The 6 Best Players in Miami Heat's History
Photo by Andre Tan on Unsplash
Determining the best players in a club's history can be challenging. Looking at the player's overall career can paint a different picture of their performances and stats for just one team.
Tyler Herro is currently leading the way this term with a PPG average of 23.1, ahead of Adebayo and Butler on 22.2 and 21.5.
Back-to-back Championship final defeats to the Celtics and Nuggets and a current mid-table position have been disappointing to fans who have backed their team. Current odds of around 40/1 make the Heat outsiders this year, but those who fancy their chances can explore a Florida gambling guide to help them find the best odds and markets for their team.
The Miami Heat have been blessed with some incredible players over the years with some enjoying their best years playing in the red, yellow, and black of the Heat and others going on to become legends of the game for other teams.
The best example of the latter is the current L.A. Lakers forward, Lebron James. James started his professional career at the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 before moving to the Heat in 2010. He faced a barrage of criticism after moving because of how it was announced and how long it took.
LeBron James was able to put the controversy behind him and was a major factor in the Heat enjoying back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. He was also named as the Finals MVP for both these seasons, showing just how impressive he had been.
In his four years in Miami, James averaged 1.7 steaks, 6.7 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and 26.9 points per game. In his career, James has won four NBA Championships, being named MVP in each of these appearances.
Other notable career highs include being the leading NBA point scorer and the only player to reach 30,000 points, the player with the most All-NBA selections, and recently added the first MVP of the new In-Season Tournament to his accolades.
LeBron James will go down as one of the greatest NBA stars of all time and is arguably the biggest threat to Michael Jordan's crown as the best ever. His time at the Miami Heat was an important chapter in this story, and Heat fans rank him as one of their best.
While LeBron James only played in Miami for four years, Dwayne Wade spent the majority of his career there after being drafted by the Heat in 2003. He eventually moved on to the Chicago Bulls after 13 seasons in 2016 after winning three Championships. He returned to Miami in 2018 before retiring in 2019, with the Heat retiring his number 3 shirt in his honor.
Outsiders will always look at James's contribution to the Heat's title-winning seasons, and it can't be underestimated. However, it is worth remembering it is a team game and there were lots of other big performers that were every bit as essential.
Wade's contribution during the 2006 Championship saw him named the MVP and his performances over his career saw him rack up an average of 1.5 steals, 5.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 22 points per game.
His impressive performances and loyalty to the Heat have seen him become the franchise's leading point scorer (21,556), other records he holds include the most steals with 1,492, field goals with 7,842, free throws with 5,391, assists with 5,310, and games played with 948.
When you compare careers, LeBron James would undoubtedly feature ahead of Wade, but when you want to know who had the bigger impact at the Miami Heat, Wade moves ahead.
The only current Miami Heat player on our list is Jimmy Butler who joined the team in 2019 after stints at the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Chicago Bulls.
Butler's reputation wasn't the best before arriving in Miami and he was labeled emotional and erratic. Since joining the Heat, he has settled into a rhythm that has benefitted his style of play and his team.
During his Miami Heat career, he has averaged 1.8 steals, 5.9 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 21.5 points per game. He is a tenacious player who leaves it all on the court, and that is something the fans appreciate in the modern game.
When it comes to big personalities, there aren't many bigger than Shaq. Shaquille O'Neal's 7ft 1" frame made him a looming presence for the opposition, and he helped the L.A. Lakers to three consecutive titles from 2000 to 2002, taking the MVP title in each final.
Following eight successful years in LA, Shaq moved to the Miami Heat in 2004 where he won his fourth and final championship in 2006.
Game averages of 1.9 blocks, 2.1 assists, 9.1 rebounds, and 19.6 points during his Heat days might not have been the best in his career, but they were still great numbers.
Finally, Alonzo Mourning makes the list after 11 seasons spread over 2 spells at the franchise between 1995 and 2002 and 2004 to 2008. He was part of the championship-winning 2006 team and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
He is second only to Dwayne Wade in rebounds and points for the Heat with 4,807 and 9,459 respectively.