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Miami Heat take training camp to Bahamas next week

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CHRISTIAN CHAISE

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CHRISTIAN CHAISE A picture shows the facade of Atlantis resort at the man-made Palm island in Dubai on November 18, 2008. Scores of international celebrities, including talk-show host Oprah Winfrey and actor Robert De Niro, are expected to attend the three-day grand opening of the Atlantis resort on November 20. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

The real question is are the Miami Heat getting to training camp aboard a Carnival Cruise ship?

After media day next week, the Miami Heat are taking their training camp to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas.

Yes, that is serious, the team announced it Tuesday.

Two seasons ago — the first season after LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami — the team conducted its training camp on a military base. That was largely to try and get some time alone for the team to bond, away from the prying eyes of intense media scrutiny.

There is certainly some of that here — get away and let the team bond in a place they will enjoy. Not a lot of media outlets will pay for their beat writer/television reporter to spend a week at a resort in the Bahamas (however, if NBC would like some fantastic first hand coverage of the Heat training camp, I will offer myself up to take on that heavy burden). More than just that, this is also a reward to the team.

Remember, Pat Riley used to take his Lakers teams to do training camp in Hawaii, for the same reasons of bonding and getting out of the routine. It worked pretty well for them. Plus, Heat owner Micky Arison — chairman of the board for Carnival Cruise Lines — has a few connections in the resort world. Atlantis has the facilities, remember they hosted a college tournament there last season that included eventual national champion Louisville.

We’ll see how this works for the Heat, but for a veteran team like this they will likely enjoy the getaway. Plus Chris Andersen can work on his tan.