MIAMI -- You could see it on their faces as they collected their championship bling rings. That was what this night was all about for the defending champion Miami Heat, and when the ball went up, you could see just as clearly that their minds were elsewhere.
"It was embarrassing," coach Pat Riley allowed afterward, while Shaquille O'Neal would only go as far as to say he was "a little bit" angry over a 42-point loss that shattered all records for ineptitude by a champion on the first night defending a title.
Back in 1982, the Lakers' minds were similarly elsewhere when they received their rings and faced the Golden State Warriors in their opener and got trounced -- and we use that word loosely in light of what happened here -- by 15 points. Up until now, that was the standard that all teams playing after a ring ceremony were trying not to replicate.