Last Night's Winner: The Miami Heat's Smothering Of Banana Man

In sports, everyone is a winner-some people just win better than others. Like the Heat's culture of secrecy, which forbade local media from speaking to...a fan who wears a banana suit.

It doesn't take much to be a superfan: just an idea and a dream. Or more accurately, the belief that people came to watch you instead of the sport, and season tickets. One South Florida fan has both, plus a banana costume.

Last week, Banana Man put out this admittedly funny video featuring him and Miami's new Big Three:

The Miami New Times, which has been critical of Heat owner Micky Arison in the past, got in touch with Banana Man to request an interview. It would have been one of those quirky-yet-servicey pieces alt-weeklies do so well. And Banana Man was thrilled!

Hey Tim,

Hearing any feedback on the video is always great. I appreciate that you enjoyed the video. I would be very interested on doing a piece with you guys. Since I don't talk because of my character, I hope this could be a written piece. Send over any questions you have and I will answer them as soon as possible. Thanks again for the interest! Talk soon.

-Banana Man

Then, nothing. Days passed, with neither hide nor hair nor peel of Banana Man. Yesterday, this arrived:

Hey Tim,

Thanks for sending over the questions. Unfortunately, I was unable to clearance to do the interview. I had to run everything by and was not cleared. Maybe some other time but I truly appreciate the interest. Let's stay in contact! I'm sorry again, I was looking forward to work with you, perhaps it could happen in the future.

All the best,
- Banana Man

Whoa. Clearance? I can only assume he's not talking about the Potassium Board. Once a fan, now an apparatchik. Are the Miami Heat so devoid of mediaworthy figures that they have to subsume Banana Man into the machine? And what's the harm of letting him give a little interview?

It's going to be an interesting time for the Heat. Never the most media-savvy organization, they're going to be dealing with exponentially more attention as the year rolls on. And despite making every right move in free agency, the Heat are going to be the league's greatest villains. A good start on putting the lie to that perception would be not blocking interviews with the giant banana guy.

Oh, and some of you might have noticed this story has some similarities to the Knicks not allowing Isiah Thomas to do a radio interview yesterday. And you might think that story has more newsworthiness than this. If Isiah was dressed like a fruit, I would totally agree.

A New Low in Miami Heat-New Times Relations: We Are Denied An Interview With Banana Man [Miami New Times]