“Get Under Your Skin”: Heat’s Forward On How the Hype Around Mamba Jerseys Played Against the Lakers

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Real Lakers fans will agree that Game 5 defeat did not upset them as much as losing in those Mamba jerseys did. Miami Heat took by surprise the Lakers and showed that they have their canines sharp enough to bite and cause a deep wound.

The Heat were trailing 0-2 early in the series. Everyone thought this would be a tasteless NBA Finals with no fight back whatsoever. But Jimmy Butler and his Spartans showed what a downsized team can do when insulted, coming back in classic fashion. So what went into building such a solidified mindset for the Heat?

Miami Heat forward gave a unique take on their mental conditioning!

Jae Crowder had a regular outing on Friday. He played for 40+ minutes, dropped 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist with two three-pointers. He struggled with his accuracy as he could convert only 30.8% from the field. But his presence on the court certainly helped a fairly younger Miami Heat side.

Reflecting on the Mamba jerseys, the 30-YO amazed everyone by his claims. In an interview, Jae revealed, “You’re hearing how they’re putting the black jerseys on and sh– and how they haven’t lost a game in those and people start talking about that. That is motivation, and it’s always going to get under your skin a little bit.”

He further added, “You obviously funnel that in the right direction and use it as motivation, and it definitely helped tonight.”

Very certainly, the hype around those jerseys ignited an urgency in the Heat camp. They perhaps sought it as motivation to break the jinx. 

Did the Lakers become too complacent?

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James against Jae Crowder of Miami Heat
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James handles the ball against Miami Heat forward Jae Crowder during the first quarter in game five of the 2020 NBA Finals. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Surprisingly, a report claimed that the Lakers had made celebratory arrangements prior to Game 5. They allegedly had a setting organized in Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to have a big bash.

This claim seems more real when the choice of donning the Mamba Jersey for Game 5 is considered. They definitely wanted to lift the NBA Championships in those jerseys defining the legacy of Kobe Bryant. Do all these signals not add weight to the chances of them being too complacent?

Another Heat player, center Meyers Leonard expressed, “I wasn’t aware of what they planned to do had they won, but we’re just a team that’s not willing to go home right now.”

This further ensures that Game 6 is going to be even nastier of a battle between the two forces.

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