Miami Heat

Miami Heat – Part of league expansion in the late 20th century, Miami officially joined the NBA in 1988. The Heat struggled greatly its first three seasons in the association, winning just 57 games under head coach Ron Rothstein.

Miami made its first-ever playoff appearance in 1992 with Kevin Loughery on the bench and it did in spite of a 38-44 record. The Heat easily dispatched by eventually NBA Finals champion Chicago in the first round.

The franchise would qualify for the postseason again in 1994, this time losing to the Hawks in five games. Loughery was dismissed the following season, paving the way for legendary coach Pat Riley to take over head coaching duties.

Riley’s arrival put the Heat on the basketball map as they became a playoff regular on his watch. Miami reached the playoffs 10 times between 1996 and 2008 with Riley and Stan Van Gundy (2003 – 2006) serving as coaches and the franchise won its first NBA title in 2006 with Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal leading the way.

Riley moved to the Miami front office in 2009, tapping Erik Spoelstra as his replacement and the club signed LeBron James in 2010. James arrival lead to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and two championships (2012, 2013).

In addition to Wade, James and O’Neal, Miami has served as home for fellow greats Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Glen Rice, Ray Rice, Chris Bosh and Rony Seikaly.

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