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The Miami Heat Mourning and Hardaway Era

The Miami Heat hired the Basketball Hall of Famer Pat Riley and putting him as the team’s head coach and president.

Before the 1995 season began, he acquired the All-Star Center Alonzo Mourning in exchange for Glen Rice and Matt Geiger from the Charlotte Hornets. As the season progresses, the Miami Heat had transactions of the deals that gave them the chance to acquire Tim Hardaway, Chris Gatling and Walt Williams.

They improved with the All-Star Center Mourning and other rosters and ends the season with a winning record, as they made the playoffs. They lost against the Chicago Bulls.

In the next season, they were a better team as they improved their record to 61-21, 19-game improvement from their previous record as they added key players Dan Majerle, PJ Brown, Jamal Mashburn and Voshon Lenard. Later in the postseason, they were again defeated by the Chicago Bulls in a five game series.

In 1997-98 season, they celebrated their 10th year anniversary as part of the NBA. They won their consecutive Atlantic Division title but later on got an early exit in the post season in the first round against the New York Knicks.

Their 1998-99 season, they finished the regular season as the first seed, first time of the franchise. They again had an early exit in the playoffs and it was also against the New York Knicks.

In 1999, they moved their homecourt arena to the American Airlines Arena that can support 20,500 seats. Again that season, they lost to the New York Knicks in the post season.

Next season, there were a lot of changes in their team as they realized that they needed to reorganize it. Trading PJ Brown and Mashburn to Hornets and getting Eddie Jones, Anthony Mason and Ricky Davis.

They also acquired Brian Grant. Everyone expected them to be a top team in the NBA but a sad news brought by Alonzo Mourning that he had complications and rare kidney disorders,had changed it all resulting him to miss 69 games of the 2000-01 season.

But because of an All-star performance of Anthony Mason for the season, they still found success for the season. But in the playoffs, they exited in the first round against the Hornets. In the next two seasons of the Heat, it was not as productive as before as they had deals and trades that many had criticized.
The Heat is rebuilding as they start the 2002-03 season, they drafted Caron Butler and Rasual Butler in the 2002 NBA Draft. They end the season with a losing record of 25-57 as they were led by the young players and rookies. After the season, Pat Riley stepped down as their head coach.


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