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By Lorenzo Tanos
For a team that's been in the NBA for just 25 years, the Heat have accomplished quite a lot in a short time span. They are proving to be quite the juggernaut, combining three certified All-Stars with a steady group of veteran role players and remaining one of the top contenders to win a championship in 2013. Still, they've had some tough times in between the years of plenty, including a 15-67 campaign that came just two years after their first NBA title. Here's a quick look back at the Heat's 25-year history in the form of the usual trivia questions and answers.
1. Who was the first man to lead the Heat in scoring, and how many points per game did he average?
Like most expansion teams, the Miami Heat of 1988-89 were horrible right out of the gate, a mix of raw rookies and veteran journeymen. While the team's top draft pick RonySeikaly (10.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 9th overall pick) was better overall, Miami's second first-rounder Kevin Edwards (13.8 ppg, 20th overall pick) led the Heat in scoring in their maiden NBA season.
2. True or False – The Miami Heat's first-ever head coach is still employed by the Heat as of the 2012-13 season.
True. Largely due to his three-year run as the Heat's first coach from 1988-91, Ron Rothstein has one of the worst winning percentages ever for an NBA head coach with more than a season's experience – 97-231, or 29.6%. But he's served as a capable assistant for most of his NBA coaching career, and is currently one of the Heat's assistants as of the present season. He even took over briefly in 2007-08 as an interim head coach for Pat Riley when the latter took a leave of absence to undergo knee surgery.
3. Why was the 1995 All-Star Weekend special for the Miami Heat, despite the fact that none of their players were chosen for the All-Star Game?
While it was debatable whether Glen Rice deserved an All-Star berth as one of the NBA's top scorers and feared long-range bombers of the era, he did make his prowess from beyond the arc count for something as he won the Three-Point Shootout at 1995's All-Star Weekend. Also, legendary NBA bust Harold "Baby Jordan" Miner won a second straight Slam Dunk Contest in 1995.
4. Which former teammates squared off in Game 4 of the Miami-New York first-round playoff series in 1998 in what is still one of the most infamous NBA brawls of all time?
Back in the early ‘90s, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning were teammates on the Charlotte Hornets, faces of the franchise and leaders of one of the NBA's best young teams. However, Johnson and Mourning didn't quite get along with each other, and in 1998, they were playing for the New York Knicks and Miami Heat respectively. In this ugly-as-usual Heat-Knicks series, Johnson and Mourning were getting at each other, and Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy grabbed Mourning's leg and hung on to it, hoping he could break up the scuffle.
5. Who was the Heat's last leading scorer before the start of the Dwyane Wade era?
Shooting guard Eddie Jones, by that time a reliable veteran and a three-time All-Star and All-Defense selection, led the Heat with 18.5 ppg in 47 games in 2002-03. Also in the starting lineup of that 25-57 team were point guard Travis Best, forwards Caron Butler and Brian Grant, and center Malik Allen.
6. Who were the four players the Heat received in a 13-player, 5-team trade prior to the 2005-06 season that was, and still is the largest trade in NBA history?
Most likely, you know three of them – point guard Jason Williams, small forward Antoine Walker and forward/guard James Posey. All three played key roles when the Heat went on to defeat the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, allaying any concerns pundits had about their attitude and/or production. The fourth player was Roberto Duenas, a 7'3"-300 Spaniard who was the 1997 NBA Draft's "Mr. Irrelevant." His rights were traded by the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets to the Heat, but he never played a minute of NBA basketball. And probably never will, as he recently retired as an active player.
7. Who was the only player to see action in all 82 games when the Heat went 15-67 in 2007-08, just two years removed from their first NBA championship?
Ricky Davis, he of the self-engineered triple double back when he was a Cavalier. At this point, his best playing years were over, as "Get Buckets" didn't get too many of them (comparatively) as a member of the Heat – 13.8 ppg in 36.1 mpg.
8. While LeBron James' fourth quarter issues are apparently well past him now, how many fourth quarter points per game did he average in the 2011 NBA Finals?
Three. That's only 17% of the 17.8 ppg he averaged in the six-game series against the Mavericks.
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