The Miami Heat franchise is one of the most successful franchises in NBA history. The franchise has only finished with 5 losing seasons since the 1995-1996 season. Additionally, the team has an all-time winning percentage of .522%, 20 playoff appearances, and three championships. Who are the names behind this new but already storied franchise? This article will detail the top 25 greatest players to don a Miami Heat uniform.
#25 Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo makes this list due to his third-year improvement and contribution to the Heat’s current playoff team. A most improved player candidate, Bam Adebayo finished the in-limbo 2020 season with 16.2 points per game, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Every facet of his game has improved since he has been drafted. With steady play over the next few years including playoff appearances, Adebayo will quickly climb this latter.
#24 James Jones
The 3x NBA champion and 2x NBA Heat champion has to make this list for his contributions to the Miami Heat’s back to back championships in 2012 and 2013. A role player at best, James Jones made his name for his clutch three-point shooting. Within his six-year stint with the Heat, Jones shot over 40%, peaking at .511% in 2013-2014. He was a team favorite and great locker room guy from all accounts. Jones’s name is synonymous with the Miami Heat.
#23 Mike Miller
Similar to James Jones, Mike Miller was a three-point specialist for the Miami Heat during the Lebron era. Miller made clutch three after clutch three in the regular season and full-court pass after full-court pass that ultimately contributed to the Heat’s most successful run as a franchise. His role in their back-to-back championship run should not be understated.
#22 Jimmy Butler
Although Jimmy Butler has only been with the Heat for a season, you can already tell he has made it his home. He personifies the Miami Heat culture so well with his work ethic, leadership, and attitude on the court. Butler’s presence on this team has carried the Heat from potential Eastern Conference bottom feeders to legit finals contenders. A few more seasons like this and Jimmy Butler will cement his name as a top-10 Heat player.
#21 Shane Battier
Shane Battier’s time with the Miami Heat was limited but he made his presence known. He was another key piece in the early 2010s championship run due to his consistent, physical defense and timely shooting. He started nearly a third of his games, brought in to handle the opposing team’s best offensive weapon. He did his job masterfully, taking the load off of Lebron James and Dwayne Wade on the perimeter and securing two championship rings with the team.
#20 Lamar Odom
While Lamar Odom only played one full season with the Heat, he was an integral part of the Heat’s resurgence in 2004. Fresh off the Dwayne Wade draft pick, the Heat were expected to enter a full-blown rebuild. However, the then 24-year old Lamar Odom surprised folks with his energy and chemistry with his Miami Heat teammates. While Odom is a Laker at heart, Heat fans should never forget his role in getting the Heat franchise back to its winning ways.
#19 Steve Smith
While Steve Smith’s time with the Heat didn’t conclude with any postseason success, the shooting guard out of Michigan State made a name for himself in the early days of this franchise. Along with Glen Rice and Rony Seikaly, Smith helped to establish a Miami Heat culture and first winning season since their expansion into the NBA. A consistent scorer and shot creator, Smith inspired the first generation of Heat fans.
#18 James Posey
James Posey only played two seasons with the Miami Heat but made such a huge impression on the team that he had to make this list. What made Posey such a special Heat legend was the defense and energy he brought to the court. A starter/sixth-man for the 05-06’ championship Heat, Posey brought tenacious energy and hustle to the court. He was one of the top role players on that championship squad.
#17 PJ Brown
PJ Brown was apart of the Miami Heat’s Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning core that nearly reached the finals 1996. And Brown was a key starter for this team. He complemented Mourning with his athleticism while also showing a knack for scoring the ball. Every season with the Heat, Brown scored nearly 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block. This steady presence eased the burden for Hardaway and Moruning’s occasional bad games and was a huge reason for the team’s success.
#16 Sherman Douglas
Douglas is also one of the original OG Miami Heat Players. Playing for the Heat at the beginning of the 90s decade, Douglas was a playmaking machine. Shooting nearly 50% from the floor and posting near season double-doubles in points and assists, Douglas was the real deal. Although he never reached his potential for other teams around the league, he will always be remembered for his contributions to the early Heat franchise.
#15 Ray Allen
Ray Allen cemented himself with the shot heard around the world in the 2013 NBA finals. This shot is probably the greatest shot in Miami Heat history as it brought the team back from a 3-2 deficit in the finals and erased serious concern on LeBron James’s ability to win NBA titles. While Ray Allen is a Seattle Supersonic and Boston Celtic legend, he is also a huge part of Miami Heat basketball history.
5 years ago today, Ray Allen hit this dagger against the Spurs.
SVP and Jay Harris were there to recap the chaos. pic.twitter.com/DJUYtW8oZ4
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 18, 2018
#14 Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers was always the little brother in the big three era Miami Heat squad. I remember most vividly the on-court arguments with LeBron James over one of his bone-headed plays. However, I also remember the contribution that Chalmers made. He always played within his role and stepped up when he needed to step up. I am appreciative of the success Chalmers brought to this team.
