It’s hard to top the built-in drama of a basketball game, or any sporting event, that is tied with just seconds remaining. Even if you don’t care about the teams, it’s difficult to resist the sudden urge to care deeply because someone is about to win, someone is about to lose, and waves of emotions are about to explode. Or, you know, it could go to overtime. But for the sake of my blog, let’s ignore that possibility for now.
The Miami Heat are currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, just a touch over .500. Every team needs to win, but the Heat really need to win if they want to avoid the play-in. On Sunday, they were facing the Brooklyn Nets, who also are in the Eastern Conference but, unlike the Heat, sit near the top of the standings. About four minutes in, Kevin Durant left with a thigh injury, but even before that it was slated to be an odd game. The Heat were playing without their star, Jimmy Butler, due to a sprained ankle, and the Nets had expected to be without James Harden due to a hamstring injury. But all that, really, is prelude to this moment when the game was tied, a mere 7.3 seconds were left, and Heat big man Bam Adebayo had the ball. He took a few dribbles toward the basket, realized the defender had given him just enough space, and shot an arching rainbow toward the basket.
It’s a gorgeous shot, and the explosion of emotions you expect. But perhaps the most fun in this clip is being had by announcer Mark Jones who shouts into the microphone, “Dade County, how do you like Bam, man!” I love this because it’s a reminder that for all the billionaires, plots for global conquering through merchandizing, and brand management concealed as “league news,” there is something wonderfully hometown and local about your favorite sports team. This is the Miami Heat of Dade County. Technically, it’s Miami-Dade County, but you only say that if you aren’t from there and I know that because I’m from one county north, Broward. In terms of South Florida geography, Dade residents will say this makes me from another country but this still makes the Heat my hometown team. It makes Bam Adebayo a player I know by first name only. And it makes this one hell of a moment, and a beautiful piece of audio.