Eddie Maisonet is the Editor-In-Chief of The Sportsfan Journal and contributor to SLAM Magazine, Complex’s Sneaker Report and NBC’s The Grio. He loves women who wear big hoop earrings. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook keep up with more of his shenanigans and tomfoolery.

When I was a youngster watching a big game, I always wanted to make sure that I was in front of the television when the starting lineups were announced. To me, watching the introductions of the two teams preparing to do battle was almost more important than the game itself. This was my life as a young, misguided sports fan adolescent.

Seeing one team get savagely booed to no end while remaining stoic and focused, with the announcer stating each player’s name and school affiliation in a monotone-like fashion, was awesome. What was similarly awesome was seeing the lights go down, hearing the home crowd go crazy and then hearing the announcer amp up and introduce the home team’s starting five like his life depended on it. The home team would be similarly cool and collected, knowing that there was business to tend to but also embracing the emotion from the crowd as well.

No one did it better than the Chicago Bulls, and 20 years ago versus the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals serves as a simple but powerful example of how a proper introduction of the starting lineups still gets the goosebumps popping.

First, the Suns are announced. Charles Barkley leads off, and he immediately sets the tone by acting like he’s going to shake the hand of Benny the Bull, then open-hand smacks him in the snout. The man is not to be trifled with, Benny. Leave him be. The rest of the Suns fall into place, dap each other up and break the huddle. Let’s go open up a can on Chicago.

Then the lights are cut off, with only the jumbotron lit up and a spotlight capturing the fans going crazy. Another spotlight illuminates the Bulls logo at halfcourt. The Alan Parsons Project’s most famous song, “Sirius,” is queued, and the setting is set. Then Ray Clay does the rest. Horace’s goggles. Scottie’s wispy mustache. Bill Cartwright being Bill Cartwright. BJ looking shorter than usual. MJ’s high fives and hand claps for everybody. In less than 90 seconds, magic is made and basketball is ready to be played.

Every team has its own spin on introductions. “Detroit Basketball” is a thing in Detroit. Big Tigger does work in DC. “I Love LA” is awesome in Los Angeles. The MSG intros are always good.

However, what the Miami Heat rolled out during the 2013 NBA Finals made me want to attend Walder Frey’s Red Wedding — just slit my throat already.

There’s so much wrong (and a little right) with this. Let me just make a list:

  1. God bless the San Antonio Spurs. They held up their end of the bargain.
  2. The “Seven Nation Army” song? Really? Yes, the song is catchy so that anyone with a vested interest will start doing that “OOOOH OH OH OH OH OHHHH OHHHHHHH” thing. But really, why go to this when you already had AN AWESOME introduction song by using C-Murder’s greatest song of all-time for your intros in 2011? So much better, but I digress.
  3. OK, the Ray Allen and Norris Cole high-stepping thing is awesome. More of that, please.
  4. So, during the starting lineups, Erik Spoelstra decides to huddle the troops and diagram plays? Was he drawing up the Annexation of Puerto Rico or something? Why are you doing this now? I’m so confused.
  5. When the players break the huddle, instead of forming the usual alley for players to run through when their name is called, they’re all just standing there. There’s no daps, there’s no chest bumps, just LeBron staring off into the abyss. Udonis stretching. Chris Bosh adjusting his armband. At least Mario Chalmers went and dapped up some folks, albeit they were Juwan Howard and The Assistants. (Yes, this should be a band.) Then there’s Dwyane Wade who’s just sitting there for reasons unknown. Maybe he was resting his knee. Who knows.

That entire thing took nearly three minutes. By that time I imagine fans either went to the restroom to relieve themselves of the multiple mojitos they consumed earlier, other fans were shocked that they made it to the game on time for a change and the players probably needed to warm up again to break a sweat.

Seriously Pat Riley Miami, just bring back C-Murder. Keep it under 90 seconds, and let everyone turn up for LeBron, D-Wade and the MIIIIIIIIIIIIAMI HEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT again.

Comments (36)

  1. Shut your bitter vagina. Stop trying to find any reason to hate on the Heat. It’s really, REALLY pathetic.

  2. I’m probably the only person who figured this one out, but here’s the funny thing about the Heat using 7 nation army for introduction in the Finals….

    The SPURS roster is actually a seven nation army:
    USA – Blair, Bonner, Leonard, Green, McGrady, Neal
    Virgin Islands – Duncan
    Australia – Mills
    Brazil – Splitter
    Argentina – Ginobili
    Canada – Joseph
    France – Parker, Diaw

    How messed up is that!!!

  3. I always found the Heat PA guy the most annoying in the league by far!
    People hate Miami for LeBron? Great player, don’t get it…the PA and their lousy fanbase are good enough reasons

  4. Again, more irrational Miami hate. Why don’t you find out what your own problems are. Why you hate Miami. Do you hate where you live? Do you hate your job, etc. and just want to take it out on an easy target?
    Fuck off.

  5. I live in Miami and go to a ton of Heat games and was super disappointed that the Heat decided to go with Seven Nation Army for this year’s season/playoffs. The C-Murder intro was a staple for a while, and it sucks that they changed it.

    That being said, they are the Miami Heat. They stopped doing anything special for intros during a Golden State game because they wanted to show solidarity to each other and that it wasn’t about the individual (even during announcements) but that it was about the team.

    Let’s be real, if the Heat did anything over the top, they would get killed for it. And there’s a slight chance Trey would be writing an article on how the Bulls did their intro the best, and the Heat have turned it into some elaborate production that is over the top and ridiculous.

