Many of you might know that DJ and I are Miami Heat fans. And no, we aren’t these Heat fans:
As a whole. we are just some of the worst. But you take the good and the bad, and my philosophy remains that all fans of teams are the worst. Fan is short for fanatics, take it like that. Sure, there are several people that love their team and simply just like to express it by dressing like their young children in backwards hats, jerseys, maybe some awesome sunglasses with the team name across the frames, and so on and so forth. But, hey, I’ve drunken yelled about hating Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo before at a Heat game. Thanks Gray Goose (oh wow, I just realized how dickish that sounds).
With another season ending, I had little hope this year, especially when you are seeing a team with an 11-30 record. But low and behold, for the first time in a long time, the final game of the Heat’s season is actually going to mean something. Playoffs or Nothing. As a follower of the Heat (I won’t use the term fan, because I hate it) that’s exciting, that’s intriguing, that’s something that I missed before the days of the Big Three, and I honestly haven’t felt this way with the Heat since maybe 2003 or 2004.
I remember starting to get into basketball around 1993 or 1994. Of course everyone loved Jordan, but I liked seeing Shaq and Penny up in Orlando, and it was probably around 1995 or 1996 when I really started watching the Heat. I mean you had Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, Dan Majerle. Add in the play-by-play of Dr. Jack Ramsay, and it was Magic in Miami.
So let’s take some time to remember some of the greats that came through Miami. Keep in mind, this is a list of players that I appreciated, not necessarily the ones that caused people to wake up, drive to Sports Authority (RIP) and buy a bunch of iron-on basketball jerseys and fitted caps.
10. Rafer Alston
Skip 2 My Lou will always be one of my favorites, even though he wasn’t the best point guard in Heat history (spoiler, there are going to be a lot of PGs on this list). Alston was a risky pickup since he was only really known for his work on the ‘And 1 Mixtape’ circuit, but during a transitional period for the Heat in 2004, he was one of several things that I loved about the 2003-2004 Miami Heat team.
8. Jason Williams
Sure, we got White Chocolate at the tail end of his career, but like Alston, he brought an element of fun to the Heat that was being built for a championship run after the acquisition of Shaquille O’Neal after Anthony Carter forgot to send in paperwork for his contract extension. So, maybe by proxy Anthony Carter should be my favorite Heat player of all time because of his Butterfly Effect-type blunder. Williams was great though, and he still showed some of his vintage Kings swag in route to the Heat’s first championship in 2006.