"You've got the best basketball player in the world down there and y'all have to make commercials to draw fans?..."
Immediately after rejecting a theory that the LeBron James defection from Cleveland was somehow legitimized based on the current win-loss records of the Cavaliers and Heat, Charles Barkley told the Dan LeBatard radio show that he sees further proof that winning it all in Miami will never have the same value for James that it could have had in Ohio:
Barkley: "In Cleveland, they sell out every night. You've got the best basketball player in the world down there and y'all have to make commercials to draw fans? That tells me something right there that even if he wins in Miami, it won't be the same as if he had won in Cleveland.
I actually think it's a joke that they have to do commercials to get fans to come down in Miami. You got two of the five best players in the world and it should be like standing room only trying to get in there every game."
LeBatard: "The fans are there, they're just in the night clubs and the lounges, deep inside the bowels of the arena. You know how it works in Miami."
Barkley: "That doesn't make it better. I'd want to see those guys play. I'd be honored if they played in my city and I would close everything down until after the game because I would want people to watch us play."
LeBatard: "Charles, you've been in our nightclubs you've been in "Liv." You know what it's like down here."
Barkley: "It ain't going anywhere. Trust me, they're not closing it up before the game's over. They can go there right after a game. After a victory."
In case you've never been to the nightclub "Liv," this is what LeBatard claims 20 thousand NBA ticketholders can't tear themselves away from for two hours of basketball.
It's only a rough estimate but I'm guessing approximately 0% of the footage below was shot between the hours of 7pm and 10pm:
For the record, the Heat rank 5th in the NBA this season in attendance based on percentage of capacity at 100.8%.
That is a "tickets distributed" figure and not an actual turnstile number.