MIAMI -- Dee Gordon had a courtside seat to watch the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, for a very good reason.
The Miami Marlins second baseman was there to represent Jose Fernandez .
Miami's first home preseason game of the season had a somber beginning, with the Heat paying tribute to the late Marlins ace right-hander by wearing his initials and jersey No. 16 on the back of their warmup shirts - then by offering a moment of silence before tip-off against the Brooklyn Nets.
The 24-year-old Fernandez and two friends died last month when the boat they were riding in crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach.
"It was a devastating blow to all of us in South Florida and our hearts go out to his family and everybody at the Marlins," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It's just so tragic for a player so young. We also want to acknowledge the other two gentlemen who were on that boat as well, and their families."
Gordon told Fox Sports Florida during their broadcast of the game that when he heard about the gesture - the Heat announced it a few hours before game time - he made arrangements to be at the game. Gordon wore one of the team's shooting shirts with the Fernandez tribute on the back.
"He was the heart and soul of Miami. ... It's just still weird that he's gone," Gordon said. "That's just the part we're trying to get over, but I think it's going to be tough."
The Heat players and coaches all linked arms for the playing of the national anthem in a show of unity, while the Nets' players and coaches draped their arms over each other's shoulders.