This post is inspired by a tweet by Steve of White Sox Cards fame.
The Miami Heat have gotten three of the top 10 players in the league together (and two of the top five), and a collection of inexpensive but pretty talented also-rans and young’uns to back them up. The expectations are enormous, and there’s no reason to think they can’t run roughshod over the league once they manage get on the same page. But this reminds me of another seemingly unstoppable force that got together back in the late ’80s.
Yes, back in the latter half of 1987, when the Miami Heat franchise was just preparing to come into being, the two biggest stars in the World Wrestling Federation, Hulk Hogan and the “Macho Man” Randy Savage, along with Savage’s universally beloved valet, Miss Elizabeth, joined forces to become The Mega Powers.
For awhile, all was well. Savage became World Heavyweight Champion with an assist from Hogan in the tournament final after the whole Andre/Million Dollar Man/evil twin Hebner referee shenanigans. And they eventually beat the so-called Mega Bucks in tag team action to end the feud. The alliance was an uneasy one, however, as one would expect with the egos and personalities involved. Savage was always pretty unstable, and Hogan… well, he tended to be oblivious to his closest allies to extreme degree, making him come off as a pretty big jerk in some instances, and making his former friends look fairly sympathetic when they turned on him.
Such was the case here, with the Hulkster being a little too friendly with Savage’s lady, likely being too dumb to realize it, as well as accidentally knocking Savage out of the Royal Rumble. It would take an unlikely tag team of misfit toys to ultimately bring down their house of cards though. Enter: The Twin Towers…
So yeah, these three oddly mismatched guys would be the final straw that destroyed the greatest team up in the history of professional wrestling. But what does all of this have to do with the Miami Heat? Well, let’s break it down:
The Mega Powers, two of the biggest stars in the history of professional wrestling, as well as the most beloved valet/manager ever. Let’s start with Hulk Hogan, who had proven almost invincible in the ring and was front & center in the whole Rock & Wrestling thing. He had a reputation for being immature though. Hulkster’s obliviousness caused Orndorff to turn on him, his kinda-sorta glory hounding making it easy for Heenan to get in Andre The Giant’s ear helped that turn along, and overstepping his bounds with Elizabeth caused Savage to turn on him.
Now on to Savage. He was always the better worker (by a long shot), and every bit as charismatic, but never quite got the respect he deserved, and was in Hogan’s shadow his entire career, despite arguably being an overall better talent.
True, Hogan would have done something to make him flip out eventually anyway, but they wouldn’t have lasted a week without Miss Elizabeth keeping the peace, which is of hugely underrated importance.
And then there’s the Miami Heat, three of the brightest stars in the NBA, at least two of which are well on their way to becoming all-time greats, and third is not far behind. LeBron James is embattled a bit now, but he was pretty well loved by the fans until this past summer, and his skill is unquestionable, like Scottie Pippen and Magic Johnson combined. He too had a rep as being immature (and perhaps a little mentally soft) behind the scenes/under the radar, though it wasn’t until “The Decision” where it came to a head, and those who questioned him appeared to be right.
Dwyane Wade is arguably LeBron’s equal, for what he lacks in distribution skills, he makes up for in being a go-to guy late in the game, the one thing LeBron has proven not to be that great at. As well, he is the guy that brought in James and Bosh to HIS team, but he is still overshadowed by LeBron, and likely will continue to be no matter what he does. Wade seems to be a pretty humble guy, but how will that work out over the long haul?
Bosh is almost forgotten in all of this, but his success is essential to the team, being the only proven power forward or center that is still young enough to play serious minutes.
Now let’s have a closer look at The Twin Towers. They were comprised of former prison guard-turned pro wrestler The Big Bossman, a big random goof that never really got to do a whole lot in his time in the WWF in Akeem/One Man Gang, and Slick, their second-tier manager mostly known for being comedy relief of the stereotypical type. Though OMG would have his moments, and Slick might have if he hung around the business past 1992, only Bossman would go on to be a significant mainstream star.
How is this important? Well, there’s a certain team out east that has a very similar dynamic going for them on their team. And that team is the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. On their second unit is a certain super-heavyweight reserve officer of the law by the name of Shaquille O’Neal, a megastar making one last run at glory. He is flanked by a random big guy that’s been known to have his occasional moments in Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and tiny hilarious (though not stereotypically, unless we’re talking stereotypical college student or 3rd grader) prankster Nate Robinson.
Twin Towers 2.0?
So you had better get your act together, Miami. Get everyone healthy and on the same page in a hurry, lest you repeat the unfortunate history of wrestling’s Mega Powers. You never know when a mish-mashed team of 2nd-stringers will come along and brutally exploit the cracks in your seemingly indestructible juggernaut and tear all your grand plans asunder.
Then again, with all the money they’re making, maybe Miami’s Big 3 are really the Mega Bucks, which would make head coach Erik Spoelstra evil twin referee Earl Hebner and Pat Riley WWF President Jack Tunney! Oww, my brain…
I’ll shut up now…