Quick Intro: Miami Heat History
The Miami Heat are an National Basketball Association team playing in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. The Miami Heat were founded in 1988 and play their games at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla.
Before 1988, there were no NBA franchises in the Sunshine State. But the Heat were added to the league a year before the Orlando Magic came into the league. The Miami Heat began their first season with a youthful roster, including Ron Seikaly and veterans Rory Sparrow, Jon Sundvold, Pearl Washington, Billy Thompson, Pat Cummings and Scott Hastings. The team began its first season, losing its first 17 games and finished the season a dismal 15-67.
The following year, the Miami Heat selected Glen Rice in the first round of the 1989 NBA Draft. Sherman Douglas was the team's second round selection. The team struggled for much of the next six seasons before posting its first ever winning record during the 1993-1994 season, going 42-40 and reaching the playoffs for the second time in franchise history.
The Miami Heat continued to improve over the next eight seasons and drafted Marquette University star Dwyane Wade with the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. This would set the stage for major improvements over the next few seasons.
In 2004, the Miami Heat acquired NBA star Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers. O'Neal and Wade led Miami to the second best record in franchise history the next season, finishing 59-23 and reaching the Eastern Conference finals. The following year, the Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks to win the first NBA Championship in franchise history.
The years to follow have not been too kind to the Heat, who have seen Dwyane Wade succumb to numerous injuries and the departure of numerous stars from the 2006 championship team. A new crop of young players, however, have the Heat looking towards the future.