Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Miami Heat fans leave NBA Finals Game 6 early, not allowed back in for Heat comeback win

While arguments about which city's or team's fans often tend to be a dumb, parochial domain, and while it sometimes feels like Miami catches a #BadSportsTown rap that's a bit overstated, I think we can agree that leaving an NBA Finals game before its completion is kind of a bad look. Let alone a game in which your hometown team would be eliminated with a loss. Let alone a game in which your hometown team fought back from seven points down at the start of the fourth quarter, that was a one-possession game from just inside the eight-minute mark all the way into the final minute, and in which said hometown team held a three-point lead with less than two minutes remaining.

And yet, a number of members of the AmericanAirlines Arena faithful on hand to root on the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the visiting San Antonio Spurs. And based on the escalator shot above shared by ESPN's Bomani Jones late in the fourth quarter — and the commentary of several others on the scene — it was a fairly large number:

Mass exodus. Gotta beat traffic, you know?

— Dan Le Batard Show (@LeBatardShow) June 19, 2013

So many people have left that I'm honestly embarrassed for this city. — Dan Le Batard Show (@LeBatardShow) June 19, 2013

I'm happy for the 2,000 or so Heat fans who left with 30 seconds left. No traffic!

— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 19, 2013

The real fun, though, came after the Heat came back from a five-point deficit in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter thanks to some critical Spurs miscues and a massive 3-pointer by Ray Allen to tie the game up and send it into overtime. Suddenly, some of those early-exiting fans started to suspect that they'd left something at their seats that they needed to retrieve post-haste. Except, y'know, you're not allowed to do that ... which made some AAA-abandoners unhappy.

Nothing captures the scene quite like the tweets of Victor Oquendo, a reporter with Miami ABC affiliate WLPG-TV, who saw the whole thing unfold while preparing for his evening broadcast:

Fans streaming out...I'm gonna throw up — Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

Honestly embarrassing. I'm setting up for my live shot outside the arena, just watching fan after fan exit early.

— Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

Now I'm watching horrible, drunk, quitting fans desperately trying to get back in. This is madness. — Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

None of them deserve to be let in. They are pounding the glass doors. I'm all for gender equality but I'm only seeing female guards....

— Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

Might need to call the big dogs in soon. Just sayin' — Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

Cops finally here. Fans still pounding on the doors begging to be let in.

— Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

@BrodyLogan @ThisIsChucker same fans screaming about how much they paid for their tickets by the way. — Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

@Ms_Mambo not being let in and it's glorious.

— Victor Oquendo (@VictorOquendo) June 19, 2013

The Heat, of course, went on to win Game 6 in overtime, 103-100, setting up a winner-take-all Game 7 at AmericanAirlines Arena on Thursday night.

A quick pro-tip for those lucky enough to have tickets to attend just the 18th Game 7 in NBA Finals history: Stick around. You never know what might happen.

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