Future of Heat’s Home Arena Revealed Amidst Controversy

"FTX Arena" Miami Heat

Getty A general view of "FTX Arena" in Miami.

For the last season and a half, the building where the Miami Heat play home games has been known as “FTX Arena.” On June 4, 2021, the cryptocurrency company officially became the holder of the arena’s naming rights after striking a 19-year agreement in March of that year. American Airlines had previously owned the rights for 22 years.

January 11, 2023 was another historic day in the arena’s history. According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County won a court order and FTX was stripped of the naming rights. The legal battle came after the company filed for bankruptcy and its CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, was charged with several accounts of fraud.

With the naming rights for the arena now vacant, Heat fans are wondering what to call their team’s home.

The Herald reported that the building will be known as “the Arena,” for the time being.

“That’s the name the county says will be the placeholder title for the county-owned arena while Miami-Dade seeks a replacement for FTX to spend millions to put its name on the downtown venue that the Miami Heat manages,” wrote Douglas Hanks.

Hanks explained that there would still be evidence of FTX featured around the building.

“As for when the Arena will lose its FTX trappings — including logos on the roof and on the Heat court — a source familiar with the planning said don’t expect big changes soon,” he wrote. “The Heat is still in its regular season, making court alterations challenging, and removing the rooftop structure isn’t a quick process.”

Heat Listed as Landing Spot for John Collins

With just under a month until the February 9 NBA Trade Deadline, pressure is building for the middling Miami Heat to boost their roster. The eighth-place Heat can attribute a good amount of their struggles to the extensive amount of injuries they’ve had to deal with. However, that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t benefit from swinging a deal before the deadline.

In a January 11 article for Bleacher Report, Greg Swartz highlighted one player each NBA team should target ahead this season. Swartz’s pick for the Heat was Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins.

“Collins is an ideal fit if the Atlanta Hawks would agree to help the Heat. He could solidify the position for years to come and make sure Jimmy Butler doesn’t have to defend fours in the playoffs,” he wrote.

Swartz mentioned that the Heat could use the 25-year-old’s shooting to create more space for Bam Adebayo in the paint. Throughout his career, Collins has been a respectable 3-point shooter at 35.8%. However, this season he has taken a step back. The $125 million star has knocked down just 22.9% of his attempts from distance for a struggling Hawks team.

Scoring as a whole has been more difficult for Collins in the 2022-23 campaign. He’s averaging just 13.3 points per game, which is down from 16.2 last season. With all of that being said, it may the perfect time for the Heat to buy low and poach the power forward from Atlanta.

Heat Suspend Dewayne Dedmon for One Game

Miami Heat center Dewayne Dedmon got into a heated exchange with Head Coach Erik Spoelstra during the team’s recent 112-111 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. During the argument, Dedmon slapped a massage therapy gun onto the court and ended up being ejected from the game.

On January 11, the team announced that they had suspended the big man without pay for the upcoming January 12 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.

On the season, Dedmon is a team-low -93 over the course of 29 games for the Heat. His 5.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game aren’t exactly translating to wins.

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