Some are returning and some are new to the collection...check 'em all out at mitchellandness.com!
The Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals last night with a win over the Celtics. So, let's learn a little about the squad from South Beach.
- In the 1988 Expansion Draft the Heat selected Arvid Kramer from the Dallas Mavericks. Kramer, 31, never played in a game for the Heat.
- In the 1988 NBA Draft, with the 9th overall pick, the Heat selected Rony Seiklay from Syracuse. With the 20th pick they chose Kevin Edwards from DePaul.
- In 1992 the Heat became the first of the four expansion teams (Hornets, Timberwolves and Magic were the other three) to make the NBA Playoffs. Unfortunately, they faced the Michael Jordan led Bulls in the first round and were swept 3 games to none.
- The 2005 - 06 NBA season brought the Heat their first NBA Championship. In the first round they topped the Bulls 4 games to 2. They faced the Nets in round two and took care of business quickly with a four game sweep. The Pistons were the opponents in the Eastern Conference Finals. Coach Pat Riley led his Heat squad to their first Championship Series as they beat Larry Brown and the team from Motown 4 - 2. In the Finals they faced the Western Conference Champion Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks took the first two games at home but the Heat came back strong at home winning all three games. The sixth game was back in Dallas but the Mavs couldn't stop Dwayne Wade and his 36 points and 10 rebounds as the Heat won their first title in Dallas.
- Not including the current season, the Heat have had four players on the All Rookie Team: Sherman Douglas (89 - 90), Steve Smith (91 - 92), Caron Butler (02 - 03) and Dwayne Wade (03 - 04).
- In his 11 seasons in Miami, Alonzo Mourning was twice named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year - 1998 - 99 & 1999 - 00.
- Pat Riley was not named Coach of the Year in the 2006 Championship season, Avery Johnson was. Riley did receive the award while coaching the Heat in the 1996 - 97 season.
- The first Heat field goal was scored by Rory Sparrow on November 8 against the Clippers.
- The Heat got their first win on December 14, 1988 in a game against the Clippers, 89 - 88.
- The starting line up for the first Miami Heat game was: Rory Sparrow, Kevin Edwards, Rony Seikaly, Pat Cummings and Billy Thompson. The team finished with a 15 - 67 record in that inaugural 1988 - 89 season.
Now back to today. Will the Heat make it back to the NBA Finals this year? Will they face the Bulls or the Hawks in the next round? And then, if they make it to the Finals, will we see a re-match of the 2006 Series against the Mavericks? So many questions still to be answered.
Tell us what you think happens next for the Heat.
Check out the latest additions to the Hardwood Classics collection!
The 1984 - 1985 Los Angeles Lakers - Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis & Jamaal Wilkes
Eight years ago today, Rafael Palmeiro became the 19th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs. Palmeiro, as a Texas Ranger, vaulted himself into the 500 home run club against the Cleveland Indians’ David Elder. His 500th came in the 7th inning with two on and two out and the Rangers already winning 9-5. Palmeiro’s home run knocked in the game deciding run as the Rangers would go on to win the game 17-10. Palmeiro would go on to hit a total of 569 home runs in his career and play in the majors for 20 years.
In bringing Palmeiro’s accomplishment up around the office, we found that there are some mixed reviews on his feat. Because Palmeiro was indicated in Jose Canseco 2005 tell all steroid book and the 2007 Mitchell Report, a lot of people write off his hitting accomplishments (Palmeiro is also only one of four players to have at least 500 homeruns and 3,000 hits for his career). How do you feel about Palmeiro being a member of the 500 home run club?
The 1972-73 NBA season ended with the New York Knicks beating the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 1 in the 1973 NBA Finals. Game 5, played on May 10, 1973, ended the series with the Knicks defeating the Lakers, 102-93.
The Knicks, who won their first league title ever by defeating the Lakers in seven games in 1970, lost the opening game in this 1973 series and then swept the next four, repeating the pattern Los Angeles had used to beat them in the final series the previous year.
Earl Monroe led the Knicks with 23 points, followed by Bill Bradley with 20 and Walt Frazier with 18. For the Lakers, Gail Goodrich led all scorers with 28 points while Wilt Chamberlain had one of his best scoring nights with 23 and led both teams with 21 rebounds. Willis Reed of the New York Knicks was named Most Valuable Player in this championship series. (The photo above shows members of the Knicks championship team, left to right: Jerry Lucas, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Phil Jackson and Bill Bradley.)
This would be the last NBA Finals appearance for the Lakers until 1980. This was the first NBA Championship win for the Knicks' players Jerry Lucas and Earl Monroe. The Knicks would not make it back to the NBA Finals until 1994.
Photo below is courtesy of Sports Illustrated. Dean Meminger (left) and Earl Monroe (right) enjoy a game of cards on their charter plane back to New York after beating the Lakers for the championship.