By: Jeremiah Douglas, Caleb Harris, John Myhre
The Miami Heat entered the league in 1988 as an expansion team named Road Warriors. The Miami Heat only won a total of 15 games in their first season. The Heat then improved the next couple of seasons and went to the playoffs in 1991-1992. On September 2, 1995, the Miami Heat hired coach Pat Riley, who would be one of the greatest acquisitions in franchise history. Two months into Riley’s hiring, All-Star, big man Alonzo Mourning hit the trade block. February 22, 1996 brought change, as Riley’s front office executed a series of trades involving three teams and 10 players, both league records at the time. The only player remaining from the previous year’s roster was Keith Askins.
Then in October 2000, the face of the franchise, Alonzo Mourning, announced he would not play basketball for the entire season after being diagnosed with a kidney disorder. However, Alonzo returned for the last 13 games of the season. With a couple of disappointing years, the Heat would draft Caron Butler and then Dwayne Wade the following season. In 2004, the Heat traded for Shaquille O’Neal, causing big changes. In 2006, the Heat made the playoffs again and this time they wouldn’t be stopped. The Heat beat the Bulls in 6, then the Nets in 5, and then the Pistons in 6. In the NBA Finals, the Heat went down 2-0, but ended up winning it 4-2. In 2010, the Heat would acquire LeBron James and Chris Bosh. They made the finals but had a disappointing loss. Then the next 2 years they would go back to back beating OKC and the Spurs. They went for a three peat but lost to the Spurs. LeBron James then left the Heat to go to the Lakers.
Since the big 3 Era, the Miami Heat has made the playoffs, along with 2 conference championship appearances, and 1 NBA Finals appearance losing to the LA Lakers in 6 games. In the 2021-2022 season, Miami Heat made the conference finals but lost in 7 games to the Boston Celtics. Jimmy Butler missed a 3 point attempt that would have won the game.