#13 Jason Williams
Jason Williams is high on this list for the same reasons as Mario Chalmers – both point guards were key starters on their championship squads. Williams, nicknamed “White Chocolate” played a slightly bigger role for the 05-06’ Heat Squad as he was tasked with being the primary facilitator. I’ll never forget the no-look passes and flare Williams brought to the Miami Heat.
#12 Goran Dragic
In his six seasons with the Miami Heat, Goran Dragic aka “The Dragon” has become a household name. Bringing a level of consistent scoring, playmaking, and decision-making as well as making the all-star team, Dragic prevented the Heat from being a bottom-feeder in the post-Lebron era. Now, with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, Dragic has the opportunity to finally play for a winning Heat team.
#11 Jamal Mashburn
Small forward Jamal Mashburn was a key contributor for the late 90s Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning squads. Often the third man on these teams, Mashburn played his role very well, carving a niche as a great two-way scorer. While not as potent of a player as his time on the Mavs, Mashburn is remembered by Heat fans for his contributions to building the winning Heat culture.
#10 Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones is at the bottom of the top 10 because of his short stint with the franchise. In his four years with the Miami Heat, Jones was spectacular averaging over 15 points per game and shooting above 39% from three. This came at the beginning of the Dwayne Wade era where he was the team’s leading scorer. Similarly to Lamar Odom, while he is recognized more for his affiliation with the Lakers, I won’t forget Jones’s contributions to building the 05-06’ Heat culture.
#9 Rony Seikaly
Seikaly was the first-star big man for the Miami Heat leading the team through its first few years as an expansion team. During his time with the Heat, Seikaly averaged a double-double in 5 out of 6 seasons. Seikaly was a menace on the boards with his work ethic and determination always at the center. He was known as the King of South Beach during his time. While later Heat Legends have taken the crown, Seikaly will always be remembered for leading the charge.
#8 Udonis Haslem
What can I say, Udonis Haslem is a Heat-lifer. Everyone loves an origin story and his gets no better. From the tough streets of Miami to going undrafted, to working his way into the NBA, Haslem embodies the spirit of the “Heat Way”. It wasn’t his play on the court that puts him this high on the list but rather his leadership skills and determination that united many Heat locker rooms. Overall, Udonis Haslem is Heat culture.
#7 Glen Rice
While Rony Seikaly was the King of South Beach, Glen Rice was the star of the Miami Heat. During his time with the Heat in the early 90s, Glen Rice was a star, consistently scoring 18+ points per game while shooting over 45% from the field and 39% from the three-point line. He was a versatile offensive weapon that attracted many Heat-lifer fans. For that, Rice has to make the top ten greatest Heat players.
#6 Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh was the third man in the Heat superteam led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Bosh complemented both players very well with his ability to stretch the floor and leadership in the locker room. What I enjoyed most about Bosh was his calming presence in games. He rarely made mistakes and was always in the right place at the right time. This was no more apparent than his miracle rebound and kick-out to Ray Allen in one of the biggest plays in Heat history.
#5 Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal only played four seasons with the Heat but became a legend. He and Dwayne Wade made the perfect duo that ultimately won the 06’ finals. We know what Shaquille O’Neal brings to the floor, but what set his stint apart from other teams such as the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers was his maturity. While he was a better player during those stints, his wisdom and understanding of the game grew, making him a valuable locker room leader for the Heat squad.
#4 Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning formed a dynamic duo that eventually created the mold for Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. During his time with the Heat, Hardaway embodied the Heat culture of excellent playmaking, defense, effort, and heart. With Pat Riley as head coach, this Miami Heat squad was the team you never wanted to face. While they never won a title, I appreciate Hardaway’s contributions to building the Heat brand.
#3 Alonzo Mourning
Now front-office man for the Heat, Alonzo Mourning was the face of the Heat franchise for many years. Mourning was a class-act whose intensity, strength, and leadership helped to establish the Heat brand for decades to follow. While only playing in eight seasons with the Heat, Mourning was a double-double machine and capable number one option. Older Heat fans will remember Mourning as one of the greatest to don a Heat jersey.
#2 LeBron James
This is the only other “greatest all-time list” LeBron James should be 2nd. James’ decision to come to South Beach boosted his career and brought the Heat from a good to an elite NBA franchise. Before joining the Heat, James had yet to win an NBA title and was desperately trying to build up his reputation. For the Heat, Dwayne Wade finally had another star to play alongside him. Fans appreciate LeBron’s two titles he brought to South Beach but wished he stayed with the franchise longer.
#1 Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade is the only Heat player with a county named after him. Anyways, Wade is the epitome of the Heat culture. He brought a toughness, defensive attitude, and work ethic to the court that catapulted this underachieving franchise to constant championship success. Outside of Udonis Haslem, Wade is the only Heat player to live through all three Heat championships. Wade simply has to be number one on this list.
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