing career. There’s some guys I like on that team. … I wasn’t thinking of players. I was thinking of other people.”
Can you take us through Game 6 from your perspective?:
“I watched at home and I was astonished by LeBron’s performance. His eyes, there was something about his eyes that was just special, and his focus. It’s interesting, I didn’t go to Game 6 in Indiana and I didn’t go to Game 6 in Boston. If you would have experienced what I had experienced to go up there for two games in both places for two games and some of the stuff we had to put up with some of the fans, you’d understand why I didn’t go to Game 6 and why I put a tweet out asking our fans to be classy.”
Was the run through the Eastern Conference this year more gratifying than last year?:
“It was much more of a roller-coaster ride. Last year we won each series in five and with the exception in ’06 of that tough Chicago series, it was a pretty easy run to the Finals. This was just excruciating, feeling great one day and feeling terrible the next. A roller-coaster ride is the best way I can describe it. And my guess is the Finals is going to be very similar because it’s just two great basketball team.”