Dear Eddie House,
According to the Palm Beach Post, you don't "give an [expletive] about anybody on the outside" of your new team, the Miami Heat. Actually, that's not entirely true. You do give an [expletive] about at least one group of strangers -- or, as you so succinctly put it, "at the end of the day, middle fingers to all the haters."
Edward. Eddie. Eduardo. Can I call you that? Anyway, sit down. Take a deep breath. Brace yourself. I have bad news. As the Internet sportswriting's leading authority on Heat Hatin', it pains me to inform you of the following.
You don't have any haters. Because you're Eddie [expletive] House.
Look, sports hate is petty and small, mean-spirited and pathetic. It's neither for the happy nor the well-adjusted. That said, it's not indiscriminate. Haters have standards. Our hate has value. We may be dead inside, our blackened hearts pumping bile instead of blood. But that doesn't make us stupid, spreading our hate around all willy-nilly to anyone with a headband and a jump shot.
Frankly, Mr. House, nobody in the greater hate-based community has any idea who you are.
When you left the ... hold on looking up your player profile ... New York Knicks to sign with the Heat over the summer, did anyone burn your jersey? Call you out on national television? Write an angry public letter in comic sans font?
I didn't think so. And there's a reason for that: you're not worth the effort. After all, hatin' is work. It takes time and commitment. Haters need to know that the objects of our lack of affection will return the favor. Think New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Duke basketball. Hate exchange blue chippers, each and every one, because they're reliable. Consistent. Always winning games, crushing underdogs, attracting bandwagon fans, sucking up media oxygen, generally getting it done.
But you? Let's see ... you once broke Danny Ainge's Boston Celtics record for single-season three-point shooting percentage. (I had to look that up) In college, you became the career scoring leader at ... noted basketball powerhouse Arizona State. (Looked that up, too). That's hardly a hate-worthy resume, and glomming on to the Heat doesn't really help, anymore than playing for the Lakers made goofy, harmless Mark Madsen worth detesting.
Eddie, it's a shame you're not Pat Riley, flaunting Gekko-ish charm and a bag o' championship rings. Or even Miami-comeback-suggesting Penny Hardaway (who once had his own shoe and puppet, and also was good in his prime). Maybe then we could talk. Maybe then we could have something. Alas, you're just Eddie House. Not even a junk bond. So stop flattering yourself.
A middle finger for the haters? You may as well have middle fingers for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.