1994-95: HEAT Cooled Off By Franchise Overhaul
The Miami HEAT made significant roster changes early in the 1994-95 season, trading away Rony Seikaly, Steve Smith, and Grant Long and acquiring Billy Owens and Kevin Willis. There were also changes in the club's management. On February 13 the Arison family purchased all of Lewis Schaffel's and Billy Cunningham's interest in the team, leaving Marilyn Arison, wife of founder Ted Arison, with 88 percent of the HEAT ownership. Micky Arison was named the club's managing general partner. The next day the HEAT named Dave Wohl executive vice president of basketball operations and replaced Coach Kevin Loughery with Alvin Gentry. Loughery accepted a position in the HEAT front office. The final result was a 32-50 season, a drop of 10 games from 1993-94.
Willis and Glen Rice were among the league's highest-scoring duos early in the campaign, but injuries hindered Willis, who averaged 17.2 points and 10.9 rebounds in 67 games. His rebounding average would have tied him for fifth in the NBA, but he didn't have enough boards to qualify among the league leaders. Rice stroked the ball all season, finishing ninth in the NBA in scoring at 22.3 points per game. In a nationally televised game against the Orlando Magic on April 15, he set a franchise record by scoring 56 points, the league's highest individual point total in a single game all year. In the first season with the shortened three-point arc, Rice placed 16th in the league in three-point percentage (.410) and ranked among the NBA's top 10 in three-pointers made (185). At midseason he won the NBA Long Distance Shootout at All-Star Weekend.
Owens, who played mostly at off guard, averaged 7.2 rebounds to lead all NBA guards. The club also received sound play from rookie Khalid Reeves, who averaged 9.2 points and 4.3 assists. At season's end Gentry was relieved of his coaching duties.