Miami Heat's Floor During Win Over Washington Wizards Raises Questions

Miami Heat's win over Washington Wizards on Wednesday night has raised questions about an issue on the court but that did not involve the team's players.

The NBA team is linked to the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX and plays home games at the FTX Arena, where the company's logo is emblazoned on the floor.

This was queried on social media by eagle-eyed viewers, who asked why this would be the case.

One Twitter user posted a screenshot of the Heat in action and commented: "It still says 'FTX Arena' on the Miami Heat's floor."

Miami Heat
This file photo shows the Miami Heat's FTX Arena. Heat had profited from 19-yea FTX sponsorship deal but the cryptocurrency exchange is now facing bankruptcy. Getty Images

There were plenty who wanted to pitch in with their say on the matter and one replied: "FTX paid up through end of month November at least. Its called a contract even if bankruptcy occurs midway they would have to honor it."

Another agreed, tweeting: "That name lease is paid in full up front for some specific term. It could be sold in bankruptcy, though."

A third mentioned: "I believe they took the logo off the top of the building though."

It would seem that the wheels have been put in motion to have all references to the cryptocurrency company officially removed from the arena.

FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 and on the same day the Heat and the county started the process of ending their relationships with the company.

Miami-Dade County owns the arena and originally negotiated the naming rights deal with FTX. It asked for immediate permission to end the deal at a federal bankruptcy court on Tuesday.

The county wrote in the motion: "It does not appear that the Debtor will suffer harm from a termination of the Naming Rights Agreement.

"On the other hand, Miami-Dade County continues to supply valuable marquee naming rights and other benefits to the Debtor, to the detriment of the County's ability to seek a new naming partner for the Arena."

Miami Heat
Miami Heat are seen in action against the Washington Wizards at the FTX Arena in Miami on November 24, 2022. Questions have been raised about why FTX signage can still be seen around the building despite the company's bankruptcy. Getty Images

The arena has been sponsored by FTX since June 2021 and the company had signed a 19-year sponsorship agreement worth $135 million.

The next payment of $5.5 million was due on January 1 and the Heat were expecting to receive $2 million a year from the deal.

FTX signage is expected to remain in the arena until mid-December, when a hearing has been set.

Heat forward Udonis Haslem is one of a number of big name athletes who have been caught up in the collapse of FTX.

Udonis Haslem
Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem was named alongside Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry as defendants in the bankruptcy case against FTX after they all promoted the cryptocurrency exchange. Getty Images

Haslem, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and tennis player Naomi Osaka were all named as defendants in a class-action lawsuit against FTX.

They have been named as their celebrity status and huge social media followings meant that they could be considered culpable in promoting the failed cryptocurrency.

When it collapsed, FTX was the third largest cryptocurrency exchange but has ended up with billions of dollars worth of losses.

The company's founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is under investigation by both state and federal authorities.

They are looking into allegations that Bankman-Fried had invested depositors' funds into various ventures without their prior approval.

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