As a Heat fan, I have heard all of the criticism. I’m a bandwagon, title winning, no-loyalty son of a gun. Call it what you see it but this is Heat-nation. In the NBA, there are teams and there are juggernauts. Miami Heat is without any question the latter. It is a team that has constantly proved itself time and time again. It is a team that plays hard, but works even harder. And lastly, as we say in Miami, it is a team that is the hardest working, best conditioned, most profession, most unselfish, toughest, meanest, most disliked team in the NBA and guess what, we wouldn’t have it any other way. This is Heat-nation.

To begin, being a Miami Heat fan is not something that you can choose. Rather you are born into it. While the rest of the city is immersed in a variety of Caribbean, South, and Central America culture, we all speak one language, “Let’s go Heat.” Every time we see our team play, we rise together until the clock ticks zero. That is what it is to be a Heat fan. We are there for our team, through the ups and the downs, in every NBA season. While we did not see the dominance this year, I am certain that our boys will push on through. For the start of the season

So why is it that even with the passion and dedication for our team that the Heat are still villainized? I understand that when LeBron decided to ‘take his talents to South Beach,’ that it was not the best way to publicize that he was leaving Cleveland. But do we really need to have a national hate for all the Heat-Lifers? Before LeBron made the move to Miami, the Heat were seen as a new organization establishing themselves as one of the powerhouses in NBA history. With players such as Alonzo Mourning, Lamar Odom, Shaquille O’Neal and more making great strides within the game, it was no coincidence that top talented players and collegiate all-stars wanted to be apart of the process. After the Big Three stint and LeBron’s decision to move back to Cleveland, we were left to regroup. Even with the difficult injuries, we continued to cheer for our boys and believe in a better tomorrow.

But what makes a Heat-Fan a true fan? First and foremost, we are not bandwagon fans. We are just use at being great. Yes, I know we didn’t have the best season last year, but regardless, we continue to shock, amaze, and entertain the basketball world. Even when we don’t win, the new signings and new potential is exactly what you want and expect from a top organization like the Heat. Furthermore, we are loyal. During the departure of The King, Heat-Nation stood to support our leaders on the court. We fought, cried, and cheered to hear their return and will continue to show them our support for every single game. Last but not least, we are passionate. Unless you’ve lived in Miami, you won’t know what dedication is for a Heat fan. While some photos and news articles will show old photos portraying us as unworthy fans, the stadium erupts and the city ignites for every single game. If you do not believe me come see it for yourself.