Q: Hi, Ira. Can’t the Heat and Panthers do a greater job planning their home-game schedules collectively? They each had nice seasons final yr and deserve to begin their seasons with out competing with each other. They every deserve their evening within the limelight on opening evening. Twenty-five p.c of their residence video games overlap, (10 video games). I’ve season tickets to each. I must promote my tickets to the Heat on these ten nights as a result of Heat tickets promote higher than Panther tickets do on-line. The Panthers got here out with their schedule 5 weeks earlier than the Heat, so I blame the Heat and the NBA for this greater than the NHL and the Panthers. Just just like the overlap of video games throughout the playoffs final yr, it’s not serving to to develop the fan base for the Panthers. – David, Fort Lauderdale.
A: Which I’m unsure needs to be the Heat’s concern. And I do consider the groups have divergent season-ticket bases. The main issue is that each leagues have higher flexibility when NHL and NBA groups don’t play in the identical constructing. So first they must navigate the markets the place groups share arenas, reminiscent of Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Denver and Dallas. Then, with the Heat and Panthers additionally concerned with the administration of their services, there may be the necessity for different revenue-earning occasions all through the calendar. All of that stated, sure, it’s a disgrace that there might be overlaps on 35 of the 82 dates for the 2 groups this season, together with 10 when each are at residence, together with the Heat’s first two regular-season residence video games. But, hey, Bally Sports has a brand new app, so that you will be at one and watch the opposite concurrently. No, not optimum. But, hey, it’s enterprise.
Q: Maybe extra content material on the upside of Marcus Garrett, Gabe Vincent, Omer Yurtseven, et al would give credit score to how the genius of Erik Spoelstra will get essentially the most out of the Heat roster. – Leonard, Cornelius, N.C.
A: In due time. But the offseason usually is about considering huge. It is also about imagining much more from the highest tier of the roster, be it Bam Adebayo’s scoring, Kyle Lowry’s conditioning, Victor Oladipo’s rehab, Jimmy Butler’s capturing. But if final season’s run to the No. 1 seed within the East confirmed something, it was that the ancillary items not solely can’t be ignored, however at occasions will grow to be important.
Q: Ira, given Kevin Durant’s historical past and calls for and skill to alter his calls for, “I want this coach” and “it’s either him or me,” do we actually wish to add that to the combo that got here so near the Finals this yr? I query if the Heat Culture is a match for him. – Richard, Rhode Island.
A: When it involves greatness, you make concessions. Jimmy Butler has been Example 1 lately. So, sure, lodging clearly can be made for Kevin Durant, simply as they have been made final season for Kyle Lowry. In reality, which may be the one facet the place Heat Culture has modified essentially the most lately, with participant empowerment altering the equation. For Kevin Durant, you rewrite your rulebook. Because as shut because the Heat bought final season, within the eyes of Pat Riley it possible was not shut sufficient. There is a cause Kevin Durant has introduced the NBA to a personnel standstill. In the NBA, greatness finds a means (to get no matter they need).