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LeBron James decision: Where will Heat fans go now?

Pro BasketballMiami HeatLeBron JamesPeriodicalsCleveland CavaliersJustin Hamilton
American Airlines Arena might be a little emptier next season now that LeBron James is no longer with the Heat

After LeBron James decided to leave the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Heat owner Micky Arison said that he was “shocked and disappointed.”

So was the rest of the city.

Newspapers seemed to be split on the decision. Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero wrote that James “shot an air ball” with his decision, while South Florida Sun Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde found it more appropriate to thank King James and the “Heatles.”

Online, though, most of the social media chatter out of Miami on Friday morning was about Heat fans, who have a reputation for being less authentic than in other cities.

Many joked that Heat fans are going to jump over to Cleveland’s side and opined that American Airlines Arena might be a little emptier next year and that, as Matthew Kick tweeted, the Miami bandwagon could sure use a fix-up.

Chris Bosh is likely to sign a max contract with the Houston Rockets, meaning that Dwayne Wade is presumably the only star returning to South Beach, barring a major roster move, as Carven Holcombe tweeted this morning.

We’ll see what Pat Riley and the rest of the Heat front office can pull off, but right now fans aren’t sold on next season.

The list of players signed to 2015 contracts with Miami doesn't exactly read like a championship contender, even with Wade’s assumed return. As it stands this morning, the Heat have two free agents, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, one rookie, Shabazz Napier, one reserve center, Justin Hamilton, and incumbent Norris Cole to fill the void left by James and Bosh.

It’s not exactly promising, as J.Earle points out.  

Maybe some open tryouts will do the trick. 

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