The Miami Heat will be honoring a pair of legends as well as a large portion of their worldwide fan base when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, February 12 at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
As part of a league-wide tribute between February 7th through the 14th, the Heat will honor their Chinese fans with a celebration that will take place throughout the evening.
Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is considered the biggest and most important Chinese Festival and celebrates the arrival of spring. The HEAT will usher in the Year of the Snake by hosting various themed in-arena activities as well as a variety of elements that pay tribute to Chinese culture, including food, entertainment and live performances by the Miami Chinese Language School as well as the Coral Springs Chinese School.
The HEAT has a large following in China with hundreds of thousands of Chinese fans logging onto HEAT.com/China - the team's ever-growing website containing the latest HEAT news and video translated into Mandarin.
But that's not all because the Heat still have their own celebration with the "25 Years of HEAT", an ongoing special retrospective that welcomes back notable fan favorites. This time, fans are in for a treat with the elite tandem of Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, which were the backbone of coach Pat Riley's elite teams so many years ago, and who now have transitioned to having roles in the franchise.
Here's the HEAT press release with all the info as well as some impressive career stats for both stars:
Mourning and Hardaway will both share their memories with HEAT fans by participating in various pre-game, in-game and on-court activities, including:
· A pre-game appearance on Sun Sports' HEAT Live show.
· Interviews on English and Spanish HEAT pre-game radio broadcasts.
· An in-arena halftime interview at center court.
· Special guest commentator duties during the Sun Sports television broadcast.
· A pre-game meet and greet opportunity exclusively for HEAT Season Ticket Holders.
Mourning, a seven-time All-Star, is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, a 2000 Olympic Games gold medalist and helped the HEAT to their first NBA Championship in 2006. He appeared in 838 NBA career games (686 starts) and averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.81 blocks, 1.1 assists and 31.0 minutes while shooting 52.7 percent from the field. He finished his professional career with 14,311 points, 7,137 rebounds and 2,356 blocks, the 11th-most in NBA history. Among Miami's all-time leaders, he ranks first in blocks (1,625) and offensive rebounds (1,505), second in points (9,459), total rebounds (4,807), defensive rebounds (3,302), free throws made (2,558), double-doubles (205) and double-figure scoring efforts (442), third in field goals made (3,445), minutes played (17,700), games played (593) and games started (458), 12th in steals (304) and 17th in assists (651). Mourning, who had his jersey retired by Miami on March 30, 2009, is also the HEAT's all-time postseason leader in blocked shots (171) while ranking second in double-figure scoring efforts (46) and free throws made (294). In addition to his accomplishments on the court, he also works tirelessly for the children of South Florida through his charity, Mourning Family Foundation. After concluding his playing career, Mourning joined the HEAT organization four seasons ago and currently serves as Vice President, Player Programs where ensures the personal and professional development of HEAT players, while providing direct support and one-on-one mentoring as well as representing the organization in various community and business endeavors.
Hardaway, a five-time All-Star, appeared in 867 career games (770 starts) and averaged 17.7 points, 8.2 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.65 steals and 35.3 minutes while shooting 43.1 percent from the field. He posted 15,373 points, 7,095 assists, 2,855 rebounds and 1,428 steals over a 13-year NBA career. He earned a gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1997, his first full season with Miami. He totaled eight postseason appearances, five as a member of the HEAT, appearing in 56 games (52 starts) and averaged 16.8 points, 6.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 36.6 minutes while shooting 39.3 percent from the field. Hardaway, who had his jersey retired by the HEAT on October 28, 2009, ranks among Miami's all-time leaders, ranking first in three-point field goals made (806), second in assists (2,867), fifth in steals (541), points (6,335), double-doubles (95) and tied for fifth in double-figure scoring efforts (315), sixth in field goals made (2,252), eighth in minutes played (13,271) and games started (367), ninth in free throws made (1,025), 10th in games played (367) and 15th total rebounds (1,180). Hardaway now serves the organization as a Miami HEAT Community & Corporate Liaison.