Miami Heat Player Countdown: #92-89

Jared Wickerham

Keep on checking out HHH for this summer long feature. Today, we recap Daequan Cook, Erick Dampier, Mike James, and Alec Kessler.

92. Daequan Cook


Daequan Cook was a 6'5" shooting guard and small forward for Miami. Born on April 28th, 1987 in Dayton, OH, he attended the university of Ohio State in college, averaging 10 points and four rebounds before declaring early for the 2007 draft. The Philadelphia 76ers made him their first round selection, choosing him with the 21st overall pick. The Sixers immediately sent him to Miami with cash and a second round pick for Jason Smith. He signed on with the Heat for three-years and $3,819,720.

Cook appeared in 59 games for Miami as a rookie, starting 19 at shooting guard. He shot 38.1% from the field, including a 33.2% clip from long range while scoring just under nine points, three rebounds, and one and a half assists for the Heat in just over a half per appearance. He scored 10 or more points 26 times, including four 20-point performances. On April 14th, he showed his season's best performance, scoring 22 points with six rebounds and three assists in a 91-75 Heat loss to the Toronto Raptors. Miami lost a franchise record-tying 67 games that season.

Both Miami and Cook got better in 2008-09, as Miami posted a 43-39 playoff-berth earning record and Cook scored in double figures in just over half of his 75 games, including four starts at small forward. He scored just over nine points with two and a half rebounds per game. He shot 37.5% from the floor, with an even better 38.7% three point rate in 24 minutes per game. He scored a season high 27 points, including a six-for-eight rate from long distance along wtih five rebounds and two steals on March 4th in a 135-129 win over the Phoenix Suns. Miami lost the conference quarterfinals in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks. Cook appeared in all seven games, averaging 5.3 points in 23 minutes per game. He was best in game two, when he scored 20 points with four rebounds in a 108-93 road victory.

2009-10 would see Cook's minutes per game reduced to just over 15 over 45 appearances, with a corresponding drop in production, five points, two rebounds and an assist per game. His field goal and three point rate both dropped to 32%. In a rare bright spot, he scored 22 points with four rebounds on February 20th, as the Heat lost a close one to the Dallas Mavericks, 97-91. The Heat traded him with a draft pick during the 2010 offseason to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a draft pick (Dexter Pittman).

Cook played two seasons with the Thunder (100 games), later catching on with the Houston Rockets (16 games) and the Chicago Bulls (33 games).

All-Time HEATline: Three seasons, 179 games, 22.2 minutes, 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, 8.7 PER, 1.8 win shares.

91. Mike James


Mike James is a 6'2" point guard from Copaigue, NY. Born on June 23rd, 1978, he played four seasons in college with the University of Duquesne, averaging 17.5 points with 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a senior in 1997-98. After going undrafted, he played professionally with the Long Island Surf (USBL), UBC St. Polten (Austria), ESPE Chalons-en-Champagne (France), and the Rockford Lightning (CBA) before starting his NBA career.

He got his break during the 2001 offseason, signing on with the Heat as a free agent. After getting waived in October, he signed on in December and endedup playing 15 games off the bench. In limited time (7,9 minutes), he averaged three points and one and a half assists per game. His best showing of the season was probably on January 21st, when he scored 12 points on five-of-six shooting in a 95-93 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Before the 2002-03 season started, James signed with the Heat for $512,435. His game showed a significant upgrade from the prior season, playing 22.8 minutes average over 78 games. He shot 37.3% from the field, nailing an occasional three-pointer (0.9 per contest). He scored around eight points, two rebounds, and three assists per appearance. He finished in double figures 27 times. His best all-around game of the season happened in the season finale, as James scored 15 points (going three-for-five from deep) with six rebounds and seven assists in a 103-99 win over the ever so slightly badder Toronto Raptors. Miami didn't resign him after the season.

