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Miami Heat get funky for throwback tribute to ABA's Floridians


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That may look like Lebron under the big shades and ‘fro, but for this weekend he’s Clarence “Shonuff” McGee, who rocks out to Marvin Gaye on the 8-track in his Plymouth Barracuda on the way to games.

The Heat are taking their game back to the days of big hair and disco as part of the NBA’s Hardwood Classics Nights and will masquerade as the 1971-72 Miami Floridians for Saturday’s game against Philadelphia and Sunday against Milwaukee at AmericanAirlines Arena.

To get into the spirit, Heat players adopted persona of ’70s ABA stars for a promotional photo and video shoot.

That’s Rodney “Huggy Bear” Stewart, a big Soul Train fan, with the giant boom box on his shoulder. On the court, his game bears a striking resemblance to Udonis Haslem.

The smile beneath the massive Afro of Bobby “Hoops” McCann is a dead ringer for Dwyane Wade’s. Here is a photo gallery of all the Heat players as Floridians.

“This big hair is not made for my body. But it makes me feel like somebody else. I’m smooth, I’m cool and I’m still handsome,” Wade says on the video before tossing off the wig.

The Heat also played throwback games in 2005-06 as the Floridians, who performed with the ABA’s red, white and blue ball from 1968-72. As part of that promotion, the team arrived at the arena in a ‘70s-style tour bus.

“For this year we really wanted to focus on the personality of the guys and let them show us what they thought it would be like if they were players in the ’70s,” said Michael McCullough, the Heat’s chief marketing officer. “The guys really got into it.”

Fans are encouraged to dress in their funkiest 1970’s fashions to add to the vibe. Player introductions will feature a video of the players rocking their throwback costumes to KC and The Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight,” sung by South Florida native Harry Wayne Casey.

The Heat will play six games as the Floridians. The others are: Feb. 5 vs. Toronto, Feb. 7 vs. Cleveland, March 6 vs. New Jersey and March 7 vs. Atlanta. Floridian player placards will be distributed at each of the games.

Naturally, there is a commercial aspect to the promotion. Limited edition Floridians jerseys will be on sale at the arena as well as the Heat’s store at the Dolphin Mall and at MiamiHoopsGear.com.

Photos: Courtesy of Miami Heat

Categories: Miami Heat (174)


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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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