Can't stand the Heat? Stay out of the crying game

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011; 10:34 PM

I don't care if some Miami Heat players cried, threw up or played charades after their loss Sunday to Chicago. I just wish they'd shut up about it.

Everyone knows by now that a couple of Heat players were in tears after the late loss to the Bulls. It was their fourth straight defeat but one that did absolutely nothing to their playoff chances. (By this scale, the entire Wizards roster should be weeping like tired toddlers at this point of the season.)

No one would have known about this terrible lapse of manhood if their coach, Erik Spoelstra, had not told reporters the following: "There are a couple of guys crying in the locker room."

When reporters - who, let's face it, don't hear this every day, especially from coaches - repeated this quote, Spoelstra did what many people do when they realize they've made a mistake: He blamed someone else.

"This is a classic example of sensationalism, looking for a headline," Spoelstra told ESPN.

No one had to look, Erik. You handed it to them. (Although in fairness I thought ESPN's reporting, in which commentators were reduced to guessing which Heat players were crying, was silly beyond belief. My money is on Mike Bibby; I think he was weeping over having to leave the Wizards after just two games.)

Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about this. For those who were sickened by last summer's disgusting display of hubris by LeBron James and, to a slightly lesser degree, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the news was greeted with relish. But Lakers star Kobe Bryant defended crying, saying: "That doesn't mean they're chumps. That doesn't mean they're soft. It doesn't mean anything." The Knicks' Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, on the other hand, had a good laugh about it, according to media reports.

I cried once in a locker room, but it was halftime and I had just broken my tailbone. When the rest of the team got up and ran back on the floor, I found I was unable to stand because of the pain. If my dad hadn't come looking for me, I might still be in there.

But these guys weren't crying because of injuries; I'm guessing they were crying in frustration, more than anything - if they were in fact crying. Spoelstra now denies his original description and says he merely saw some "glossy eyes" - which, if you think about it, sounds kind of creepy.

I don't think any less of the Heat's players for the tears, although I didn't think much of most of them to begin with. I think less of them for their "nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm going to go eat worms" attitude. It surfaced at the start of the year, when they struggled, and it's coming back again as they continue to utterly fail at winning games at the buzzer.

It's remarks such as this one, by Wade after the Bulls game, that bother me much more than tears: "The Miami Heat are exactly what everyone wanted, losing games," he said. "The world is better now because the Heat are losing."

Yes, Dwyane, everyone is united in wanting you to lose games. The state of the world depends on the outcome of your games.

We all breathlessly await the latest moves of Wade and his teammates. Are they winning? Losing? Crying? Giggling? What are they wearing?

Seriously, I don't care if they weep, wail and gnash their teeth, rend their garments, whatever. But their belief that all us are being kept up nights by their very existence - that self-absorption really makes me want to give them something to cry about.


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