In general I like to think ill of good teams and good of bad ones. It's proof that growing up in Chicago affected my sportsmanship more than going to high school in Texas.
One exception to that rule is this year's edition of the Miami Heat. At 4-14, I'm ready to dismiss them from then discussion of relevant NBA teams. Yes, they are only eighteen months removed from a championship parade, but more relevantly they are an old team six months removed from being swept out of the playoffs in the first round. The track record of old teams in decline can't be pretty (I'm not going to do that research now, though).
Those thoughts came to mind last night when I chose not to watch the Heat-Blazer game. My mind is already made up on both teams. The Blazers are a very good young team that would be well served by a brief relocation to Portland Maine this spring in order to qualify in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket.
Instead of wondering who the Heat will take with their lottery pick, I began to wonder if it was worth it. In 2003-04, the Heat were an exciting up-and-coming young team. Then that youth (except Dwayne Wade) was gutted in exchange for Shaq, Antoine Walker and Jason Williams. A title ensued. Without the deals there wouldn't be a banner hanging from the rafters of American Airlines Arena. However, without the deals, the Heat would enter this season with a nucleus of Wade, Caron Butler and Lamar Odom. Put a halfway decent supporting cast around those three and you have a championship contender whose five year window is opening rather than an old team whose shorter window of contention just slammed shut.
As a team exec, I'd take the banner. As a fan, I'm less sure.
What would you choose.