Miami Heat: Top 50 Players

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Miami Heat: Top 50 Players

After years of being considered a second rate sports city with one major league team, Miami finally got some respect prior to the 1988-89 NBA season. 

To much fanfare, the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets ushered in the new age of NBA expansion.  This round brought the total number of teams from 23 to 25.

The Heat were historically bad during their inaugural season, losing their first 17 games before squeaking by the dismal Los Angeles Clippers, 89-88. 

They were marginally better each of the next three years, actually making the playoffs in 1991-92, losing in the first round.

After another disappointing year, the Heat had their first winning record in 1993-94, making the playoffs and again losing in the first round.

Prior to the 1995-96 season, the front office got serious about winning, bringing Pat Riley on board to coach the Heat.  Miami had much higher winning percentages for the next six years, making the playoffs every year (and losing in the first round four of six times).

After the Pat Riley era, the Heat brought in Stan Van Gundy, who took them to the playoffs both of his seasons coaching Miami.  Stan was replaced by Riley near the start of the 2005-06 season and guided the Heat to their first NBA title.

What followed were three average seasons, and one very bad one, 2007-08, when the Heat equaled their shameful 15 win total from their first season.

Prior to the 2010-11 season, the sports world was held hostage as "The Decision" was made, and LeBron came to the Heat.  Miami fell just short of its second title to the Dallas Mavericks, losing the Finals in six.

What follows is a Top 50 list.  Granted, there have only been 23 seasons, so over a quarter of players who suited up for the Heat are included in the list.  Even though there are statistics out there that measure a players value, based on a complex algorithm of assorted statistics, I used a far simpler method, and sorted players based on career minutes played for Miami. 

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