YES. WE. DID. - A Fan's Perspective
By Christina De Nicola
Thousands of Miami HEAT fans lined up outside AmericanAirlines Arena for a welcome ceremony Friday night.
Superstars Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James were thrown a party, and the city of Miami was invited.
Burnie stood in front of the growing crowd. Three television trucks lined up along Biscayne Boulevard. Many more people watched from outside as only 13,000 fans were allowed inside the Arena's Lower Bowl.
The event, which was televised on HEAT broadcast partner, Sun Sports, included music from DJ Irie, a stage worthy of rockers and plenty of star power.
Wade, Bosh, and James entered the stage via a forklift- complete with flashing lights and smoke- wearing their HEAT uniforms and walking down a catwalk to greet fans.
When fans walked into the AA Arena, they were given clappers as if it were the playoffs all over again.
They were also handed a poster with the Dream Team. It read," Yes. We. Did."
"The HEATs always been an exciting team, but adding Bosh and LeBron is making them that much more exciting," said Juan Mundo, who was already wearing a No. 6 James HEAT t-shirt. "Theyve got a great organization with President Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison."
Mundo found out about the event around 4:30 p.m. and immediately printed out tickets for he and his friend.
Others, like Orlandos Kendra Solis, found out by chance.
She and her family are staying at the W Hotel on South Beach, the same place as James and Bosh.
"We didnt even know until we saw all of the cameras and stuff," Solis said. "We asked one of the valets and they said that they were coming here. We were hanging out in the lobby."
So, on a Friday night while on vacation, the Solis family decided to stop by the arena, without tickets, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the trio.
Both Damrys Hernandez and Sandra Rivera heard about the ceremony on Facebook. They are fans of the HEAT and saw a link on the social networking site as soon as it was posted.
"We came straight after work at around 6 p.m.," Rivera said. "The Lakers are going to be very scared. The Knicks, were going to continue to hate."
Last night when James made his announcement to play basketball on South Beach, the girls heard from friends that Hialeah was "crazy."
Hernandez, who attended around eight games this past season, hopes to find a way into the hottest ticket in town.
"If I have to volunteer, usher or clean to get in, I will do it," she said.
Arnoldo Arguello and his girlfriend came to the arena not knowing they needed tickets to get in, but a large group had two extra ones and helped them out.
"Hopefully we win the championship, and I hope they work well together and play as a team." he said.
Arguello said that after James decision Thursday night, he immediately remembered the "Can You Feel the HEAT" ditty from years past.
After looking through old VHS tapes, he found it in his collection and hopes to post it on YouTube for fellow HEAT fans to see and enjoy.
With all the hype and publicity revolving around three superstars now calling the HEAT home, Mundo believes that celebrities will line up to sit court side.
"I think its going to be LA down here this year," he said.