James went on to play with the Boston Celtics (55 games), the Detroit Pistons (26 games), the Milwaukee Bucks (47 games), the Houston Rockets (33 games), the Toronto Raptors (79 games), the Minnesota TimberWolves (82 games), the Rockets again (33 games), the New Orleans Hornets (29 games), the Washington Wizards (57 games), the Chicago Bulls (11 games), and the Dallas Mavericks (45 games). He has also played in China, Turkey, and in the NBA D-League, as recently as last season with the Texas Legends.

All-Time HEATline:
Two seasons, 93 games, 19.8 minutes, 7.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.6 PER, 1.8 win shares.

90. Erick Dampier


Erick Dampier, born July 14th, 1975, is a 6'11" center. Born in Jackson, MS, the Lawrence County High School product earned his Division I chops with the Mississippi State University Bulldogs, starting three seasons for the team and averaging 13 points and nine rebounds per appearance. The Indiana Pacers picked him in the first round of the 1996 draft, wtih the 10th overall pick.

Dampier played 72 games wtih the Pacers. Starting in 1997-98, he played seven seasons with the Golden State Warriors, ranking 15th in franchise history with 3298 rebounds in 425 games. He then joined the Dallas Mavericks for six seasons, ranking fourth on the franchise leaderboard with 546 blocks and seventh with 3,211 rebounds in 424 games.

Miami signed Dampier as a free agent on November 23, 2010 for $1,129,469. He played 51 games for the Heat, starting 22 at center. He shot 58.4% from the field in 16 minutes per appearance, averaging 2.5 point and 3.5 rebounds. His only game in double figures came on April 3rd, also his only double double of the season. He scored 10 points with 14 rebounds and two blocks in a 108-94 win over the New Jersey Nets.

Dampier played 15 games with the Atlanta Hawks in 2011-12.

All-Time HEATline:
One season, 51 games, 16.0 minutes, 2.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 9.7 PER, 1.9 win shares.

89. Alec Kessler


Alec Kessler was a 6'11" native of Roswell, GA. Born on January 13th, 1967, he elected to stay local in higher education, joining the University of Georgia Bulldogs for four collegiate seasons, graduating with the Class of 1990. He started for his last three, and scored 21 points with 10.3 rebounds in an average game as a senior. He was selected by the Houston Rockets in the first round, with the 12th overall pick. The Rockets immediately traded him to Miami for Carl Herrera and Dave Jamerson.

As a rookie, Kessler played 78 games for the Heat, starting 18 from the center position. He shot 42.5% in scoring six points with four rebounds per game. He finished in double figures 22 times, including six double-doubles. On Valentine's Day, in a 141-112 win over the Denver Nuggets, He scored 21 points with 11 rebounds in 29 minutes.

1991-92 would see Kessler play in 77 contests, starting four at the power forward position. He scored five and a half points with four rebounds in 15 minutes per game. He scored 10 or more points 13 times, including one double double. On December 7th, he scored 13 on six-of-seven shooting with seven boards in a 109-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns. He would see his only career postseason action, playing 12 minutes against the Chicago Bulls and finishing with two points, a rebound, a foul and a turnover in two games.

In 1992-93, Kessler only played in 40 games, starting two at small forward. He shot a career best 46.7% from the floor, averaging four points with two and a half rebounds in 10 minutes per game. He finished in double figures five times, including on April 21st. He scored 17 points with nine rebounds in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, 107-97.

Kessler played very sparingly in his final NBA season, 1993-94. He only appeared 15 times and averaged four and a half minutes when he got in. He shot five-of-nine from distance, which makes me think he may have ignored his niche through his short career (he was a 41.7% career three point shooter).

After playing briefly with Olimpia Stefanel Milano in Italy, Kessler returned to school, earning a medical degree and
becoming a practicing orthopedic surgeon in the Pensacola, FL area. He suffered a heart attack on October 13th, 2007 and suffered an untimely death at the age of 40.

All-Time HEATline: Four seasons, 210 games, 14.0 minutes, 5.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.3 blocks, 9.6 PER, 1.9 win shares.

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