The Miami Heat are embarking on a run for the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the 16th time in franchise history. The theme for this year's playoffs stays the same as last, White Hot. The Heat are encouraging their fans to come to home games donning white and it got me thinking of the Heat's history from a fashion standpoint. Some teams looks are iconic due to longevity like the Celtics, others made it iconic through greatness like the Bulls of the 90s, and other teams are constantly swinging and missing with their look like the Bobcats. For the Miami Heat the template has not changed much since 1988 with only a modern update and some special event jerseys taking place. Come join me as we take a stroll down memory laneThe Miami Heat were introduced in 1988 playing in the Western Conference and were thankfully moved to the Eastern Conference later on. The colors they chose were red, black white, and yellow-orange (more orange than yellow) to represent the flames in their flaming basketball logo. They originally debuted with two uniforms in black and white and would later follow with a red alternate jersey. The jerseys had striping along the edges of the cuts and, uniquely, only on the left side when seen from the front in the team colors, a Heat wordmark on the front with block numbers, arcing player name, and matching shorts with Miami wordmark and a flaming basketball.
The Miami Heat would make 6 playoff appearances and won 3 Atlantic division titles in this set of uniforms. The team was left as the only tenant of the Miami Arena after the Florida Panthers left but would leave the building themselves in 1999 for the AmericanAirlines Arena a few blocks away. To open the new era they updated their uniforms to a cleaner, more modern look. The biggest difference was in the red alternate jersey where they changed the Heat wordmark to a Miami wordmark. The shorts for all the combinations saw the removal of the Miami wordmark and would later add the "MH" secondary logo to the shorts waistline. Also the yellow-orange color became more yellow than orange.
The team under this new look would make 10 more playoff appearances (and counting!), win 1 Atlantic Division, 4 Southeast divisions, 2 Eastern Conference titles, and their only NBA Championship (for now) in 2006.
Over the new AAA era the Heat have capitalized on their success and fan support by donning special event uniforms on occasion. The first instance was during their championship season when they harkened back to the American Basketball Association and became the Miami Floridians and would do so again in 2012 (can lightning strike twice?). These jerseys were based on the design the team used from 1970-72 and the template is a white or black jersey both featuring a magenta (pink) and orange stripe going down the right side (from the front, was the original uniform striping an homage to this team?) with matching shorts that featured a Floridians logo. The Miami wordmark and player name were unique in that they were placed below the player number.
In 2008 the Heat celebrated their 20th anniversary by donning their original home uniforms.
In 2009 the NBA created Noche Latina to acknowledge the Latin American fans of the league and had certain teams with particularly large Latino populations to don uniforms with the word "el" or los" which means "the" in English. The Heat took their road black uniforms and added an "El" to the wordmark and became "El Heat".
Finally in 2012 the Miami Heat created a black and white version of their alternate red jersey and used them only in home games against teams that were deemed "important".
So there you have the Miami Heat uniform history. What future uniforms will the team go for next? Will they bring back the throwback black and red uniforms? Will the Floridians blue and orange jerseys make an appearance? The only thing we know is that the Heat will look good no matter what they wear!