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19 posts from July 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Birdman is officially back

The Heat re-signed Chris Andersen on Saturday. Heat president Pat Riley on Birdman:

"Chris Andersen has had two great seasons with us and without him, we would not have been able to win the 2013 NBA Championship,” Riley said. “I’m happy he decided to come back and we’re looking forward to a great season from him in the power rotation.”

Friday, July 18, 2014

Haslem officially re-signs with the Heat

Udonis Haslem was the first player to leave millions on the table in the hopes of keeping the Heat together.

On Friday, the Heat rewarded him for his commitment to the franchise and the city and officially re-signed Haslem to a two-year deal. Haslem’s new deal was made official after an emotional three days that saw former Heat players Mike Miller and James Jones both join LeBron James in Cleveland.

“Udonis Haslem has been a fixture in Miami over the last 11 years,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “He's a team player, an encompassing all-purpose player, that would play just about any position or role in order to win.

Haslem, a three-time champion for the Heat along with Dwyane Wade, played a limited role in the 2014 NBA Finals, but he likely will be more involved in the Heat’s interior plans next season with outside-shooting forwards Shane Battier, Rashard Lewis and Jones no longer on the team.

Battier retired after the Finals and Lewis agreed to a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks late Tuesday night. Jones, in somewhat of a shocking move, agreed to leave the Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. Jones had said after the Finals that he wanted to remain with the Heat.

Haslem’s new contract, which the Heat will file under the collective bargaining agreement’s “room” exception, is reportedly worth $2.732 million in the first year. His old contract would have paid him $4.6 million next season. Under his new contract, Haslem is due a 4.5 percent raise for the 2015-16 season.

Haslem has left more money on the table out of loyalty to the Heat than many NBA players earn in their entire careers. He sacrificed potentially $14 million in 2010 to stay with the Heat and pursue championships with his hometown team, and he was rewarded with two more rings. Now, Haslem is set to become a Miami-Dade and South Florida legend for life.

Haslem is adored by Heat fans and the City of Miami and the Heat’s ownership and upper management view Haslem as the gold standard for a franchise that prides itself on toughness, loyalty and hard work, and preaches sacrifice for the team above all else.

Over the years, Haslem has sacrificed more than anyone else for the Heat, the team that gave him a chance as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He is entering his 12th year in the league and is already the Heat’s all-time leader in rebounds (5,332).

“It's been such a privilege and honor to have him with the organization and I'm so happy that he decided to come back,” Riley said.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

James Jones the latest former Heat player to join LeBron in Cleveland

Pat Riley couldn't keep them all in Miami, and on Wednesday forward James Jones agreed to join LeBron James in Cleveland, according to a report.

Jones, 33, spent six seasons with the Heat, winning two championships. Jones said at the end of the season that he wanted to remain in Miami, but LeBron apparently recruited Jones heavily. LeBron, Jones and Ray Allen went on vacation together to the Bahamas after the Heat lost to the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

LeBron received a commitment from another former Heat player on Tuesday when Mike Miller joined the Cavaliers. LeBron values both Jones and Miller for their abilities to spread the floor offensively on defense. LeBron openly called for Jones to be inserted into the Heat's rotation during the NBA playoffs.

Rashard Lewis is heading to the Dallas Mavericks

Rashard Lewis is moving on.

The Heat free agent has agreed to play for the Dallas Mavericks next season for the veteran's minimum, according to Yahoo Sports. Lewis played for two seasons with the Heat, and won a championship in 2013.

STORY: Heat signs Dwyane Wade and agrees to terms with Udonis Haslem

STORY: Luol Deng is the Heat's new "warrior."

Lewis joins a revamped Mavericks team that recently signed Chandler Parsons as a restricted free agent. Lewis will likely backup Parsons. The Mavericks also add center Tyson Chandler, guard Raymond Felton, forward Richard Jefferson and center Greg Smith.

"Rashard made a difficult decision to join Dallas after two memorable seasons in Miami," agent Colin Bryant told Yahoo Sports. "He would like to thank [Heat owners] Micky Arison, [executives] Pat Riley, Andy Elisburg and the entire Heat organization. He will always consider them family and champions.

