NBA: Miami Heat's All-Decade Starting 5s

Joshua Carroll@JoshmaniiiCorrespondent IIAugust 31, 2012

NBA: Miami Heat's All-Decade Starting 5s

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    The Miami Heat certainly do not have as rich a history as teams like the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics. However, some great talents have played for Miami in the past, and the Heat's future looks brighter than ever before.

    From the time that the Miami Heat were formed as an expansion team in 1988 to now in 2012, South Beach has served as home to many great players along the way. 

    Despite the common belief, the Heat were actually a franchise a long time before the Dwyane Wade era.

    If one were to piece together the Miami Heat's two all-decade starting fives, what would they look like? It's not something you need to worry about—I've already answered that question and more for you. All you have to do is click next.

PG Tim Hardaway: 1990's

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    Tim Hardaway introduced the league to one of the nastiest crossovers that anybody had ever seen. So simple, yet so hard to guard. A fast cross leaving his defender looking deceptively slow. 

    Hardway was able to reach the milestone of 5,000 points and 2,500 assists faster than anybody to ever play the game, besides Oscar Robertson. 

    It was Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning who served as the dynamic duo for the Heat before LeBron and Wade, as they led the Heat to it's first continued success during their tenure.

    Hardaway is, without a doubt, the best point guard to ever play for the Heat, at least as of now.

    There's no reason whatsoever that he should not be at the head of the Miami Heat's first all-decade team.

SG Glen Rice: 1990's

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    Glenn Rice is often regarded as a great shooter for the Los Angeles Lakers. However, before he wore the purple and gold, he was drafted to the Heat in 1989.

    He was Miami's first superstar and led them against the Bulls in the franchise's first playoff series, while serving as the first player in Heat history to average 20-plus points. 

    Simply a pure scorer, Rice was able to put Miami's young franchise on the map. 

    Maybe more importantly, it was Rice who was ultimately traded for Alonzo Mourning in 1995.

    Nonetheless, both players represent some of the finest talent that South Beach has ever seen.

SF Jamal Mashburn: 1990's

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    Jamal Mashburn, also known as Monster Mash, joined the Heat in 1996.

    A little bit overshadowed by Hardaway and Mourning, he rarely receives the credit he deserves. Responsible for doing all the dirty work such as rebounding and defending the other team's best player, Mashburn was an extremely important piece to the Heat in the late 90s.

    Eventually traded for Eddie Jones, Mashburn went on to have a successful career with the Hornets.

    He didn't spend too long with the Heat, only three years, but his time was well spent. He provided the Heat with some great highlights and gritty minutes and overlooked hustle plays, game in and game out. 

    A great glue guy for this all-decade team.

    Some may argue that P.J. Brown belongs in this position when it comes to the Heat's all decade roster. 

    Although he did many of the same things for Miami as Mashburn, he is not quite as versatile a player. You won't catch Brown on the perimeter too much. 

    One of many good talents who just missed the list.

PF/C Rony Seikaly: 1990's

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    Rony Seikaly was picked ninth by the Miami Heat in the 1988 draft and instantaneously became one of the best centers in the league by displaying impressive athletic abilities on both ends of the floor.

    Seikaly set multiple records in Miami including recording eight blocks in one game. 

    During his career with the Heat he averaged a double-double and was even named the NBA's most improved player in 1990.

    With Seikaly and Mourning protecting the rim, it'd be pretty hard to score in the paint on this all-decade Miami Heat team.

C Alonzo Mourning: 1990's

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    You've heard his name plenty of times thus far. It seems as though everything comes back to Alonzo Mourning when it comes to the Heat organization. 

    Now serving on the staff, Mourning was rightfully so a part of the 2006 Miami Heat championship team. Although he wasn't as dominate a center as he was in the 90s, he still played a key role in bringing South Beach its first title.

    Mourning has enough marquee blocked shots, slam dunks and intense exclamations to write a book about. But for now, let's just establish that fact that he was indeed the first household name in Miami Heat history.

    He is actually able to fall under both decades, but it goes without saying that his best basketball was played in the 90s.

PG/SG Dwyane Wade: 2000's

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    And so the new the era begins.

    There's no way that this list could be complete without Dwyane Wade, Mr. South Beach himself.

    When the Heat drafted Wade in 2003, they surely had no idea how lucky they had become.

    From the beginning, Wade changed the Heat franchise. Overshadowed by the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, who were drafted the same year, he always felt as though he had something to prove.

    Well, with the help of Shaquille O'Neal, Wade was the first household name from the 2003 draft to win a ring.

    Furthermore, Wade has become the face of Dade-county, and without him there would be no Big Three.

    When all is said and done, he will without a doubt go down as one of the best players of his time and undoubtedly one of the best players in Heat history.

SG Eddie Jones: 2000's

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    Although Eddie Jones' time with the Heat was short, he certainly left an impact and impression on the Heat organization as whole.

    Jones did not have the flashiest game, but he got the job done consistently on both sides of the floor. 

    When Mourning got hurt in 2001, it was Jones who took the reigns and led the Heat the rest of the way. The following season, he averaged a little over 18 points and was really doing some great things for Miami.

    As the Heat acquired guys like Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and of course Wade in 2003, his role with the team slowly declined, and as a result people forget about this dark era before the championship in 2006.

    But where credit is due, credit must be given. Therefore, it's important to understand that without Eddie Jones, things might look a lot different today for the Heat.

SF LeBron James: 2000's

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    LeBron James has only played two years with the Miami Heat. But in those two years, he's been dominant. He's batting 50 percent when it comes to winning the NBA Finals and 100 percent when it comes to reaching them.

    James will go down as one of the best talents that the NBA has ever seen, so this selection to the Miami Heat's all-decade team should come as no surprise.

    In their prime, maybe it was a tossup between Wade and James, but now it's clear that The King has surpassed Flash. This is certainly no knock to Wade, but instead it is a testament to how good James is.

    James will find his name on the all-decade team no matter where he finds himself for the rest of his career—especially on a team like the Heat with a history much darker than the present or future.

PF/C Chris Bosh: 2000's

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    Chris Bosh is easily the most under appreciated member of the Big Three. 

    But, the truth of the matter is that Bosh has consistently been one of the best power forwards every year for a very long time now. 

    In Toronto, he was by himself and in Miami, I guess you could say that he's got a little more help. 

    However, the Heat have never really had a big man as skilled as Bosh. There's no reason that he wouldn't find himself on the Miami Heat all-decade starting five.

C Shaquille O'Neal: 2000's

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    Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most dominant and polarizing sports figures the world has ever seen.

    Even though he wasn't in his prime with the Heat, O'Neal did what he promised and helped bring the first championship to Miami.

    His stint wasn't too long, but his effect was everlasting on the Heat organization. Not only that, but he also helped make Wade into the man that he is today as far as marketing and being successful in the business world goes.

    Shaq in black was one of the most vital parts during his career, and for that, he will always have a home at the American Airlines Arena.