The Miami Heat are launching a new promotional campaign to get fans to attend tonights game against the New York Knicks. Since the trade of Shaquille O'Neal midseason, the Heat have struggled to draw fans. The only people who have attended games were those coming to see Dwyane Wade and those cheering for the opposing team. Wednesday night the owners of the Heat face a double-whammy as Wade is done for the season with a boo-boo requiring a jumbo band-aid, and the hapless New York Knicks are in town. Said owner Micky Arison:
"Since no sane person would pay to see these two teams play other teams, let alone one another, we're going to be offering $20 to every fan who enters American Airlines Arena. We think that's far compensation for having your status as a fan insulted by the ridiculously poor play and obvious tanking for draft position that's going on here."
[Wednesday nights anticipated crowd]
When asked how he felt about his owners stance, Shawn Marion replied:
"I'm still getting paid. So who cares? I'm coming for you Joe Johnson! You may have a few seasons head start piling up garbage numbers on irrelevant teams, but I'll catch you!"
Other players were not so thrilled with the situation. Said Eddy Curry:
"Man, that hurts. It sucks that Miami has to pay their fans to come to games. It would be better if they had a rich tradition that they could crap all over and still draw fans like we do. That makes me feel bad, and hungry."
Despite the promotion, many fans still had no intention of attending the "game" between these two quasi-professional teams. Said Miami resident Bob Blastock:
"You crazy? Last time I went to a Heat game I faked a heart attack just to get out of there."
Said another fan with a bag over his head:
"I might go, but only to check out their new head coach and then bolt before the game starts."
The news of a new head coach for the Heat had not yet been released. When asked about the rumor it was confirmed by Arison:
"Yes we have hired a new coach for our team. Pat Riley is great, he's won championships and competed at the highest levels. We just didn't feel that was the kind of leadership we needed when trying to intentionally lose the rest of our games. So we've hired Shawn Faust of the Washington Generals to be our new coach the rest of the season. He brings an impressive track record of ineptitude that will have him fitting in perfectly. Hopefully he can take us to a whole new level of bloopers, running in circles, and getting dunked on."
[New Miami Heat defensive strategy]
Knicks President, Head Coach, and Official Doofus Isiah Thomas was interviewed before the game:
"It's really unfortunate that one of these teams has to leave the building with a W. Both teams are really working hard to make sure it's not them. They may have made a good move hiring Faust, but I don't even think he can compete with me when I'm in a groove. Just wait till I bench David Lee for diving after a loose ball. His head might explode."
If the promotion fails to draw enough of a crowd, Arison disclosed that they do have several backup plans that they think will improve attendance. Some ideas that were thrown around during the recent front office meeting included:
Systematically closing all Miami streets to funnell all traffic to the Arena
Sceduling a WNBA game after the Heat-Knicks game in hopes that WNBA fans (both of them) will show up early
Setting bear traps and digging leaf-covered pits at the local beaches
Renting out empty seats to the Florida Penal system (though that may violate cruel and unusual punishment statutes)
and sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads (this suggestion was proposed but not explained)