"After talking to [Mavericks owner] Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle, he felt a comfort level with the Mavericks. He's excited to join another championship organization."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dwyane Wade calls Miami 'home' and himself a 'Heat lifer' on an emotional day

The emotional conclusion of the Heat’s free-agency saga came to a defiant end on Tuesday with Dwyane Wade finalizing a new deal to remain with the only professional team he has ever known.

Wade came to terms with the Heat and then sent out a message on Twitter calling Miami “home.”

“Home Is Where The Heart Is,” Wade wrote. “My Home, My City, My House…#HeatLifer”

Home and happiness and loyalty have been themes throughout the week for Wade, the Heat and LeBron James, who on Friday called the pull of home more powerful than the tug of what he had helped build in Miami. James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh beat a path to the NBA Finals for four-straight years and won two of the last three NBA championships. Now, the next time they’re on the court together, it will be as opponents.

Wade and Bosh give the Heat a strong core entering next season while James will be the leader of a young but talented roster in Cleveland.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Luol Deng, Mario Chalmers, Chris Andersen agree to deals with Heat

Life after LeBron is coming together for the Heat.

In major victories for the team considering where it was on Friday, the Heat finalized a two-year deal with small forward Luol Deng on Sunday afternoon and followed that up with new contracts for Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen. Sunday’s haul gives the Heat four important free-agent signings since losing out on LeBron James. Chris Bosh, the most important piece of all, provided the Heat with vital free-agency momentum on Friday when he agreed to become the team’s interior anchor. Bosh was expected to sign a five-year max contract worth $118 million.

The Heat has rallied impressively since James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Wade's statement on LeBron

From Dwyane Wade:

“As a friend and a teammate, I am sad to see my brother LeBron leave to begin a new journey. In 2010, we decided to come together all for one goal – to win championships and we succeeded. We were friends when we first joined the league and created an unbreakable bond the past four years.

"Our collaboration will always be very special to me both personally and professionally. We shared something unique and he will always be part of my family. LeBron made the right decision for himself and his family because home is where your heart is. I know this was not an easy decision to make and I support him in returning to his roots.

"As an organization, a community, and as individuals, we achieved the goals we set when we first signed on together. We are champions.”

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pat Riley's statement on today's big events

From Pat Riley:

While I am disappointed by LeBron's decision to leave Miami, no one can fault another person for wanting to return home. The last four years have been an incredible run for South Florida, Heat fans, our organization and for all of the players who were a part of it.  LeBron is a fantastic leader, athlete, teammate and person, and we are all sorry to see him go.”

“Over the last 19 years, since Micky and I teamed together, The Miami Heat has always been a championship organization; we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others. Micky, Erik and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We’ve proven that we can do it and we’ll do it again.”


LeBron breaks news he's returning to Cleveland with personal essay; Heat owner thanks star player

LeBron James broke the news of his decision on Friday with a personal essay published by SI.com and told by writer Lee Jenkins.

James is going home to Cleveland and said the reason for returning to the Cavaliers and leaving Miami was his love for Northeast Ohio:

"My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now."

James won two championships for the Heat and helped the team reach the NBA Finals four years in a row. During that time he elevated the profile of the city and moved the Heat into the upper echelon of NBA franchises. Heat owner Micky Arison thanked James publicly on Twitter shortly after James' essay was published.

“I am shocked & disappointed in today's news,” Heat owner Micky Arison said on Twitter. “However I will never forget what LeBron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories @KingJames.”

Meanwhile, Chris Bosh is awesome...

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 12.02.09 PM

While LeBron has been busy these last few days determining the fate of the basketball world, Chris Bosh has actually been out in the world and influencing it with the game of basketball.

Bosh is in Ghana right now as a basketball ambassador for the NBA. This is the second summer in a row he has visited a foreign country to grow the game. Last summer, Bosh went to India. World Wide Bosh has also learned Spanish while playing for the Heat.

Bosh is currently a free agent, but he is expected to quickly sign with the Heat if LeBron remains in Miami. If LeBron bolts, then Bosh could anchor the Heat next season. Reports have linked Bosh to the Houston Rockets, but Bosh's agent has denied the speculation.



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