The Miami Heat endured a slow start this year amid overwhelming pressure and intense scrutiny from fans and the media alike. But they quickly righted the ship and embarked on a remarkable stretch of games, winning 21 out of 22, and shooting to their expected place at the top of the NBA power rankings.
A funny thing happened during that time, though, that was perhaps to be expected, but interesting nonetheless. They became one of the most hated, resented teams in the league.
Now, they've fallen on a bit of hard times again, losing their last four games in a row, including at home last night to the Atlanta Hawks. Maybe a bit of adversity will make them more lovable in the public's eyes.
Or maybe they should just get used to being the villains. Here are 15 reasons why.