Here we go again.
With another season in the books, the Miami Heat will be celebrating their 30th NBA season for the 2017-18 campaign. In getting you ready for that, Hot Hot Hoops will be dialing it back and taking a closer look at all 233 Heat players from across their history. Players will be ranked in reverse order. Instead of using accumulated win shares, as I did five years ago, or a more complicated PER * MP formula, I simply added every GameScore up from each game on a gargantuan spreadsheet. We will count down from number 233, right now.
233. Manute Bol
Manute Bol was a 7'7" center from Gogrial, South Sudan. He was born on October 16th, 1962, and joined the NBA as the second round draft pick of the Washington Bullets in 1985, 31st overall.
Bol played for three seasons in our nation's capital, leading the league in blocks as a rookie with 397. He later joined the Warriors for two seasons, again leading the league in blocks in 1988-89, with 345. He also worked on his improbable long game, hitting 20-of-91 three-point attempts. He then joined the Philadelphia 76ers for three seasons.
Just prior to the 1993-94 season, Bol signed on as a free agent with Miami for $650,000. He scored a total of two points on one-of-12 shooting over 61 minutes. He also blocked six shots and made 11 rebounds.
Bol finished with a positive GameScore in only two of his eight Miami appearances. He earned a mark of 0.2 on November 12th when he finished with two defensive rebounds and a blocked shot in 10 minutes as the Heat set down the Orlando Magic, 115-100. Miami waived him in January.
Bol later rejoined each of his first three teams for short stints, with the Bullets for two games, the 76ers for four, then the Warrior for five games in the 1994-95 season.
Bol followed up his basketball career as an activist and a humanitarian. He earned an official "salute" from the US Senate just days before his untimely demise, of acute kidney failure, on June 19, 2010.
Stat Line: Eight games, 61 minutes, two points, 11 rebounds, six blocks.
Accumulated GameScore: -4.7
232. Ernest Brown
Ernest Brown is a 7' center from Bronx, NY, and was born on May 17th, 1979. The Indian Hills Community College graduate was selected by the Heat in the second round of the 2000 draft, with the 52nd overall pick. Over the course of his first and only season as a member of the Heat (signed for $332,817), he appeared in three games, playing 21 minutes. Most of his impact came in one game, a 94-67 loss to Atlanta. He played 12 minutes, scoring three points on one-of-five shooting with four rebounds.
After getting signed an later waived by the Boston Celtics, Brown went on to play parts of three seasons in the NBA D-League before appearing in several foreign leagues after the end of his NBA career.
Stat Line: Three games, 21 minutes, three points, six rebounds, one block.
Accumulated GameScore: -3.7
231. Jarvis Varnado
Jarvis Varnado is a 6'9" power forward from Fairfax, VA. Born on March 1st, 1988, he played a full four seasons of collegiate ball with Mississippi State University, averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game. He was a three time winner of the SEC's defensive player of the year award, and graduated as Division I's all-time leading shot blocker, with 564. Miami made him a second round pick in the 2010 draft, with the 41st overall pick.
Instead of joining the Heat, Varnado elected instead to sign on with an Italian league, later also appearing in Israel. After two seasons abroad, he signed a free agent contract with the Boston Celtics in training camp. He played 18 minutes over five games with Boston. Waived by the Celtics, the Heat signed him to the first of two ten day contracts on Christmas, 2012. He would eventually sign on for the balance of the season, and shared in the latest of Miami's now-three NBA Championships.
In 40 minutes over eight games with Miami, Varnado scored two points with six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. He also turned the ball over five times and registered nine personal fouls, all contributing to a PER below zero.
Varnado’s finest moment with the Heat occured on January 12th, in a 128-99 plastering of the Sacramento Kings. In 5:51, Varnado made his only field goal attempt and blocked a shot, finishing with a 2.0 GameScore.
Stat Line: eight games, 40 minutes, one-for-three shooting, six rebounds, two blocks, two points.
Accumulated GameScore: -3.3
230. James Scott
James Scott was a 6'6" small forward from Paterson, NJ. Born on June 6th, 1972, he was named the McDonald’s High School “All-American” Basketball Player.
Scott took the road less traveled to the NBA, attending Spartanburg Methodist Junior College, and averaging 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists while earning an associate degree in Criminal Justice. He earned Juco All-American honors in both of his seasons there, and later played two years of college basketball with St. Johns University. He went undrafted, and played a season with the French outfit, BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque.
Just before the 1996-97 season, the Heat signed Scott to a $220,000 free agent contract. Out of Miami's 233 players, Scott ranks 232nd with a grand total of one point. he played in eight total games, missing all eight of his field goal attempts (including four shots from outside) and grabbing six boards. His only point was an important one, as it was one of 95 that Miami scored in a 95-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on December 29th.
Despite Miami having won each of the eight games in which Scott appeared, they ended up cutting him in early January.
After his time with the Heat, Scott played with the Oklahoma City Cavalry in the Continental Basketball Association, later finding professional success in Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Spain, Turkey, and Russia.
Stat Line: eight games, 32 minutes, 0-for-eight shooting, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, one point.
Accumulated GameScore: -2.7
229. Kirk Penney
Kirk Penney was a 6'5" shooting guard from Auckland, New Zealand. The University of Wisconsin product was born on November 23rd, 1980.
Penney signed his first professional contract with the Miami Heat on November 3rd, 2003. He appeared in two games, totaling one three-point basket, one rebound, one assist, and one steal over 18 minutes. The Heat let him go on November 7th. He would spend the rest of the 2003-04 season between Spain and the NBA D-League.
Penney returned to the NBA in 2004-05 with the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring two points in 12 minutes over four contests.
Penney has yet to resurface in the NBA, playing in the D-League, Israel, Lithuania, Germany, Australia, Turkey, and Spain. Since the start of the 2016 season, Penney has played with the New Zealand Breakers.
Stat Line: two games, 18 minutes, one-for-six shooting, one-for-three three-point shooting, one rebound, one assist, one steal, three points.
Accumulated GameScore: -2.2
Enjoy the format? Let us know in the comments. Join us tomorrow for five more faces that you may have forgotten as we count down throughout the summer to number one.