    And no one likes our PA guy… Not even us :/

  6. calm down people this isn’t hating on Miami this is hating on their horrible pregame intros. the heat pretty much have a choreographed dance and the PA guy is horrible. seriously watch the classic bulls intro and tell me its not way better

  7. btw….7 nation army? the heat are like 7 years late!
    it was big at the football wc in ’06.

  8. Team has been doing this for months as a sign for the team, as one group. But yeah, pick up on it now like it’s news.

  9. Reminds me of how the Raps had that fun “Vertigo” entrance when they won the Atlantic, and then switched to some craptastic song for the playoffs.

    But, yeah, these things matter. I’ll always remember the Spurs showing a bit of personality in the 99 finals by actually beginning the intro with “Sirius” before cutting to whatever song they used at the time. Who’d know that that was the last amusing thing they’d do in the next 15 years….

    • I am a reasonable person, and I find raining threes and tearing apart the defending champ by 30+ in the first Finals game at home (and first there in three weeks) while the crowd goes postal for two straight hours…really really amusing.

  10. I’ll admit that I had a similar disappointment when I first saw their non-intro, but now I think it’s kind of genius. As illustrated by your example, teams having been doing the same “lights go down, teammates form an orderly line, hey look, we saved our superstar for last!” intro for over 20 years now. The reason why is that these intros obviously look badass, no matter how soul-crushing the roster (I’m sure a fan could even get pumped for the 02-03 Nuggets with “Sirius” & a spotlight.) So for the Heat to eschew this tradition and act as disinterested as humanly possible is, in the most/least pretentious way, avant-garde.

    Sure, I’d love to see us drop some Trick Daddy, JT Money or Miami Sound Machine while Juwan daps everyone up. But respect is due.

    Pirandello would be proud.

  11. Nice GoT spoiler Trey! ;)

  12. I have to say that I do like the Heat intro song and the skipping with Ray Allen and Norris Cole, but the rest is too arrogant for me. Detroit Basketball has the best because of John Mason, PA Announcer. He is up there with Chick Hearn.

  13. If the Miami Heat players shit in their own hands, then threw it in the crowd during the introductions & someone had the audacity to criticize it, that would be lumped in with “unfair hate” as well. If something’s bad, it’s bad. If’s it’s NBA-related & comically bad, you should expect to find it here.

  14. The Heat’s 2006 playoff intros were the best I can remember, especially in the Finals. The entrances by the huge trophy replicas and T.I.’s Bring Em Out were perfect.

    I’m obviously in the minority, but I love the Heat PA guy. It’s unique to Miami, and I prefer his style so much more than ones like the Lakers, who sounds like he’s reading classified ads. He has fun with it.

  15. I’m one of the few folks that was excited about LeBron teaming up with Bosh and Wade. I liked the idea of “The Decision” and the over-the-top introduction in Miami a few days later. I thought the Heat were about to combine my two favorite things in entertainment: great basketball and the histrionics of pro wrestling. Unfortunately, the least deserving fan base got the rights to one of the most iconic teams in basketball history and the players (except for Birdman) aren’t really committed to their character. I’m just as disappointed with their intros as Trey.

  16. Seven nation army is great, BUT C’MON, Simpsons DID IT!!!! like a thousand times, in Milwaukee the fans, in every soccer game everywhere, during the Olympics, etc.

    The voice and the intonation of the PA announcer is extremely lame.

    +: Richard Dumas comes out like he really does not want to play. Maybe because of Jordan…
    And Lionel Hollins sighting.

  17. I remember being a kid during the Bulls/Suns finals and I remember the intros being one of my favorite things about it. It was that whole WWF/WWE type of presentation thing, made it fun for kids who didn’t know too much about X’s and O’s to enjoy the game. Shame today’s kids don’t get that same presentation..

  18. i think a lot of it has to do with the lame audience in miami. There just wasn’t much energy.
    In the bulls intro you had the crowd pumped and of course MJ walking past his teammates is just goosebump worthy in itself!!!

    Agreed on 7 nation army though. That song is pretty much played out.

  19. TK, based on the number of irrationally angry comments (i.e., 2), it seems as if you have upset the entirety of the Heat’s fanbase!

  20. i’m hurt that my (new) favorite team is made fun off!

  21. The woman 2nd from the right may be the most stunning woman I have seen in awhile……

  22. They lose all the intensity and general awesomeness of the moment by taking an extra minute too long to actually get there. 1:30 is perfect, and just about exactly what the legendary Bulls intros were. No crap, no cheesy video, just get the lettuce and make a hamburger, instead of putting ketchup between every layer (which is awesome in real life, but no good for NBA intros).

  23. You city invents a genre of music. You then use one of the coolest songs from said genre to amp your basketball games. Cool.

    Then you ruin it all.

    C- Murder is in jail for murder though no? I understand the change in that sense – setting a good example and all that, but why not just choose another gem from the genre, like this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHGDP0Gvs3Q

  24. After watching the Bulls intro clip (still awesome) and the Miami mess I came to one conclusion.

    That Bulls squad would sweep the current Miami team. Jordan and Pippen looked ready for war.

  25. The Bulls intro was awesome and had great intro music, but I think the Heat’s intro is a bit better. How can you not get excited when you have LeBron James, D. Wade, Bosh, and “THE BIRDMAN”!!!!!!

  26. Well, I think the fans will be rowdy for game 7 which should make that intro for the Miami Heat quite exciting to watch.

  27. Would it kill the guy to say the position, height, and what school they are from?

    Or would that just confuse the Miami “fans”

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