1999-2000: A New Millennium Begins In A New Arena
On January 1, 2000, the Miami HEAT moved into South Florida's premier waterfront showplace: the AmericanAirlines Arena. The Arena holds 20,500 basketball fans and is home to the Miami HEAT and the WNBA's Miami SOL.
Miami HEAT President and Head Coach Pat Riley closed out the regular season just one win shy of 1,000 career wins. Riley compiled a 999-433 record in 1,432 career games as an NBA coach.
Miami HEAT assistant coach Bob McAdoo, a three-time NBA scoring champion and two-time NBA champion with the Lakers, was elected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on May 24, 1999. McAdoo was among six inductees in the Class of 2000. McAdoo, a 14-year NBA veteran, averaged 22.1 points, 9.4 assists and shot 50.3 percent (7,420-14,751) from the floor during his career.
For the second consecutive season, Alonzo Mourning was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He received 62 out of a possible 121 votes form a panel of sports writers and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Mourning edged out Shaquille O'Neal (21 votes), Dikembe Mutombo (11) and Eddie Jones(11). Mourning, who blocked a career-high 294 shots, became the sixth repeat winner in NBA history. Mourning was selected to the NBA All-Defensive team as well.
Mourning also finished third in Most Valuable Player voting in 2000. He was topped only by winner Shaquille O'Neal and runner-up Kevin Garnett.
When the HEAT and Jazz clinched divisional titles on Apr. 16, they became the 10th and 11th teams in history to win four or more consecutive NBA divisional championships.
Prior to this season, there had never been an occasion in the NBA where two teams had met postseason play in four consecutive seasons and had the series go to the maximum number of games in each of the four series. This season marked the fourth straight year the Knicks and HEAT had met in postseason play and the fourth straight year the series went to the maximum number of games.