Miami Heat History

Miami is mostly known and renowned as a beach vacation destination with a scorching, smoldering, sexy reputation among outsiders. But not many outsiders are aware of Miami’s inclination towards sports, especially basketball and Miami is home to and the base of a professional basketball team of USA – the Miami Heat who are often lovingly called the Heat. Miami always has something up its sleeves to take you by unawares and surprise you and this affinity towards basketball is one such pleasant surprise.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat plays in the NBA or National Basketball Association in its Eastern Conference and happens to be a member of its South East Division. The Team President and General Manager is Pat Riley. Erik Spoelstra is the coach and Micky Arison owns the team currently.

The D league affiliate of this team is the Albuquerque Thunderbirds and the team colors are orange, white, red and black. It plays in the American Airlines Arena.

This trailblazer basketball team was born in 1987 as a result of franchise expansion.

You can indulge in a lot of star gazing from the spectator stands for Miami Heat boasts of a huge star line up consisting of the likes of stalwarts Dwayne Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, Jamal Mashburn, Tim Hardaway, Glen Rice, Alonzo Mourning and other notable NBA players.

Miami Heat recent History

Miami Heat has a very enviable success rate on the basketball court and they could make it to 12 playoffs in the 20 playoffs in which they have participated all down the seasons. Its supreme moment of glory came in the 2005-2006 NBA season when this franchise managed to upset the title favorites Dallas Mavericks to score a triumphant victory.

This 2006 championship title is the only one it has won so far apart from 1 conference title again in 2006 and 7 division titles in the years from 1997 to 2000 at a stretch and then again from 2005 to 2007. In those 4/5 years in between the team was going through a rough phase and hit a rough patch but as you can see, it has bounced back with aplomb soon.

History – birth of the team Miami Heat

The NBA during its boom years in the eighties decided to expand itself and thus 23 teams were diluted and broken down to form 27 teams towards the late eighties. The state of Florida did not have any NBA franchise. And so there arose a competition between Miami, Tampa and Orlando groups to grab the franchise.

The Miami group or Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority (after much debate and discussion and heated arguments) comprised of Lewis Schafflel – a former sports agent, his dear friend Billy Cunningham – a NBA Hall of Famer of much repute and Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Lines and sponsor.

In the April of 1987 Minneapolis and Charlotte landed 2 franchise teams. The fate of Miami was hanging by a thread because it had its strong competitor Orlando vying for the last place as well and there were heated exchanges and fierce arguments between the two rival bidders. However it was Miami who triumphed at last because the NBA, to settle dispute amicably decided to expand the league by 4 teams.

In the 1988-1989 season Miami Heat made its debut along with the Charlotte Hornets. Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves had to be content with a delayed debut a year later.

Miami Heat Players at its debut

In the 1988-99 season of NBA Championships Miami Heat had a roster of young journeymen and young inexperienced players and the team made some disappointing middling performances that season marked by non-show.

Inaugural roster players of the 1988-89 season

Billy Thompson

Dwayne PearlWashington

Scott Hastings

Pat Cummings

Jon Sundvold

Rory Sparrow – all of these players were NBA veterans

Sylvester Gray

Grant Long

Kevin Edwards

Rony Seikaly – these were the rookies

Initially it lost a record number of matches and games because all the teams’ energy was sapped by the long tiring road journeys to different venues as it was at first made a member of the Western Conference in its Mid West Division – a region to which it did not belong geographically. It suffered the second worst season in the history of the franchise after it made its debut.

But to rectify this initial set back and reverse its fortunes SyracuseUniversity’s Sherman Douglas and MichiganUniversity’s Glen Rice were brought under the team’s fold in 1989. But its records did not improve. It also moved over to the Eastern Conference, in the division of the Atlantic during the season of 1989 -1990. There it stayed grounded for 15 more years. But fortunes were not reversed.

More university students who were budding talents were picked in 89-90 season but its disappointing show continued to run on. But at least they won a few more matches that year – a consolation treat.

Its fortunes started turning around from the 1991-92 season after the resignation of Rothstein as coach and the appointment of Kevin Loughery as head coach and the inclusion of Michigan’s Steve Smith who helped to guide Miami Heat to the playoffs and into the overall fourth position in the Atlantic division.

In the NBA score charts an experienced and more mature Glen Rice was ranked 10th and Steve Smith made it to the all Rookie team of NBA on his debut.

1992-93 season was again disappointing and nothing to write home about.

1993-94 season witnessed some commendable success with the second dream team winning the tournament and earning a seeding of 8th.

In 1994-95 season there were some minor changes in the team with the replacement of Grant Long, Smith and Seikaly with Billy Owens and Kevin Willis. There was also a change in ownership with Micky Arison becoming Managing General Partner who fired Loughery. The new coach was Alvin Gentry.

It was from 1997 and 2004 onwards that the Miami Heat started their winning spree winning basketball titles or at least making appearances in final rounds and losing by a very close margin.

In 2003 Pat Riley himself put in his resignation as head coach and shocked the basket ball fraternity.

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