Several NBA players have opted to play for Team USA in the Olympics, and some of them also played for the Miami Heat. Although the USA men's basketball 1992 Dream team did not include any Heat players, they have made up for it in subsequent years.
The USA men's basketball team has been very successful in the Olympics, winning medals in their 19 appearances thus far. Since the start of the 21st century, Miami Heat players have been part of the US national team at every Olympic event except in 2016.
The Miami Heat had four of its players compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Bam Adebayo represented team USA, while KZ Okpala, Precious Achiuwa, and Gabe Vincent suited up for Team Nigeria.
That said, let's take a look at the only five Miami Heat players to win an Olympic gold medal.
#1 Alonzo Mourning (2000)
Alonzo Mourning was part of an elite USA team that comprised some of the best scorers in the NBA at the time. Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Gary Payton and Vince Carter were also on the team.
Mourning was one of two Miami Heat players that were called up to the national team. As expected, Team USA maintained a perfect 8-0 record in the competition.
The Miami Heat finished second in the Eastern Conference during the 1999-00 season, thanks to the brilliance of Mourning. He led the team in points (21.7) and rebounds (9.5) per game.
Although the Heat crashed out of the 2020 NBA playoffs in the second round, the big man was still very efficient. His dominance earned him a call-up to the national team for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. Till date, Mourning remains the Miami Heat's all-time third best player behind Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
#2 Tim Hardaway (2000)
Tim Hardaway was another Miami Heat star who was called to represent team USA at the 2000 Olympics. Although he was close to the end of his career, the 33-year old stayed productive for the Heat and the USA team.
Hardaway finally had his chance to suit up for the national team following disappointments in 1994 and 1998. The Miami Heat guard was replaced due to a knee injury in 1994, while the entire team was replaced in 1998 due to an NBA lockout.
Although he did not play as many minutes as he'd have liked, he averaged 5.5 points and shot 38.5% from the field. Hardaway came off a decent run with the Miami Heat, ending the season as the third-highest scorer and assist leader.
#3 Dwyane Wade (2008)
Dwyane Wade was selected by the Miami Heat as the 5th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. In his rookie season, he averaged 16.2 points while featuring in 61 games.
Wade developed into an All-Star in subsequent years and became one of the best scorers in Miami Heat's history. In 2006, Wade, in partnership with Shaquille O'Neal, led the Miami Heat to its first-ever NBA championship.
By 2008, he was called up to be a part of the USA team that would compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Although the team had Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as part of the roster, Wade led them in scoring and averaged 16.1 points per game.
The heroics of the Miami Heat guard led the United States to its thirteenth Olympic title after they beat Spain in the gold medal match.
#4 LeBron James (2012)
LeBron James won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA in 2008. However, he had not yet taken his talents to South Beach as he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers back then.
He joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form the Miami Heat super team in 2011 and led the team to back-to-back championships in 2012 & 2013. After winning the 2012 NBA championship, he also went on to win another trophy at the 2012 London Olympics.
Wade could not make the trip to London because he was nursing a knee injury. However, LeBron represented the Miami Heat in fine fashion and won team USA another gold medal.
#5 Bam Adebayo (2021)
Bam Adebayo is the latest Miami Heat player to earn a gold medal with Team USA in the Olympics. He was the starting center for Gregg Popovich's 2021 USA team.
Bam had other Miami Heat teammates in the competition, but they did not make it past the first round. It was a defensive masterclass from the big man throughout the competition as he led the team in rebounds, averaging 5.2 per game. He also had three blocks in the finals against team France to guarantee USA the victory.
Winning this gold medal could be the first of many as the 23-year-old still has a decent amount of playing years ahead of him. He will return to the Miami Heat to prepare for the 2021-22 NBA season, where they hope to make a deep run in the playoffs.