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Report: Heat will play video honoring LeBron James when Cavaliers visit on Christmas

LeBron James, Erik Spoelstra, Pat Riley

In this May 5, 2013 photo, Miami Heat NBA basketball player LeBron James, left, holds his NBA Most Valuable Player award as he poses with team president Pat Riley, in Miami. Before James makes his next decision, Riley will get a chance to convince him to stay in Miami. Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press late Sunday night, July 6, 2014, that James will meet with the Heat president this week before making a decision about where to play next season. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

AP

Even Dwyane Wade, who urged Heat fans to cheer LeBron James when the Cavaliers visit Miami on Christmas, acknowledged he was referring to only before the game. Once the contest begins, Wade said the fans should “do what you’ve got to do.”

But it seems the Heat are intent on celebrating LeBron on Thursday.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

The Heat will play a video honoring LeBron James when he returns to face Miami on Christmas, a source told Yahoo Sports.

The Heat’s message has been consistent – from owner Micky Arison to president Pat Riley: LeBron deserves respect for what he helped the team accomplish. And that is true. LeBron did wonders for Miami.

But he also left.

Fans deserve a chance to take out their (understandably irrational) hard feelings on LeBron. Wade struck the right balance, calling for pregame applause and allowing for in-game boos.

A video tribute seems like a bit much.

Earlier this season, the Raptors honored Vince Carter with a video, and that turned into a nice moment. But Carter left Toronto a decade ago. LeBron left Miami just last year.

Give scorned fans a chance to go through the free agent grieving process. The Carter tribute wouldn’t have been nearly as sweet without Raptors fans exiling him for so long.

With so little distance between LeBron’s exit and return, it seems the Heat are going overboard to honor a Cavaliers player. Then again, this is the same franchise that retired Michael Jordan’s number despite him never playing for it.

At least Miami is consistent.