Publish date:

Roddick unapologetic for Heat allegiance

Andy Roddick and Dwayne Wade

Andy Roddick (left) and Dwayne Wade, who have become friends in recent years, played H-O-R-S-E in a celebrity showdown this past March. (AP)

Longtime Miami Heat fan Andy Roddick doesn't feel the need to apologize just because LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.

That's because Roddick, an Omaha native who moved to Boca Raton, Fla., at 10, knows he's no Johnny-come-lately.

SI Recommends

"I’m just sick of defending my fanhood. I was going to the games in ’01 when they were paying people to come," Roddick said after Monday's 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Stephane Robert of France.

Since James and Chris Bosh made a high-profile group signing with Miami in July, the Heat have become a target of collective enmity around sports. They were even named to's list of the 25 most hated teams in sports history ... months before playing a single game together.

But it's all gravy to Roddick, who insists he's no glory-hunter.

"I was just hoping and praying they'd re-sign Dwyane. And then when Bosh came I was ecstatic. Then when LeBron came it was bordering on ridiculous," Roddick said. "Like everyone else, I'm excited to see how it all goes together."