The Man With The Midas Touch: How Micky Arison Made The Heat Winners.

Benny VargasAnalyst IJuly 23, 2010

The Miami Heat were a floundering organization for the better part of their first-seven years in existence. Then in 1994 after taking over as the managing general partner of the team, Micky Arison set about transforming the organization.

Arison has become known for changing things for the better— First in the cruise line industry with Carnival Corp. and now in the sports world with the Miami Heat.

Arison is listed as Forbes 94th richest man in the world, worth an estimated $6.1 billion.

While he didn't have to accumulate his wealth from the ground up, he has managed to make the right choices in order to watch it balloon.

Throughout the last 20 years virtually everything Micky has touched has turned to gold. This is a result of him making the right moves at the right time.

During his ownership, Arison has guided the Heat to unprecedented success.

Much of the reason to appreciate Arison is that he has known his role as a team owner. He has done this by hiring the right people.

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In 1995 Micky set out on a mission to change the Heat from NBA nobodies into contenders. His first important move was enticing Pat Riley to leave the New York Knicks in order to take over as Heat coach and president.

From that time on Micky has always opened the check book for whatever Riley needed. They made everything in the Heat organization top notch. The traveling, arena, and daily operations are some of the classiest in the NBA.

Arison has never been the Jerry Jones or Mark Cuban type. He doesn't meddle in everyone's business and hasn't tried to be in the media all the time. Simply stated he has felt confident with the people he hired and has allowed them do their jobs.

A fan has to appreciate this from their owner. A man content to stay behind the curtains. Yet also one that has given his franchise everything they need to be the best.

Arison who is the leader of the most successful cruise operation in the world, may now be poised to be the leader of the premier franchise in basketball.

Arison has been somewhat involved with the team since its inception. His father, Ted, and some partners were awarded the franchise back in 1988. Still it has took Micky assuming control in 1995 for Miami to evolve into one of the top organizations in the NBA.

Together, Arison and Riley have shaped the Heat into an elite sports franchise. 

Since Micky got in the drivers seat Miami has made the playoffs in 11 of the 14 seasons. They have won seven division titles (the most in the Eastern Conference), one Eastern Conference championship and captured the elusive NBA title in 2006.

Arison cemented the Heats future in South Florida, after swaying Miami-Dade County public officials to help him build a bay-side arena in downtown. This demonstrated Micky's commitment to fans in Miami.

In 2006, after beating the Mavericks in Game 6 of the NBA Finals a beaming Arison could not contain his joy. You could tell how much it meant to him. It's as if a load had been taking off his shoulders. He had brought in Riley and together they had made a promise to Heat fans that they would win an NBA title. A huge parade would be held down Biscayne Boulevard. A man of his word Arison delivered.

Micky appears to just be a good person in general. After Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, Arison "chartered 3 Carnival cruisers to the federal government to provide temporary housing for upwards of 7,000 refugees for six months. Five months earlier Arison donated his entire $2.4 million bonus to tsunami relief." "Most recently, Arison made headlines when he personally donated $5 million to Haitian earthquake relief efforts."

Thanks in large part to Arison, the Heat managed to pull of a free agent coup this off season. Players such as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James spoke glowingly of him in the last few weeks. Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway have also expressed their respect and admiration for him.

Arison is reputedly a player, president and coach's type of owner. He's a hands off kind of guy. He just gives you the tools to thrive and then expects you to make it happen.

A classy individual, you would never ever have seen Micky pull a Dan Gilbert had Dwyane chosen to leave Miami. On the contrary he would've probably released a statement thanking Wade for all he accomplished in Miami.

Arison deserves to be applauded and recognized for the manner in which he has conducted himself and the way he has paved the way for the Heat to be contenders.

"Stay White Hot" Micky Arison.