Castro Fidel

NBA Going to Cuba Got Miami Heated

image by espn

image by espn

The professional basketball team, Miami Heat, is not happy with the National Basketball Association for not informing them of a planned basketball clinic in Cuba.

Now that the United States and Cuba relations are getting a little better (still a long way to go, but…) the NBA decided to take advantage of the positive rapport and together with FIBA (International Basketball Federation) they will host a four-day developmental camp in Havana, Cuba, April 23-26.

Yet, the Miami Heat is the only team – out of 30 NBA teams – that apposes the trip. Why, you ask? Well, the Heat’s small but very loud Cuban fan base in Miami don’t appreciate any association with the Castro-led Cuba that forced them out of their homeland.

In fact, the Heat didn’t know about the trip until they read it in the newspapers. The Heat said they were surprised that the NBA – knowing of their fan base – did not first speak to them, at least out of courtesy. “The NBA never consulted with us. This was undertaken unilaterally. The minute we found out we registered our vehement objection to the league office. Neither the Heat nor any personnel will be participating,” a team executive said to the Miami Herald.

Heat owner Micky Arison and team president and NBA Hall of Famer Pat Riley declined to comment.

“In the continued effort to strengthen our national federations, it is extremely gratifying to see Cuba serve as the center of a development camp of this magnitude,” said FIBA President Horacio Muratore during the NBA’s first Cuba trip announcement.

“This is a country that loves basketball and we are proud to work together with the NBA on this historic venture.”

BREAKING NEWS: Fidel Castro Steps Down!

News that Fidel Castro has resigned from the Central Committee of Cuba’s Communist Party isn’t very surprising — slowed by chronic health problems, the 84-year-old has effectively been out of political life since passing over the reins to his brother Raul in 2006. He now looks more familiar to us in a loose track suit than his once iconic military fatigues. TIME was there, though, when the bearded revolutionary ousted Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Below, an excerpt from TIME’s gripping Jan. 26, 1959 cover story on Castro’s rise to power.

Fidel Castro himself is egotistic, impulsive, immature, disorganized. A spellbinding romantic, he can talk spontaneously for as much as five hours without strain. He hates desks—behind which he may have to sit to run Cuba. He sleeps irregularly or forgets to sleep, living on euphoria. He has always been late for everything, whether leading a combat patrol or speaking last week to the Havana Rotary Club, where a blue-ribbon audience waited 4¾ hours for his arrival…
Castro has the Cuban moralistic streak in spades, showing no apparent affection for money or soft living. He considers himself a Roman Catholic but is also impressed by Patriot José Marti’s anticlerical tomes. He has to be cajoled into changing his filthy fatigue jacket. His only luxury is 50¢ Montecristo cigars…

Castro has confidence, physical courage, shrewdness, generosity and luck—qualities that will one day plant his statue in some Havana plaza. He won his long war not by fighting but by perching in sublime self-confidence on the highest mountain range in Cuba for more than two years, proving that Batista could be flouted. He became the symbol of his rebellious country, pulled quarreling rebel factions together and inspired them to face down a modern army.

“I was born in Oriente province. That’s like Texas for Americans,” says Fidel Castro, in explanation of his feats. “It is the biggest province in Cuba. We do the most work, we make the most rum and sugar, we make the most money too. We hate dictators.”