With it being the Holiday season, most people like to say what they are thankful for. Well, I am thankful for the Miami Heat. I am also thankful for all the great players that the Heat organization has had in its 20+ years of existence.
So, I am going to put, in my opinion, the top five most missed Miami Heat players of all-time.
Rony Seikaly is one of the Heat's most prized sons. He was the franchises first ever draft pick in 1988. He had a great career with Miami that lasted from 1988-1994.
"The Spin Doctor" held and holds many team records (a lot of his records were broken by Alonzo Mourning). He averaged 15.4 points per game along with 10.4 rebounds in his six-year tenure with Miami. He will always be remembered as a Heat great.
As much controversy as the Big Fella caused, he still won the Heat that elusive first NBA Championship.
In his three and a half seasons with Miami, he did more good than bad. He transformed the Heat from a no name squad to a team that filled up their National TV schedule and sold out every game.
In his first season with the team, he increased their win total by 17 and made the Heat the No. 1 seed in the East. In the following season, the Heat won a championship.
Although, he had a falling out with the city of Miami and Pat Riley, he will be forever remembered, missed, and appreciated for the work he did in South Beach.
Although he only spent two seasons with the Heat, he will always be recognized as a true Heat player. If there was any player in the world that I could get back in a Heat uniform, it would be Butler.
Not just because of his statistics, because of his work horse mentality. He is truly a Pat Riley type player. In his second and final season with the Heat, he led a young crew of Dwyane Wade and Lamar Odom to the Eastern semis.
Heat fans will always wonder what the trio of Wade, Odom, and Butler could have done.
Eddie Jones is my favorite Heat player of all-time other than Zo and Udonis Haslem. Jones spent five plus year (two different stints) in a Heat uniform. He led Miami in scoring in four of those years.
But, it wasn't even about his scoring. It was about his perimeter defense, excellent three-point shooting, and his overall attitude.
He will always be someone I remember after he gave his playoff check to Udonis Haslem in Haslem's rookie year. He bleeds black and red and I would love for him to retire in a Miami jersey.
Other than Alonzo Mourning, Hardaway is the Heat's most recognized and most loved player of all-time.
Under Pat Riley, Mourning and Hardaway started the franchise's turnaround from expansion/lottery team to a force to be reckoned with.
Hardaway is the franchise's leader in assists with 1,947. He was a monumental part of the Heat's playoff runs in the late 90's and their rivalry with the New York Knicks.
Unfortunately, he might always be remembered for his controversy regarding his discrimination towards homosexuals. But, Heat fans will always remember him for the player he was and how he led us into battle as our point guard.