The Miami Heat is a relatively young franchise in the National Basketball Association that was founded as an expansion team in 1988. In just 25 years the Heat has made 17 playoff appearances, won 10 division titles, four conference titles, and three NBA Championships. Considering Miami won two-consecutive championships and is currently competing for its third straight title, the Heat is the marquee franchise of the NBA.
When Miami formed its basketball team in 1988, the Heat experienced very little success during the franchise’s early years. Miami struggled to make the playoffs just twice in its first eight years in the NBA, and it wasn’t until Pat Riley was brought in to the organization as team president and coach that things took a turn for the better. Riley joined the Heat in 1995 and created the building blocks to a championship-caliber team upon acquiring Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning.
With Riley, Hardaway and Mourning, the Miami Heat experienced a fantastic 1996-1997 season, going 61-21 and winning the first two playoff series in franchise history. That Miami Heat team posted an incredible 32-9 record on the road and earned a reputation for its ability to win in hostile environments. Since Mourning is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Alonzo Mourning memorabilia is highly desired by collectors and basketball fans everywhere. An autographed Alonzo Mourning photo is a great addition to any sports collection because it captures an iconic moment of success during Mourning’s illustrious NBA career.
After winning two playoff series, the Miami Heat entered the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. Unfortunately for the Heat, the match-up was against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Jordan easily led the Bulls past the Heat in a short series. A combination of the New York Knicks and Jordan’s Bulls prevented the Heat from advancing past the conference finals during the late-90s.
The 2003 NBA Draft will always remain a fond memory and historic moment for the Miami Heat. During the draft, the franchise owned the No. 5 pick and selected Dwyane Wade out of Marquette University. Forward Lamar Odom was also added to the team during the offseason in hopes of rebuilding a playoff team. Pat Riley stepped away from the coaching position that season in order to solely concentrate in building the team’s roster and Stan Van Gundy took over as the new head coach.
Under Van Gundy, Wade and Odom both experienced successful seasons and led the Heat to a surprising playoff appearance. In the first round of the 2004 playoffs, the Heat defeated the New Orleans Hornets in a seven-game series and advanced to play the top-seeded Indiana Pacers, who that eventually knocked them out of the playoffs.
During the offseason following their playoff loss to the Pacers, the Heat made a splash when they traded for All-Star center Shaquille O’Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat now featured Wade, O’Neal and Mourning, who returned to the team after battling kidney issues. As legitimate title contenders, the Heat stormed to ma 59-23 regular season record during the 2005 season but eventually lost to the Detroit Pistons in the conference finals.
After the loss to the Pistons, Pat Riley bolstered the lineup with the additions of key free agents like Antoine Walker, James Posey, Jason Williams and Gary Payton. When the Heat didn’t start the 2006 season well, and Riley decided he was the right man to coach the team and relieved Van Gundy of coaching duties. With Riley as coach, the Heat earned a conference finals rematch with the Pistons, and eventually beat the team that defeated them a year prior.
Upon beating the Pistons, the Miami Heat finally earned their first trip to the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals. After losing the first two games of the series, Miami fought back and won four-consecutive games to take home its first championship in franchise history. Dwyane Wade played at another level of greatness during the championship and was named Finals MVP. This plaque commemorates Wade’s dominance during the NBA Finals and pictures him holding the MVP trophy.
After winning the first championship in Miami Heat history, the franchise endured some post-title struggle. From 2007 to 2010, the Heat would make a number of playoff appearances, but were never truly championship contenders. Pat Riley eventually resigned as coach and Erik Spoelstra was promoted to the head coach position.
The Heat entered the 2010-2011 season with a huge amount of free cap space to pursue free agents, which led to the rise of the “Big Three”. Miami made an enormous splash in free agency by adding All-Stars, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, to the roster. The combination of Wade, Bosh and James ignited the beginning of the “Big 3” era in Miami.
