Miami Heat is an American professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. They play their home games at the American Airlines Arena.
The franchise began play in 1988 as an expansion team, where they joined the NBA as part of the league’s fourteenth expansion. In 1992, Pat Riley became head coach and led the Heat to their maiden playoff appearance, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals that same year. Riley would remain with the team as head coach until 2003, when he stepped down and was replaced by Stan Van Gundy.
In 2005, Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Heat from the Los Angeles Lakers, and led Miami to their first NBA championship in 2006. O’Neal was traded back to the Lakers in 2008, and Wade won his first NBA championship without Shaq in 2012. After losing in the NBA Finals in 2013 and 2014, the Heat returned to the NBA Finals in 2016 behind a balanced team effort, winning their third NBA championship.
The Heat hold the record for the second-longest winning streak in NBA history with 27 consecutive wins, which they set during the 2012–13 season. Four former Heat players have been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, while Riley and Van Gundy have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as coaches.
1. The Miami Heat were founded on April 5, 1988.
2. The Heat’s first game was against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 26, 1988.
3. The Heat’s first home game was on November 2, 1988, against the Charlotte Hornets.
4. The Heat’s first playoff appearance came in the 1992-93 season.
5. The Heat have made the playoffs in 23 of their 29 seasons in existence.
6. The Heat won their first NBA Championship in 2006.
7. The 2006 Finals were also Shaquille O’Neal’s fourth NBA Championship and Dwyane Wade’s first NBA Championship.
8. In 2012, the Miami Heat became the sixth team in NBA history to win a championship after trailing in the Finals.
9. The Heat are one of only two teams in NBA history to win a championship after trailing in the Finals 3-2 (The other team is the 1969 Boston Celtics).
10. In 2013, the Miami Heat became the first team in NBA history to appear in four straight NBA Finals.
11. The Heat have appeared in the NBA Finals five times (2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), winning three championships (2006, 2012, 2013).
12. The Miami Heat’s all-time leading scorer is Dwyane Wade with 21,556 points.
13. The Miami Heat’s all-time leading rebounder is Alonzo Mourning with 7,137 rebounds.
14. The Miami Heat’s all-time leader in assists is Tim Hardaway with 4,292 assists.
15. The Miami Heat’s all-time leader in steals is Dwyane Wade with 1,417 steals.