The images won't ever entirely fade.
When a team celebrates a championship on your floor, that team will always have special significance to your franchise, even if many of its major players have since moved on.
So it is for the Heat when it comes to the Mavericks, even if Miami did get some measure of revenge with a dominating performance in the 2011-12 season opener, and even if Mark Cuban has his own unpleasant memory: Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, Pat Riley and the Heat celebrating in Dallas back in 2006.
The teams meet again in Dallas on Thursday night in what couldn't be characterized as a contest between contenders, not with the Mavericks middling at 12-13 and likely still missing their star Dirk Nowitzki, who was just cleared for full-contact practice.
Dallas is certainly different than it was then, with only Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Rodrigue Beaubois remaining from the championship roster.
That's a consequence of Cuban ripping up the roster over the past two offseasons, letting several key players leave in the so-far-unfulfilled hope of landing another superstar or two to complement Nowitzki. Instead, O.J. Mayo has emerged as the leading scorer, with veterans Chris Kaman and Vince Carter playing reasonably well.
Miami, of course, is different too.
Simply, some of those differences are more subtle.
Quotes in this piece were collected over the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post. All statistics were current as of Wednesday afternoon.