Tonight the NBA's reigning kings will finally be crowned.
After knocking the Oklahoma City Thunder out of the box in June, the Miami Heat will receive their championship rings tonight in Miami's American Airlines Arena. The celebration comes before the season opening game between the Heat and the Boston Celtics.
While Lebron James has been waiting a lifetime for this moment, it's going to put new teammate Ray Allen in an awkward position.
Allen had been a pillar of the Boston Celtics for five seasons until he accepted a three-year deal with the Miami Heat this past off-season. The last game that he played wearing Celtic green was against the Miami Heat, in a seventh-game teeth nail-biter that propelled the Heat into the Finals, and sent Allen's former team packing home.
It is safe to say that for a brief moment Tuesday night, Allen will still be a Celtic.
Putting on the uniform of your former rival is rarely an easy transition.
Speaking to the AP, Allen confirmed his torn heart over the situation, "I'm happy for them that they won, but at the same time, they beat me and put us out. I understand the emotions that Boston will feel, watching the whole ceremony. But at the same time I'm excited for these guys. And once it's over with, it's business as usual.''
Notice that he refers to the Miami Heat as "them", and his former Celtics as "us."
The pre-game festivities will surely be awkward, but Allen will have to quickly switch back to the "business as usual" part of his statement. Only catch- he has a new employer.
Coming off of the second franchise championship with a follow-up performance is a team priority. Last time the Heat came back from the championship they suffered a 108-66 defeat to the Chicago Bulls.
Business as usual means winning games, and that's what the Heat will have to do tonight in order to gain momentum they want to head strong into the season. Hopes are high for a repeat of last year's success.
Let's just hope that Allen hops on board bright and early.
The ceremony starts at 7:00, and tip-off is at 8:00pm.