Miami Heat: 5 Ways Heat Can Improve Their Image Heading into the Next NBA Season

Ronnie CollinsContributor IIINovember 2, 2011

Miami Heat: 5 Ways Heat Can Improve Their Image Heading into the Next NBA Season

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    Midway through last season it appeared the disdain for the Miami Heat road show had worn off, if ever so slightly. The progression was synonymous with the entertainment value of LeBron James filling the center lane, changing direction on a quarter, then setting up Dwyane Wade for the one-handed finish.

    It was certainly weird, however, when half of the crowd would boo No. 6 when he walked the ball into the forecourt, but then it seemed the same contingent would smile in agreement as he stuffed the stat sheets on a nightly basis. The control of emotion, I attest.

    Still, the Heat press staff cannot rest on its laurels with the uncertain downtime. Disdain sells productively, but the main personalities of the Heat would certainly prefer ovations to the once-familiar cascade of scoffs on any night.

    I have a few ideas.

Play Better with the Other Stars

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    Since Lil Wayne has replaced Snoop Dog as the major crossover rapper of the day, the Heat trio really has to start showing him some love.

    Shortly after Lil Weezy was released from prison in November of 2010, he did a cover story with Rolling Stone. In the article he expressed a little heat (no pun intended) with the Miami stars for showing him little in the form of love.

    Wait, before you go crazy on the author, just keep in mind that LeBron never fails to show affection for Jay Z when he is cuddled up next to his dancing queen of a spouse. The proof is solid as the water falling in the northwest.

    I know if seems like it's minuscule in the grand scheme, but Wayne did go platinum, again. Hip-hop still has a major influence on a large swath of NBA fans, especially those who purchase the mid-level tickets.

Get Some Help from the Media

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    My aim here is to make a safe assumption that NBA media types will be so excited that the league is back in action, if that happens, that their words will only scratch the surface this year, leaving the nerve endings in place.

    Maybe I was sitting in a class with few peers, but it seemed that most of the masses really wanted the Heat to fail, on the grandest of stages. Unfortunately those same masses included would-be objective wordsmiths who often found emotion flowing from their keyboards.

    Yes, I have been there before, just not last year. Vindication.

    As a public service announcement to those who draft words like these being consumed, next year is not the year to bash the Heat for an oddly-placed interview from the summer of 2010.

Bring Back the LeBrons

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    Does anyone know what happen to the LeBrons?

    Was that image building not a factor in the legacy James developed over seven years in a small-market city that knew nothing about real NBA success?

    Maybe the architects can update the characters, add a beach setting and discuss the glory years that used to be, without mentioning Cleveland or Toronto by name?

    If that does not work, how about adding a relatively quiet, similarly athletic version of Wade? He would be played by James, only left handed like Chris Bosh.

    The bigger point is the Heat can reel in the fair weather hand clappers closer to its key charismatic figures that never make the news for unexplainable crimes or reckless driving mishaps that include alcohol.

    Let us laugh together.

Remain Bullet Proof at All Times

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    The image to the left is of strength, resolve and confidence. The nay-sayers need to see this side of the Heat, exclusively.

    The toughness that made this group three of the best players on the planet needs to be on full display, even when the grass is sun-worn.

    While it’s natural, the stories of crying after tough losses do not bode well for the outward appearance. For some teams that would be a show of passion, an emotion fans could wrap their minds around. Not the case for the Heat.

    So, when Kevin Garnett is barking at Bosh on the low block, No. 1 cannot settle for the fade away left-hand push. He has to take the challenge, pump fake the cagey veteran, dunk on him, then offer his hand in victory like Shawn Kemp did Chris Gatlin back in the 90s. 

Win a Championship

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    After all of the gimmicks have been discussed over long tables and $4 coffee, the Heat can do its best salesmanship by winning the ultimate prize.

    Can you image the party route and fanfare for that trophy celebration?

    Regardless of the popularity generated from full arenas and rising jersey sales, nothing spells success more than hoisting a trophy for this collection of stars.

    As for James individually, his certain Hall of Fame inductee status is not in question. Still, he would much prefer to be remembered as more John Elway and less Dan Marino when he finally hangs up the Nikes. I know, as far as talent, there is little difference, but the historians have to have discrimination criteria.  

    Based on the abrasive media climate in the 21st century, the Heat can only win the cooler talk war with multiple rings and maybe a couple more Most Valuable Player awards spread evenly.

    As for the collective goal for the South Florida contingent, their fan base echoes the words of the late Al Davis, “Just win baby.”