Miami Heat fans did the impossible Tuesday night: They made Dodgers fans look like die-hards.
With the Heat trailing the Spurs by five points with 28.2 seconds to go, fans began streaming out of American Airlines arena en masse. The exodus was premature, of course, as a LeBron James 3-pointer, a missed free throw by San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and a Ray Allen three sent the game to overtime, where Miami pulled away for the 103-100 win to force Thursday’s Game 7.
“It’s by far the best game I’ve ever been a part of,” James said afterwards.
Too bad hundreds of fans weren’t there to see it.
Heat fans leave American Airlines Arena en masse Tuesday night, missing the Heat’s overtime win over the Spurs to force a Game 7 in the NBA Finals on Thursday.
Videos of fans scrambling to get back into the arena — and security personnel denying their re-entry — were all over the Internet Wednesday. The images did little to dispel the reputation of Miami being the bandwagon-jumping capital of the NBA.
Miami’s NBC affiliate, WTVJ, captured fans leaving the arena and one looked into the camera and said, “It wasn’t our year. It’s OK. They tried.”
Victor Oquendo, a reporter for Miami’s WPLG, called the display “embarrassing” in a rant against the fair-weather fans on Twitter.
Chris Bosh blocks Danny Green’s last-second 3-pointer to seal the Miami win.
“Now I’m watching horrible, drunk, quitting fans desperately trying to get back in. This is madness,” he tweeted. “None of them deserve to be let in. They are pounding the glass doors.”
Heat forward Chris Bosh took it a step further on Wednesday, saying that fans who skipped out early shouldn’t come back for Game 7.
“For all those guys who left, don’t come back for Game 7,” Bosh told reporters. “You can’t get let back in after you leave. I know that. Hell, I’ve been to games. You can’t leave a game and come back. It doesn’t make any sense; you left. It’s not punishment, that’s protocol.”
But Bosh wasn’t done scolding the fans.
“You never give up,” he said. “People gave up on us, and they can stay where they are and watch the game at home.”
Which they’ll do, unless there’s a new episode of Real Housewives on TV.