Atlanta is a beautiful city, with lots of things to see and do. It has a beautiful nightlife as well, as most NBA players said it’s their favorite city to visit.
But, for at least the next two weeks, it’s off limits to the Miami Heat.
In a move you would expect coaches to make, captains Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem have instituted a “no-go-out” policy: as long as the Heat are in the playoffs, they’ll refrain from late nights and carousing, or face a fine.
It’s not a strict policy, where they will be confined to their rooms. Players can go out to dinner with their families and relax in their own way, just not into the wee hours of the morning.
The policy doesn’t stem from any incidents; it’s just a message to the Miami locker room that they’re there for business, not pleasure.
Wade and Haslem saw what Miami does to players who stay there, and Haslem, who spent a summer in Atlanta, knows that it’s the same way.
Both players are the last remnants of the 2006 championship-winning team and are among the hardest workers on the team, so the other players know what they say goes.
They don’t seem to mind, though.
I think that this is a pretty good policy for the Heat. The playoffs are crunch time, and you’re in Atlanta to do one thing: take another step toward a championship.
You need to be at 100 percent at all times, and you certainly can’t do that if you’re at the club until 3 a.m.
On top of that, a lot of bad things happen when athletes and Atlanta mix. Remember Ray Lewis’ incident in 2000? The Jamal Lewis incident of 2004? It’s sad but it’s true: other teams should take the example of Haslem and Wade and impose the same policy.
Teams who visit Hotlanta may be better off for it.