In Florida, a state at the time without an NBA franchise, groups from Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg and Miami all vied to land franchises. The Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority eventually endorsed a group led by NBA Hall of Fame Billy Cunningham and former sports agent and lifelong friend of Cunningham’s Lewis Schaffel, who received their financial backing from Carnival Cruise Lines founder Ted Arison, who would be majority owner. Day-to-day operations would be handled by minority shareholders Cunningham and Schaffel. In April 1987, the NBA expansion committee endorsed the bids of the cities of Charlotte and Minneapolis. However, the committee was split between awarding the third and final franchise to Miami or Orlando, causing representatives from both cities to toss barbs at the other. Finally, it was decided that the NBA would expand by 4 teams, with the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat debuting for the 1988 – 1989 season and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic beginning for the 1989 – 1990 season.
NBA Finals – 2006
The 2006 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2005 – 2006 National Basketball Association season. The Miami Heat won the title in six games over the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the third team after the 1969 Celtics and the 1977 Trail Blazers to win a championship after trailing 0–2 in the series. Heat guard Dwyane Wade was named Most Valuable Player of the series.
The Big Three were a trio of professional basketball players for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from the 2010–11 NBA season to the 2013–14 NBA season. The “Big Three” consisted of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. All three of those players were selected within the first five picks of the 2003 NBA draft. James was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 and announced his free agent move to the Miami Heat on his TV special called The Decision. Wade was selected by the Miami Heat and played his whole NBA career for the Heat up to the 2015 – 2016 season because he was offered 10 Million for 1 season by the Heat. Bosh was selected by the Toronto Raptors and then signed a free agency contract to play for the Heat. Each of the players from the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” was the franchise scoring leader for the franchise that drafted them. They led the Heat to the NBA Finals in each of their four seasons playing together. Both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh continued to play for the Heat for two more seasons after LeBron James left to return to Cleveland before Wade would sign with the Chicago Bulls and Bosh would consider medical retirement due to continuous blood clots before the start of the 2016 – 2017 NBA season.
NBA Finals – 2012
The 2012 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2011 – 2012 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the conclusion of the season’s playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeated the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder 4 games to 1 to win their second NBA title. Heat forward LeBron James was named the Finals MVP.
NBA Finals – 2013
The 2013 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2012 – 2013 NBA season and the conclusion of the season’s playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeated the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs to win their second straight title. The Finals began with Game 1 on June 6, and ended with Game 7 on June 20.
On July 11, 2014 LeBron James announced he had decided to return to Cleveland leaving Wade and Bosh to continue on without him.
Much like the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2010 off-season, the Heat focused on how it would maintain and remain a top contender without LeBron James. However, rather than firing key members and rebuilding, the Heat kept much of its roster together and re-tooled. Despite the departure of James, the off-season for the Heat marked the return of many key veterans and the arrival of new stars embarking on a hopeful note for the Heat. Chris Bosh signed to a hefty $115,000,000 contract for eight years. Dwyane Wade also re-signed for a two-year contract.
The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. They play their home games at the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami. The team owner is Micky Arison, who also owns cruise-ship giant Carnival Corporation. The team president and de facto general manager is Pat Riley, and the head coach is Erik Spoelstra. The mascot of the team is Burnie, an anthropomorphic fireball.
Formed in 1988 as an expansion team, the Heat have won three league championships (in 2006, 2012 and 2013), five conference titles and 11 division titles. From February 3 to March 27, 2013, the Heat won 27 games in a row, the third-longest streak in NBA history (after the 2015 – 2016 Golden State Warriors’ 28 wins and the 1971 – 1972 Los Angeles Lakers’ 33 wins). In 2016, Forbes valued the Heat at $1.3 billion as the tenth most valuable among NBA franchises.
1988 – Present / National Basketball Association
1988 – Present / Miami Heat
Heat – In October 1986, the owners of Miami’s expansion franchise choose Stephanie Freed’s Heat submission from more than 20,000 entries, which also included Sharks, Tornadoes, Beaches, and Barracudas.
NBA Championships 3
2013, 2012, 2006
2000 – Present / American Airlines Arena
1988 – 2000 / Miami Arena
1988 – Present / Micky Arison
1 Chris Bosh
10 Tim Hardaway
13 Dan Marino
23 Michael Jordan
32 Shaquille O’Neal
33 Alonzo Mourning
*Blue is this team’s history