5 Greatest Players in Miami Heat Franchise History
The Miami Heat are a relatively young NBA franchise, having been added to the league in the year 1988 as part of one of the final few expansions that have changed the NBA to what it is today. Given that they have only 30 years of history, it is a great achievement for them to have won 3 NBA championships within that timeframe.
Some of the most memorable NBA moments have come in games played by the Heat. They have been lucky to have Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley as their team president since the year 2003, which marks the starting of their golden era.
In this article, we attempt to rank the 5 players who've had the greatest impact on the history of the Heat. Longevity is a factor in this discussion, which is why we have not placed Shaquille O'Neal on this list, or have LeBron James at #1.
Read on for the list of top 5 Miami Heat careers:
#5 Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway is one of those 'What-if' cases of Hall of Fame talents whose careers were cruelly affected by nagging injuries. Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 1989 NBA draft with the 14th pick, Hardaway is one of the few players 6'0" or under in league history to ever make it to an All-Star game.
He was traded to the Miami Heat midseason during the 1995-96 campaign, and he continued to put up All Star-calibre numbers for the franchise despite suffering a serious knee injury that ruled him out of the entire 1993-94 season and deprived him of his elite athleticism there onwards.
He was, however, immense during their playoff run in 1997, when they reached the Conference Finals before bowing out against Michael Jordan's Bulls team. Overall, Hardaway is best remembered for his time at Miami, and this merits him a selection to our top 5 players in Miami Heat history.