The Miami Heat media day was different this year than in years past. Maybe it had to do with Dwyane Wade leaving to Chicago to play with the Bulls. Or maybe it was the fact that right before Heat media day started, Pat Riley announced that Chris Bosh’s career with the Miami Heat was effectively over. Whatever the reason was this year’s Miami Heat media day wasn’t as fun to photograph as in the past.
For me, going to media day was always the highlight of mine for the year. I knew who the players were and it was always fun watching them interact with each other, laughing and cracking jokes. As soon as I made my way to the Miami Heat practice court, I was going through their media guide to figure out the names of these new faces because I didn’t recognize them.
The usual big crowds of media were tempered down this year. Some players had one, maybe two people asking them questions. Known named players like Dion Waiters, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow drew the biggest crowds. I felt bad for these players because they all had to have been tired answering the same questions about the departure of Dwyane Wade and about Chris Bosh’s medical condition.
While some of the players were being interviewed, others were running the gamut of getting their portrait taken by the likes of the local papers, USA Today Sports, the AP and Getty. In years past I would take photos of the players getting their portraits taken and this year was no different. I saw that Al Diaz, photographer for the Miami Herald, had a nice red backdrop for his portraits. So when players made their way to him I would stand to either the side or behind him and grab a few shots while he was getting their official portraits. A lot of the other photographers there did the same as well and the bigger the name of the player, the more photographers came around.
I had a great time at the Miami Heat media day even though the mood was somber and weird. I’m always amazed at the size of these players and when you’re standing next to a guy who is 7 foot and I’m only 5’9″, well you truly understand how big these guys are. Hopefully the Miami Heat can have a decent season and hopefully I can get in to shoot more games and practices this year.