Did Kentucky Just Become The Miami Heat’s Newest Opponent?

04.04.12 6 years ago
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh (photo. David Alvarez)

The NCAA champion Kentucky Wildcats won’t beat an NBA team.

They won’t beat the worst team, Charlotte, let alone its most talented, Miami. With apologies to recent comments by Larry Brown (who’s won a title in each realm), John Calipari’s team would never come close to beating 12 NBA players.

So why even pose a hypothetical when we know it’s out of the case? Because in the court of public opinion, the Wildcats may have become the Heat’s newest opponent—  and even already beat them at their own game.

If identical twins could be separated by years, that would be Miami and Kentucky. It’s not an argument about the level of talent, because the Heat’s individual skill is almost without match at the NBA level. Consider that talk around here DOA.

No, there’s a dead ringer similarity in the way they were constructed, the backlash about it and the expectations that grew from it. And it’s a reason why a group of 18- and 19-year-olds in Lexington may have just become yet another hurdle Miami must jump before it can be accepted by our sports-loving society.

Which team does this describe?

This is about how they made it, a team of immense individual talent morphing into an explosive, cohesive unit that, despite all the handwringing from the pious establishment, plays the game by any known definition of “the right way.”

It’s not Miami — but the description of Kentucky by Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel could very well be. Let’s talk about their design by two masterful architects, Pat Riley and John Calipari. The Heat’s approach was more brazen, but both were built in their dry docks like the Titanic. The $100-million contracts in Miami vs. the freshmen and sophomore lottery picks in waiting in Kentucky. Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones, you know the cast and where they’ll be next season (not Rupp Arena).

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