Miami Heat

Fri, 30 Jan 2009 04:35

History of Miami Heat

Information about the NBA team Miami Heat.

Miami Heat is one of the NBA teams headquartered in Miami, Florida. They are part of the South Division of the Eastern Conference of the world-renowned National Basketball Association (NBA). Miami Heat was founded in 1988 as an expansion franchise. They won their first NBA crown in the 2005-06 season, where the Mavericks served as their worthy opponent.

The earliest years of Miami Heat

By the end of the eighties in Florida, organizations from Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Miami all competed for a franchise. The Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority supported a group spearheaded by Billy Cunningham and sports agent Lewis Schaffel. The everyday running of the supported team would be managed by Schaffel and Cunningham.

In April of 1987, the expansion committee of the NBA endorsed bids of Minneapolis and Charlotte. However, the final recipient of the franchise became a thorny issue. When the smoke cleared, the NBA thought of expanding by four squads. The Hornets and the Miami Heat started playing on the 1988-89 season, while the Timberwolves of Minnesota and the Orlando Magic saw their births in the season after that.

Miami Heat started with a very lukewarm year, along with a squad of young athletes. Here are some of the players of that particular era: Rony Seikaly, Kevin Edwards, Grant Long, Sylvester Gray, Rory Sparrow, Jon Sundvold, Pat Cummings, Dwayne Washington, and Scott Hastings. They began the season badly. Losses in the first seventeen games became a record in the league. They finished with a record of 15 - 67 WL card, and it was the 2nd worst season in the history of the franchise.

In the 1989-90 season, Miami Heat had the third pick overall, but they parlayed it by two trades. Douglas and Seikaly showed some improvement to the delight of the fans, but the same fans probably got disgusted at the end of the season. They managed only a 24-58 record and remained at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.

The head coach Rothstein would give up and resign as the coach of the squad. Later on however, he would go back to the team as an assistant coach before the 2004-05 season.

A new coach at the helm: 1991-1995

The Heat got Kevin Loughery, who was impressive enough with his close to 30 years of playing and coaching experience. During the 1991 draft, they chose Michigan State's Steve Smith. That year, they did show a lot of improvement by finishing at 4th place in the Atlantic Division. They made the playoffs for the very first occasion. They battled it out with the Bulls, but the latter crushed them in a very convincing fashion. Despite this, Steve Smith got a slot at the NBA All Rookie team.

The squad did better in the 1993-94 season, garnering the first-ever positive record of 42 wins and 40 losses. They went to the playoffs against the Hawks, but then again, the Miami squad lost.

An icon comes in: 1995-2002

During the 1995 off-season, they hired one of the best in the coaching business, Pat Riley. In a set of mid-season deals, Pat got many players such as Walt Williams, Chris Gatling, and Tim Hardaway. They finished with a positive win-loss card, but lost in the playoffs against a stronger Bulls team.

They celebrated their tenth anniversary in the 1997-98 season by getting the 2nd straight Atlantic division title. Still, they lost to the NY Knicks. A principal reason to this is that Mourning missed the crucial decider game.

When the 1998-99 season arrived, the Miami Heat had the conference-best record of 33-17, in the process getting the first seed of the playoffs. Still, they would lose again to the Knicks when Allan Houston made a game-winning shot in the Game 5 action.

In 2000, the top brass of the Miami Heat decided that a big change must be made. They traded PJ Brown and Jamal Mashburn to the Hornets (with others) and in return got Eddie Jones, Ricky Davis, and Anthony Mason. They also grabbed Brian Grant to be part of the core group of Carter, Bowen, Majerie, Hardaway, and Mourning.

Sometime in 2000, Mourning dropped a bombshell that made all Heat fans sorrowful: he would be missing the whole season due to a very rare kidney condition. Mourning missed close to 70 games, but Anthony Mason rose to prominence during Mourning's absence. Mourning went back to action with thirteen games left, but he was just a shadow of the athlete he used to be.

The Shaq era

Right after a good 2003-04 season, Miami Heat got superstar Shaquille O'Neal after a much-discussed trade. He and Dwyane Wade became an effective tandem, with both getting an average of 20 points/outing. They had a very strong record of 59-23, and they got seeded first for the playoffs. They advanced to the East Conference Finals versus Detroit Pistons. The first 4 games were a split. Then Miami shoved the Pistons to near-death with an 88-76 win in the fifth game. The bad news was that they lost Wade due to a rib muscle injury. Minus Wade, the Miami got crushed in the 6th Game. On the deciding Game 7, Wade returned, and they held a six-point advantage with just 3 minutes left. However, missed shots plus costly turnovers did them in. They failed to go to the first-ever appearance at the Finals.

During the off-season, a trade that was considered as the biggest in NBA books transpired. A five-team, thirteen-player transaction happened and left many expert observers holding their temples in confusion and awe. The Miami Heat let go of Eddie Jones, Qyntel Woods, and Rasual Butler in exchange for Antoine Walker, James Posey, and Jason Williams. They also acquired a soon-to-be-very-good-asset in the name of Gary Payton.

the squad's fifteen minutes of fame: 2006

When they defeated the Pistons, the Miami Heat advanced to the Finals. They faced the Dallas Mavericks and the two teams would produce a closely-fought war on the court. Mavericks demolished them in the first two games. The Heat never gave up however, and they got their composure back coming into game 3. They did their own version, winning both games 3 and 4 in succession.

Game 5 saw Wade putting in an eye-popping 43 points, which included the shot that sent the game into overtime. They won the game after a gruelling affair.

For Game 6, the Miami team took the crown in Dallas, winning a final series score of 4-2. They became the only 3rd team in league history to succeed after being disadvantaged zero to two. Alonzo Mourning may no longer be at his peak in this game, but doing five blocks in that momentous game showed that he still had a lot of defense skills.

Posey's terrific shooting came to the fore, including a heart-stopping 3-point shot that gave the Heat a 6-point advantage (with 3 minutes left in the game).

This championship was the 7th win for Riley (coach), and the fourth to basketball icon O'Neal.