HEAT All Decade Team

Presented By Eric Reid

We have just completed the Miami HEAT’s second full decade of NBA adventures.  The 1990s brought you Pat Riley and Micky Arison, Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway; HEAT vs. Knicks; joy and heartbreak.

The last 10 years, from 2000 thru 2009, was a journey like no other. Pat Riley passing the coaching torch to Stan Van Gundy and then back again for a Hall of Fame encore. The drafting and developing of the greatest talent in franchise history, Dwyane Wade; then pairing him with Shaquille O’Neal for two straight Conference Final appearances and the ultimate prize of the 2006 NBA Championship.  It truly was a journey like no other and a memory to last a lifetime.

Here is my All-Decade HEAT Team:

FIRST TEAM

F:  Udonis Haslem – Ended the decade leading Miami in rebounds four straight seasons and leading the way when it came to effort and heart. He shined on the biggest stage of all with a 17 point, 10 rebound performance the night Miami became NBA champions. Haslem’s played in 61 playoff games in his first six seasons.  Dwyane Wade’s HEAT classmate is a true hometown hero.
F:  Brian Grant – Four seasons of everything he had, Grant averaged 15 points and almost nine rebounds a game in his first year (2000-01) on a 50-win team. Grant was acquired by the HEAT to play alongside Alonzo Mourning but wound up playing just one full season with him.
C:  Shaquille O’Neal - From the moment he arrived in July of 2004 to the day he left in February of 2008, he brought attention and success at levels never before seen in Miami.  It was extraordinary to see Shaq and Mourning, the top two picks in the 1992 draft, and the two greatest centers in HEAT history, on the same team. 
G:  Eddie Jones – Six seasons in his hometown, the former Pompano-Ely star scored over 17 points a game over his first four years.  He was the HEAT’s top scorer from 2000-04. Jones drained 712 three pointers in a HEAT uniform, second most to Tim Hardaway in team history.  He played in 34 playoff games for Miami.
G:  Dwyane Wade – No HEAT player has ascended faster or higher. The 2006 Finals MVP had one of the greatest championship round performances in NBA history.  He is rewriting the HEAT record book. Wade has paved the way for a potential Hall of Fame career. The only thing left is to win another ring or more with Miami in the decade ahead.

 

SECOND TEAM

F:  Caron Butler – The 10th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft had the second best rookie season in franchise history to only Wade.  His second and final HEAT season was a spirited joy ride, two rounds into the playoffs. Butler played with a passion that rubbed off on his teammates and HEAT fans.
F:  Lamar Odom – Despite playing just one season in Miami, I have no reservations about putting him here. He played a Magic like role during a magical HEAT season (2003-04), averaging over 17 points, nearly 10 rebounds and four assists per game. It was this team that HEAT fans fell back in love with.  Had the best one year stay in HEAT history, it also revived his career.
C:  Alonzo Mourning – A decade that began for him with the on set of kidney disease.  His triumphant return in 2005 was culminated with the most passionate 14 minutes ever played in the championship victory.  No man ever played harder for the HEAT. Zo is the first franchise center in Miami. No one was more deserving to be on the championship team and to be the first to have his number retired.
G:  James Posey – Don’t measure Posey’s two years on statistics. What I remember are all the timely threes, the tenacious defense, and one of the great HEAT teammates ever.  He played a major role on the championship HEAT team and later did the same thing in Boston for his second ring
G: Jason Williams – He came to the HEAT from Memphis in 2005 in the same deal as Posey and Antoine Walker and was the starting point guard on the two greatest HEAT playoff teams ever – including the championship team.  Don’t ever forget his 21 points, on a night were he made his first 10 shots, in the HEAT’s Eastern Conference championship clinching victory.