As it turns out, the Miami Heat celebrating their NBA Championship—and Eastern Conference Finals victory over the Boston Celtics—right in front of the C's isn't going to soften an already heated rivalry.
Over the last few years, the Heat and Celtics' simultaneous, Big-Three aided rise to the top of the East has been accompanied by plenty of matchups that have made it clear that both squads simply hate each other.
Last season, the hatred hit an all-time high.
After the Celtics won three of the four regular season matchups with relative ease, the Heat got their revenge in the Eastern Conference Finals.
It wasn't easy, of course, as two of the games went to overtime and Miami needed to win Game 6 on the road and Game 7 back home to advance. But after an epic back-and-forth series that both teams felt they should have won, the Heat advanced in dramatic, heart-breaking—for the C's—fashion.
That hard-fought battle marked the third straight year these two teams have met in the playoffs, with the Heat eliminating the Celtics in the last two.
It wouldn't stop there, however. In the offseason, Ray Allen, one-third of Boston's original Big Three, departed for South Beach via free agency.
gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) September 28, 2012
But when the Heat and Celtics get ready to kick off the season on Tuesday night, there's one more event that should kick the rivalry into the next gear:
The Heat will receive their championship rings before the game starts.
Is Boston-Miami the biggest rivalry in the NBA right now?
Now, the Celtics will stay in the locker room while this is happening (via ESPN's Rachel Nichols), but you can rest assured that Kevin Garnett will be giving one his patented this-would-even-fire-up-a-sloth speeches as the celebration outside amps up and Allen is nowhere to be seen.
Miami-Boston is already a must-see matchup that involves two extremely physical teams, but add in the fact that one of the biggest stars has swapped teams and the Heat will be rubbing in their new jewelry before tip-off, and we could have a bloodbath on our hands to start the NBA season.
And no matter how it ends up, as long as it doesn't end up in the stands a la Detroit-Indiana, it's exactly what the NBA needs.