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30 Years of Heat: All-Time All-Player Countdown #81-79

Rex Chapman and two more Heat players are featured in today’s countdown.

Bruce Bowen #12

81. Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen, a 6'7" small forward from Merced, CA, was born on June 14, 1971. An alum of Edison High in Fresno, he played for the University of California State in Fullerton in college. He played four seasons in total, starting through the last three and scoring 16.3 points with 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as a senior in 1992-93. After going undrafted, he ended up playing with Le Havre (France), Evreux (France), the Fort Wayne Fury (CBA), the Rockford Lightning (CBA), and Besancon (France).

Bowen signed a 10-day contract with the Heat on March 15th, 1997. He got into one game, played one minute, and made one block in a 101-80 Miami win over the Houston Rockets. He then joined the Boston Celtics (91 games) followed by a 42 game hitch with the Philadelphia 76ers. He signed on with the Heat again on February 23rd, 2000.

Bowen started in two of his 27 overall appearances with the Heat to close out the 1999-00 season, playing 21 minutes per game. He shot 46.4% from three point distance, with a confusing overall field goal success rate of 38%. He scored 5.1 points with 2.2 rebounds per game. He finished in double figures five times, and Miami went 17-10 when he played. In one of his starts, he scored 16 points, including a perfect four-for-four night from long range, along with four rebounds and three steals in a 92-77 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami earned the Atlantic Division title along with the second seed with a 52-30 record. After sweeping the Detroit Pistons in the first round, they were eliminated in seven games by the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. For his part, Bowen averaged 15.7 minutes while appearing in all 10 games and scoring a total of 35 points with 10 rebounds. He only shot 22.7% from outside through the tournament.

In 2000-01, Bowen signed a one year deal with Miami for $733,000. He appeared in all 82 games, starting 72 at small forward. He shot 36.3% overall and 33.6% from deep in 32.7 per minutes. His increased use resulted in higher averages across the board, with 7.6 points, three rebounds, 1.6 assists, and one steal registered per contest. He finished in double figures 26 times. In a 102-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on November 28th, he scored a season high 20 points with three rebounds. On December 30th, he shot five-of-seven three pointers, totalling 17 points before fouling out in 28 minutes of a 110-102 win against the Pistons. Miami went 52-30 during the regular season, but lost three straight in the opening round to the Charlotte Hornets. Bowen played 58 minutes, scoring 12 points with eight fouls.

Starting in 2001-02, Bowen started playing for the San Antonio Spurs, ultimately for eight seasons (630 games) and collecting three championship rings (2003, 2005, 2007) as well as notably being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001-03) and then First Team for 5 straight seasons (2004-08). He shot an NBA leading 44.1% from three point range in 2002-03, and ranks second on their all-time leaderboard with 661 successful three-point attempts.

Stat Line: 110 games, 29.6 minutes, .366 field goals, .355 three-pointers, .609 free throws, 6.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks, 7.9 PER, 5.1 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 498.0

80. Kurt Thomas

Kurt Thomas, a 6'9" power forward from Dallas, TX, was born on October 4th, 1972. After playing at the prep level with Hillcrest High in his hometown, he played four seasons of collegiate basketball for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. As a senior in 1994-95, he earned AP All-American Third Team honors when he averaged 28.9 points and 14.6 rebounds per appearance. Miami made him their first round selection in that season's draft, with the the 8th pick overall. He signed for two years and $2,309,000.

As a rookie in 1995-96, Thomas played in 74 games overall, starting 42 at power forward. He played 22.4 minutes per game while scoring nine points with six rebounds per appearance. He posted eight double doubles, finishing in double figures on 28 occasions. On December 10th, in a 110-90 loss to the Sacramento Kings, he notched season and game highs with 29 points and with 15 rebounds. On December 30th, he sunk seven-of-12 shots, scoring 22 points with seven rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers, 105-96. In a 125-118 win over the Dallas Mavericks on March 12th, he scored 22 points on nine-of-10 shooting with 10 boards in 25 minutes. Miami's 42-40 record netted them an eighth seed and a first round butt-whooping appointment against the Chicago Bulls. Thomas played a combined 60 minutes, scoring 12 points with 16 rebounds as the Heat lost three straight decisions.

1996-97 would see Thomas limited to just 18 games by injury, with nine starts at power forward. He played 21 minutes per appearance, and scored six and a half points with six rebounds on an average night. He had one double double with four games finished in double figures. On November 9th, in a 91-84 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, he scored 18 points with 14 boards. On December 23rd, he scored 15 points with nine rebounds in 39 minutes of a 90-79 win over the San Antonio Spurs. He didn't play again after January 8th. On Valentine's Day, the Heat traded him with Sasha Danilovic and Martin Muursepp to the Dallas Mavericks for Jamal Mashburn. Miami went 61-21, good for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. After defeatingthe Orlando Magic three games to two and the New York Knicks in seven, the Chicago Bulls showed Miami the door, four games to one in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Thomas played five games with the Mavericks the following season. He went on to play with the New York Knicks (530 games) for seven seasons. He also played for the Phoenix Suns (120 games), the Seattle SuperSonics (42 games), the San Antonio Spurs (107 games), the Milwaukee Bucks (70 games), the Chicago Bulls (52 games), and the Portland TrailBlazers (53 games) before rejoining the Knicks in 2012-13 (39 games).

Stat Line: 92 games, 22.1 minutes, .480 field goals, .683 free throws, 8.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks, 12.8 PER, 4.3 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 522.8

79. Rex Chapman

Rex Chapman, sometimes also called "The Boy Wonder," is a 6'4" shooting guard from Bowling Green, KY. Born on October 5th, 1967, he made the 1986 McDonald's All American team while playing with Apollo High in Owensboro, KY. He played with the University of Kentucky Wildcats in college for two seasons, averaging 17.6 points with 2.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists through his college career. After he declared early for the 1988 draft, the Charlotte Hornets selected him in the first round with the eighth overall pick.

Chapman played four seasons with the Hornets (220 games), scoring 16.2 points with three rebounds and three assists in half an hour per game. He then played parts of four seasons with the Washington Bullets (166 games), averaging 15.6 points with two rebounds and 2.6 assists in 29 minutes per appearance. During 1995's offseason, the Bullets sent him along with Terrence Rencher to the Heat for Ed Stokes and Jeff Webster.

In 1995-96, Chapman started in 50 of his 56 appearances at shooting guard for Miami. He played 33.3 minutes per game, scoring 14 points with 2.6 rebounds and three assists. He finished in double figures 40 times. In a 102-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 27th, he scored 29 points, including seven three pointers, along with six assists. On February 1st, 1996, in a 124-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, he went eight-for-13 from the field, scoring 23 points with six assists. On Feburary 23rd, in a 113-104 win over the Chicago Bulls, he scored a season high 39 points, going 12-for-17 from the field and six-of-seven from three-point territory, along with two assists and three steals. Miami took the eighth seed with a 42-40 record. The Bulls eliminated the Heat in the opening round in three games straight. Chapman scored a combined 27 points with six rebounds and five assists during the series.

Later, Chapman signed with the Phoenix Suns for six seasons (224 games), averaging 12.4 points with two and a half rebounds and assists per game. He retired four seasons into his contract, on November 20th, 2000. Since his retirement, he worked as a scout with the Suns and with the Minnesota TimberWolves. He also served as the vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets. He sometimes works as a a commentator, last with CBS and Turner Broadcasting during the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Stat Line: 56 games, 33.3 minutes, .426 field goals, .371 three-pointers, .735 free throws, 14.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 13.0 PER, 4.2 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 526.1