With a star-studded team, the Heat went 58-24 and rolled through the Eastern Conference playoffs – earning the team’s second bid to the NBA Finals. Once in the Finals, Miami matched up against the Dallas Mavericks for a rematch of the 2006 championship. This time around, Dallas stood strong and eventually beat the Heat in six games.
The following season, the Miami Heat made the best of a lockout-shortened season, going 46-20 and earning another playoff bid. Once in the playoffs, the Heat won the East easily and entered the NBA Finals for a second-consecutive season – this time around the Oklahoma City Thunder awaited them. The Heat dominated the Thunder in the Finals, defeating them in five games to claim the Miami’s second championship. LeBron James enjoyed a successful series and was later named Finals MVP for the first time in his career.
The Heat returned to the NBA Finals the next season and faced off against the San Antonio Spurs. After falling in the series 3-2, the Heat won two-consecutive games behind the play of LeBron James and repeated as NBA Champions. James became the fifth player in NBA history to win back-to-back NBA Finals MVP trophies, joining Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon. This LeBron James autographed basketball commemorates James’ second Finals MVP trophy. The ball features a LeBron James autograph and a “2x Finals MVP” inscription. The addition of this basketball is what can make an average collection a great collection, because James will go down as one of the best basketball players of all time.
The Miami Heat could possibly become the next dynasty in the NBA. While on their quest for a three-peat, the Heat can place themselves next to the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers as some of the teams to win three or more consecutive titles. It’s easy to see why the Heat has a worldwide following and why Miami Heat memorabilia is some of the most collected. No team comes close to the success Miami is currently enjoying and that’s why investing in a franchise that made winning seem easy is always a smart move. Complete your Miami Heat collection with the following memorabilia signed by the best players in the team’s history:
- LeBron James Jersey: As a two-time champion and four-time NBA MVP, LeBron James is at the top of the basketball world. He will undoubtedly go down as one of the best basketball players to ever play the game, making his collectibles that much more valuable and desired. An LeBron James autographed jersey is a special way to add the best player in the league to your NBA collection and invest in a piece of sports memorabilia that will produce massive financial return. Choose from a red, black, or white Miami Heat jersey with a rare LeBron James autograph and celebrate all of his greatest moments with items that commemorate one of his multiple Finals MVP awards that James has garnered throughout his career.
- Dwyane Wade Basketball: Dwyane Wade has made a name for himself during his career as one of the top scorers that the NBA has ever seen. With a career scoring mark of 24.3 points per game, Wade can score with the best of them and that’s why adding a Wade autographed basketball is a no brainer. An autographed Dwyane Wade basketball is a great centerpiece addition to any NBA memorabilia collection and commemorates his huge impact on the sport, as well as the Miami Heat franchise. Considering Wade is one of the greatest players in league history, a basketball signed by the great Miami player will also continue to rise in value over time and is an absolute must-have for any Heat fan.
- Chris Bosh Photos: One of the premier big men in the NBA, Chris Bosh, has enjoyed an enormous amount of success since joining the Miami Heat. Not only is Bosh a nine-time All-Star, he also won two-consecutive championships as a vital piece of the Miami Heat lineup beside the other members of the Big Three, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. A Chris Bosh signed photo portrays the big man going for a jumper and is the ultimate ode to a player that has greatly contributed to the decorated Miami basketball history. Show Miami Heat pride by displaying this classic autographed Chris Bosh photo in your home or office, while making an investment that will acquire worth over time.
- Alonzo Mourning Memorabilia: As a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Alonzo Mourning will always be remembered for his playing days as a member of the Miami Heat. He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award twice as a Heat player and came in second to Karl Malone in the MVP voting in 1999 to add to his legacy in the NBA. An autographed Alonzo Mourning photo captures the former NBA center in a vintage Miami Heat jersey in historic basketball moments making the right addition to a collection of a longtime Heat fan that prefers classic memorabilia. Whereas, an Alonzo Mourning autographed basketball is a timeless piece that can play the center stage role for any collection.