|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
NEW ORLEANS -- Matthew Bellamy, the fan who was escorted out of Progressive Field after he wore a LeBron James Miami Heat jersey to a Cleveland Indians game last summer, won't be making an all-expense-paid trip to Miami to attend a Heat game after all.
Bellamy reportedly posted on his Facebook account on Thursday that he was heading to Miami to attend the Heat's game Saturday against the New Jersey Nets as an honorary gesture from the Heat. But a Heat official said Thursday night that the team decided against following through on the invitation.
"An invitation was prematurely extended to [Bellamy] prior to the approval process being completed," according to a Heat team statement released Thursday night. "Once management became aware of this, it was decided that this is not something we wanted to do."
Heat spokesman Tim Donovan offered no further statement regarding Bellamy.
According to a blog post on Clevescene.com, Bellamy posted on Facebook that he was invited to Miami by the team for "a night named after me" and that he would get to meet the team, with "all expenses paid for." But team officials said there was never any plan to formally recognize Bellamy or allow him access to team members.
Bellamy made national headlines when he was escorted from Progressive Field on July 28 in the sixth inning of the Indians game against the New York Yankees.
Fans in the left-field bleachers reportedly chanted obscenities and pointed at Bellamy and his girlfriend. Security eventually led Bellamy out of the stadium. Bellamy flashed his No. 6 white Heat jersey to fans as he was being led out by stadium security.
James has been a sore subject in Cleveland since he left the Cavaliers after seven seasons and announced during a controversial, hour-long ESPN broadcast on July 8 that he would be signing with the Heat as a free agent. Some scorned fans responded by burning replicas of James' old No. 23 Cavaliers jersey after his decision.
A native of nearby Akron, James will make his first trip back to Cleveland as a member of the Heat when Miami visits the Cavaliers on Dec. 2.
Michael Wallace is an NBA writer for ESPN.com.