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HEAT Coaches and Players Speak on Former HEAT Player Tim James


Micky Arison, HEAT Managing General Partner

“On behalf of the Miami HEAT, I would like to say how proud we are of Tim. The decision he has made to serve his country shows his true character. He always represented the city of Miami, the Miami HEAT organization and the NBA in a first class manner. We support him in this new chapter of his life and wish nothing but the best for him and his fellow troops. The HEAT organization is a proud supporter of all our armed forces and we are extremely proud to have a member of our HEAT family serving our country.”

Pat Riley, HEAT President
(was the President and Head Coach during Tim’s year with the HEAT)

"When we watch people like Tim James sacrificing everything they have, to do something that matters and counts, while risking there lives protecting our country we realize the work we do while being important to us is made possible by the efforts of our soldiers in the Middle East. I hate to say that while we work in this toy department of human affairs on a day to day basis there are those standing on that wall looking after us and making our everyday existence possible. I am honored to have coached Tim James and wish that God will forever hold him and his family in the palm of his hand with the protection needed until he returns safely."

Erik Spoelstra, Miami HEAT Head Coach
(was an assistant coach during Tim’s year with the HEAT)

“Despite the fact he was only here for one year with the HEAT, Tim James made a lasting impression on everybody in this organization. The character and work ethic which he displayed on a daily basis as a rookie with us in 1999 is now evident for the rest of the country to see. This commitment he is making for our country is really incredible for us to witness and speaks volumes about Tim as a person. There are not a lot of people that would make the sacrifices he is making and it is one of the many reasons we are so proud of him today. We wish nothing but the best for him and all the fine men and women who are making an incredible sacrifice by serving our country and defending our way of life. We will continue to pray for his safe return and look forward to honoring him when he returns home to Miami.”

Keith Askins, Miami HEAT Assistant Coach
(was a teammate of Tim’s in training camp in 1999 and then joined the coaching staff during Tim’s rookie year)

“I have known Tim since his high school years and he was always a very humbled person. For him to be serving in the armed forces is a testimony to that. Thank you Tim.”

Udonis Haslem, HEAT Captain
(Miami native like Tim and a teammate of Tim’s in AAU ball)

“I grew up in Miami watching Tim James play. He was a little bit older than me and was legendary in high school because of his athleticism. He played at Northwestern High School with Corey Lewis on probably one of the best teams to ever come out of Miami. I had the opportunity to play AAU ball with him, although I didn’t get much time as a back-up to him. I always just looked up to Tim. I think what he’s doing now is very courageous and honorable. It takes a special kind of person to do what he is doing. We are definitely blessed to have people that do things like that and try to make a difference. As far as me wearing the number 40, it’s a tribute to Tim, a Miami guy that also wore number 40 for the Miami HEAT and to my father who wore number 40. When I had the opportunity to wear number 40 I was very excited.”


James Jones, Miami HEAT Forward
(Miami native who followed Tim to the University of Miami)

“Finding out that Tim was overseas serving in the military was a little surprising, but I wasn’t shocked. Being a Miami native and growing up in this community, before eventually following him to the University of Miami, I had a chance to watch him excel and challenge himself and on a regular basis. Tim wound up reaching heights that no one in our community or at the University of Miami had reached. He’s a quiet guy who just diligently went about his business and surprised a lot of people. That’s what I remember about Tim as a youngster. He was a guy who always in some form or fashion found a way to surprise people and at the same time accomplish great things. I know he’s over there now with our troops in Iraq. I’m sure they love him and he’s excelling because he has that quiet confidence and that ability in the face of competition to excel. I’m really proud of him. It’s the greatest honor because he is doing something that transcends basketball and sport. He’s preserving our freedom and fighting for the way of life for not only his friends, his family and his community, but also for foreign communities and people of the world in general. You can’t say anymore about him than he has chosen to make this ultimate sacrifice and this selfless act requires and deserves our ultimate praise and honor.”

Jamaal Magloire, Miami HEAT Center
(played on the Charlotte Hornets with Tim in 2000-01)

“What I remember about Tim from our days in Charlotte was that he was a soft-spoken, very humble guy that was always willing to try and get better and improve his skills. He was a man of few words but was always willing to put the extra time in. I’m very fortunate to have been able to work with him and I’m very proud to have him representing our country in the capacity that he is.”

Alonzo Mourning
(former HEAT player who played on the 1999-00 team with Tim James)

“The first thing that I remember about Tim James is he had a high level of athletic ability. When he was a rookie, after he drafted him in 1999, he literally would jump out of the gym at times and I was fascinated by his overall athletic ability. Little did I know, that deep down inside he had a certain heroic commitment towards serving this country. I’m extremely proud of him and my heart goes out to him while he is doing his job and protecting the country. It truly is an admirable and heroic feat to do the things he is doing now. It goes beyond competing on the basketball court. My family wishes him nothing but the best because he is doing things that many of us wound not even think to do. His work and commitment to this country means a lot to us.”

Stan Van Gundy, Orlando Magic Head Coach
(former Assistant Head Coach with the HEAT when Tim played there)

“We knew when we drafted Tim that he was a person of high character. Now, years later he is showing just how true that is. Tim has long made the city of Miami proud and, like all of our brave fighting men and women, we thank him, wish him well and pray for his safe return.”

Leonard Hamilton, Florida State University Head Basketball Coach
(former head coach at the University of Miami when Tim played there)

“Tim has such a patriotic spirit and desire to defend his country which I know is really sincere. The opportunity to serve this country was something that he really wanted to do and was very important to him. When we spoke about this possibility it was something that he was passionate about and it was an opportunity he wanted to take advantage of. I’m excited for Tim because he has such a desire to make a difference. To me it just says an awful lot about him as a person. Making this sacrifice to defend our country shows a lot about his character and what he’s about as an individual. I’m very proud of him and I hope the people in Dade County are as proud of him as we are.”

Stan Jones, Florida State University Men’s Basketball Associate Head Coach
(former assistant coach at the University of Miami when Tim played there)

“Tim James will always be one of the special people that I always have great memories of as a coach because he was winner and most importantly he was a great teammate. He was a guy that was always very coachable and teachable. He was that rare kind of player that always made his team better. He’s now made a new choice in his life and it’s a great choice because he’s being responsible for the welfare of his family and the welfare of this country. I’m sure through the leadership skills that he’s demonstrating to his superiors and his fellow troops they are seeing those winning qualities come out in Tim. I have no doubt that he’s making sure his teammates in this new venture of his life are being taken care of.”

Kevin Norris, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Assistant Basketball Coach
(former college teammate of Tim at the University of Miami & his roommate for three years)

“Tim is a quiet sole, but he always had a presence about him that you knew he was destined for something big. He always carried himself as a professional, even in college. He had the name, the accolades and everything, but to be around him you would never know it. He is a special person. I’m just so happy that he’s jumped a lot of hurdles and climbed a lot of mountains and is still grinding and doing the things he loves to do. Tim was always a giving person and it’s obvious that he really cares about people or he wouldn’t be where he is today.”