54. Kevin Gamble
Kevin Gamble, a 6'5" small forward from Springfield, IL, was born on November 13th, 1965. After attending Lanphier High in Springfield, he played at a junior college for two seasons. He transferred to the Hawkeyes at the University of Iowa for two more seasons starting in 1985-86. As a senior, he scored 11.9 points with 4.5 rebounds per contest. He was selected in the third round by the Portland TrailBlazers with the 63rd overall pick.
Gamble played just 19 minutes over nine games with the Blazers as a rookie. He joined the Celtics as a free agent in 1988-89, eventually staying with the team for six seasons (436 games). He averaged 11.2 points with 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 dimes per contest. During his stay in Boston, he played every game of three consecutive seasons, ranked third in field goal percentage in 1990-91 (.587), and eighth in free throw percentage in 1991-92 (.885). He also racked up 29 playoff appearances, scoring 9.3 points with 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
Celtics' Kevin Gamble Dunk Mix (via Nba Madeira)
Prior to the 1994-95 season, Gamble signed a two year contract to play for Miami for $1,495,000. He played 77 games for Miami that season, all off the bench. He averaged 15.9 minutes per game, shooting 48.9% overall and 39.8% from long distance. He racked up 7.4 points with 1.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He scored in double figures 25 times through the campaign, as Miami went 30-47 with him on the floor. On December 17th, he scored 18 points with five assists in 24 minutes as the Heat defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 96-85. On April 23rd, in a 129-105 win over the Detroit Pistons, he shot 11-for-15, scoring a season high 23 points wth four rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes. Miami went 32-50 overall, missing the playoffs.
1995-96 would see Gamble start in 13 of his 44 appearances with the Heat. He played 23.5 minutes per game, scoring seven points with two rebounds and two assists on an average night. He shot 39.4% overall, with a 41.8% success rate from three-point distance. He scored 10 or more points a dozen times. On December 20th, he played 46 minutes, shooting 13-for-24 with a five-for-nine night from long distance for a total of 37 points with five assists and five steals. On February 22nd, he was sent with Billy Owens to the Sacramento Kings for Tyrone Corbin and Walt Williams. Miami earned the eighth seed with a 42-40 record, but lost three straight games in the opening round to the Chicago Bulls.
Williams signed a four year contract with the Kings, but only played in parts of two seasons with the team (83 games). He was head coach for the University of Illinois at Springfield for eight seasons starting in 2002-03, and in April 2012 was named the top assistant with the Central Michigan Chippewas.
All-Time HEATline: Two seasons, 121 games, 18.6 minutes, 7.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 13.8 PER, 5.1 win shares.
53. Billy Owens
Billy Owens, born May 1st, 1969, was a 6'8" guard and forward from Carlisle, PA. After playing at the prep level with
Carlisle High, leading the team to four consecutive state titles and making the McDonalds All American squad in 1988, he played college ball with the Syracuse Orangemen for three seasons, averaging 23.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game as a junior in 1990-91. After declaring early for the 1991 draft, he was selected with the third overall pick by the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings traded Owens to the Golden State Warriors before he made an NBA appearance. He played three seasons with Golden State (196 games), averaging 15 points, eight rebounds, 3.4 assists, and just over a steal per game. Prior to the 1994-95 season, the Warriors traded him with Sasha Danilovic to the Heat for Rony Seikaly. Owens was entering the fourth season of a seven year, $20,070,000 deal. Miami would foot $6,187,000 over the next two seasons.
His first season with the Heat would see Owens start in 60 of his 70 overall appearances. He shot at a 49.1% success rate, playing 32.8 minutes per game with 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Miami went 27-43 in games in which Owens appeared. He finished in double figures 51 times with 19 double doubles. On January 5th, he scored 19 points on nine-of-15 shooting with 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 114-91 victory over the Minnesota TimberWolves. He scored 30 points with 12 rebounds and three steals on February 3rd in a Heat win over the Washington Bullets, 105-95. On February 28th, he scored 17 points with 16 boards and four assists in a 95-85 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Miami finished at 32-50.
History of the Miami Heat Pt. 8: Late 1994-Early 1995 (Remodeling the Heat) (via xInfernoSoul)
In 1995-96, Owens started 40 games for the Heat at small forward. He shot just a bit over 50% in 35 minutes a night, averaging 15 points, seven rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. He scored in double figures 29 times, with eight double doubles. On November 22nd, in a matchup against his old squad in Golden State, he scored 24 points with 15 rebounds in a 103-93 Heat victory. On December 26th, in a 96-93 win against the New Jersey Nets, he scored 31 with six boards and three assists. Four days later, in a 105-96 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, he scored a season and game high 34 points with 10 rebounds and four assists. Miami traded him back to the team that drafted him, the Kings, with Kevin Gamble for Tyrone Corbin and Walt Williams.
Owens played two and a half seasons in Sacramento (166 games), later playing with the Seattle SuperSonics (21 games), the Philadelphia 76ers (46 games), the Warriors again (16 games), and the Detroit Pistons (45 games). He retired after the 2000-01 season due to a persistent rash of injuries.
All-Time HEATline: Two seasons, 110 games, 33.5 minutes, 14.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 15.3 PER, 5.2 win shares.
52. Terry Porter
Terry Porter, a 6'3" point guard from Milwaukee, WI, was born on April 8th, 1963. He played at South Division High in his hometown before going to college at the University of Wisconsin. He played four seasons, as a senior racking up 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game. The Portland TrailBlazers selected him in the first round of the 1985 NBA Draft with the 24th overall pick.
Porter played 10 seasons with the Blazers, making the all-star team twice. He ranks third on their all-time leaderboard with 758 games played. He scored 11,330 points (second all-time), grabbed 2,620 rebounds (16th all-time), dished out 5,319 assists (first all-time), and collected 1,182 steals (second all-time). He averaged 15 points, seven assists, and 3.5 rebounds during his time there. He followed that with three seasons for the Minnesota TimberWolves (246 games). He signed on with the Heat on January 22nd, 1999 in time for a full (strike shortened) season.
90s - Terry Porter MIX by MISIEK (via TheKingMisiek)
For the Heat, Porter appeared in all 50 games, playing 27.3 minutes and shooting 46.5 from the floor and 41.1% from long distance. He scored 10.5 points with 2.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per appearance. He scored 10 or more points just over half the time with one double double. On March 26th, in a 100-93 loss to the Wolves, he scored 21 points (including a three-for-four night from deep) with six rebounds. On April 3rd, he knocked down five-of-seven three pointers in an 88-77 loss to the New Jersey Nets, totalling 17 points with four rebounds. May 2nd would see him score 18 points with 10 rebounds in 31 minutes of a 100-93 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Miami took the number one seed at 33-17 before losing the opening round to the New York Knicks, three games to two. Porter scored a total of 45 points with 19 rebounds and 15 assists through his five appearances.
He closed out his playing career with three seasons for the San Antonio Spurs (220 games). Afterward, he served as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings before landing head coaching gigs with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. He is currently an assistant with the TimberWolves.
All-Time HEATline: One season, 50 games, 27.3 minutes, 10.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 16.8 PER, 5.3 win shares.
This article was part 34 of 68. We are halfway there, with a lot of Heat heroes to go. Make sure to keep checking back throughout the offseason as we see this countdown through. Thanks for reading!