The Miami Heat are keeping things all in the family as they announced on Friday that owner Micky Arison's son Nick would become the teams new chief executive officer. He will oversee all of the Heat's day-to-day operations but will still report directly to his father, who remains the managing general partner and will be governor at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings.
Nick is the 3rd generation member of his family to hold a leadership role with the Miami Heat franchise. His dad has been the controlling general partner since purchasing it from his father, Nick's grandfather, Ted Arison, in early 1995. Soon after that is when Pat Riley was brought to Miami and we all know what direction the team has going since then.
Nick has been involved in winning basketball since his days in college at Duke University. He was the basketball team manager for four years, including the 2001 NCAA Championship team, until his graduation. In 2003 he joined the Miami Heat, but also served as part of the support staff for the United States men's basketball team from 2004 to 2008, teams that won Olympic bronze in '04 and gold in '08.
He became the vice president of basketball operations for the Heat in 2008, working directly with Pat Riley overseeing all the basketball aspects of the team. There are many people who feel that Nick has been being groomed for this job for a long time and is the perfect man to fill the position. Here are some comments from a couple well-known Heat guys.
Pat Riley- "Micky, Nick and I have discussed this possibility for the last year, so I am not surprised at all by Micky's decision. Nick has worked very hard over the last eight years and is prepared for this opportunity."
Micky Arison- "This is something Nick has been working toward his whole life. He's more prepared for this job than I was at his age when I became CEO of Carnival. I have the utmost confidence that Nick will continue to lead the HEAT as a model NBA franchise for many years to come."
Finally, a comment from Nick, who very wisely is going to roll with the same lineup that has been working well for this team for a long long time.
"Pat Riley is one of the greatest coaches and leaders in NBA history and will continue to run the basketball side of the team and Eric Woolworth the business side, just as they have for my father."