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The General and Thunder Dan: 30 Years of Heat

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Dan Majerle and Sherman Douglas show up just outside Miami’s all-time top 20.

Dan Majerle/Johnny Newman

22. Dan Majerle

Dan Majerle, also known as "Thunder Dan," was born on September 9th, 1965. He was a 6'6" guard and forward from Traverse City, MI. After starting four seasons at Central Michigan (21.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists), he was selected in the first round by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th overall pick. He spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Suns, earning three all-star selections while scoring 15.3 points with 5.2 rebounds and 3.4 steals per contest. He is 10th all-time for Phoenix in scoring (8,034 points), ninth in rebounds (2,823), 10th in assists (1,824), fifth in steals (811), and 12th with 258 blocked shots. Prior to 1995-96, the Suns traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played every game of the season. The Cavs released him on August 8th.

On August 22nd, 1996, Majerle and the Heat came to an agreement for $14,510,000 over five seasons. He started in 26 of his 36 appearances in his first season with Miami, averaging 10.8 points in 35.1 minutes per game. He shot 40.6% overall, and 33.8% from long distance, with 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He finished in double figures 19 times, helping the Heat to a 27-9 while in the lineup. On November 20th, in a 94-75 Heat triumph over the Vancouver Grizzlies, he scored 16 points with nine boards and six assists. He hit six-of-11 three-point shots on November 26th, scoring 23 with five rebounds and three steals in a 107-88 victory against the Golden State Warriors. The following night, he put up a season high 26 points with 10 rebounds for his only double double of the season, in a 98-82 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Miami posted a then-franchise best 61-21 record, qualifying for the postseason as the second seed in the East. The Heat eliminated the Orlando Magic in five games and the New York Knicks in seven before bowing out to the Chicago Bulls in five. Majerle played in all 17 contests, averaging eight points, four rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

In 1997-98, Majerle started 22 times out of 72 appearances, shooting 37.6% from three-point range and 41.9% overall. He played 26.8 minutes, scoring 7.2 points with 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Majerle helped Miami go 49-23 while playing, as Miami went 55-27 overall. He finished 24 games in double figures. In six games from March 22nd through April 2nd, he hit 15 three point shots, averaging 14.3 points with 6.2 rebounds and four assists per game. The Heat lost in the first round to the New York Knicks, three-games-to-two. Majerle played twice, totaling nine points with five rebounds, five assists and four steals through the series.

1998-99 would see Majerle shoot 39.6% from the field and 33.5% from deeper, playing 33.8 minutes per game. Over 48 games, all starts, he scored seven points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 helpers per game. He posted 11 times in double figures. Miami went 32-16 when Majerle played. On April 19th, he scored a season high 22 points on eight-of-11 shooting in a 94-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miami took the top seed with a lockout shortened 33-17 record. He appeared five times in the playoffs, shooting under 20% and scoring a total of 20 points with 29 rebounds as the Heat were eliminated by the Knicks, three-games-to-two.

Majerle averaged 7.3 points with 4.8 rebounds, three dimes and 1.3 steals per game. He started 69 times, played 33.4 minutes per game, shot 40.3% overall and 36.2% from three-point range. He put up double figures 18 times, and helped the Heat go 44-25. On January 11th, in a 116-106 win over the Minnesota TimberWolves, he scored a season high 33 points with five rebounds and five assists. The Heat earned the Eastern Conference's second seed with a 52-30 record. Miami swept the Pistons in three to open the playoffs before losing in seven games to the Knicks. Majerle scored nine points per game, with an average of seven rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.1 steals.

2000-01 would be Majerle's last season in Miami. He played 53 games, starting 19 times at shooting guard. He averaged five points per game on 33.6% shooting, pitching in 3.1 boards, 1.7 assists, and one steal per game. He finished in double figures seven times. His best game was on January 16th, in a 93-85 win over the Pistons, when he hit all three of his three point attempts for nine points, along with seven rebounds. Miami went 50-32 overall, but lost in the first round to the Charlotte Hornets in three straight games. Majerle totaled 16 points with 10 rebounds and five assists over 71 minutes to bring his Miami career to a close.

Majerle spent his last NBA season back with Phoenix, playing in 65 games. He is a member of the Suns "Ring of Honor," and served the team after retirement as an assistant head coach from 2008-13. He then coached in the NCAA with Grand Canyon University.

Stat Line: 278 games, 30.3 minutes, .397 field goals, .350 three pointers, .762 free throws, 7.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 11.3 PER, 21.0 Win Shares.

GameScore: 2057.8

21. Sherman Douglas

Sherman Douglas was a 6' point guard from Washington, D.C., where he attended Spingarn High School. Born on September 15th, 1966, "The General," as he was sometimes called, joined the University of Syracuse Orangemen for four seasons of college basketball beginning in 1985-86. After being used sparingly as a rookie (11.5 minutes per game), he started for the next three seasons, averaging 17 points, 2.5 rebounds, and eight assists per contest. He was a two-time NCAA AP All-American selection, making the first team as a senior. After graduating with the Class of 1989, the Heat selected him in the second round of the NBA Draft, with the 28th overall pick.

As a rookie with the second year Heat, Douglas appeared in 81 games, starting 66 times at point guard. He played 30.5 minutes and scored 14.3 points (team second) with a team leading 7.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and a team best 1.8 steals per game, shooting 49.4%. He made the NBA's All-Rookie first team. He scored 10 or more points in 62 games (76.5% of the time) and racked up 18 double doubles. On December 8th, in Miami's fifth win of the season, a 122-114 overtime win over the Orlando Magic, he scored 31 points on 13-of-23 shooting with nine assists, seven rebounds, and six steals in 43 minutes. He scored 13 points with a season high 17 assists on February 26th, as the Heat lost to the Atlanta Hawks, 123-114. On March 14th, he scored 33 points on 14-of-26 shooting with nine assists and four rebounds in a victory, 113-108 over the Los Angeles Clippers. He scored a season high 37 points, going 15-for-21 on April 12th, pitching in with 14 assists and four rebounds in a 139-118 loss to the Boston Celtics. Miami finished the season with an 18-64 mark, three games better than they had in their inaugural season.

In 1990-91, Douglas started in each of his 73 appearances at point guard. He shot 50.4% from the field in 35.1 minutes per game, with a Heat best 18.5 points and 8.5 assists (NBA ninth), 2.9 rebounds, and a team leading 1.7 steals. He had 61 games where he scored in double digits, with 26 double doubles. On December 27th, he scored a season high 42 points with eight assists, five rebounds, and two steals in a victory over the Denver Nuggets, 124-114. He scored 24 points with 15 assists, five rebounds and two steals in a 104-102 win over the Magic on January 15th. On March 10th, he scored 28 points with 13 assists, three rebounds and two steals as the Heat defeated the New Jersey Nets, 101-88. Miami improved by six more games, to 24-58, but still fell well short of the postseason.

Douglas started at point guard in two of his five appearances with the Heat in 1991-92. He played 19.6 minutes per game and scored a total of 37 points with 19 assists. Miami traded him to the Celtics for Brian Shaw on January 20th. After parts of five seasons with Boston (269 games), he joined the Milwaukee Bucks (148 games), the Nets (80 games), and the Clippers (30 games) before rejoining the Nets for two seasons (79 games) to close out his career in 2000-01.

Stat Line: 159 games, 32.3 minutes, .500 field goals, .687 free throws, 16.0 points, 7.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 17.4 PER, 9.9 Win Shares.

GameScore: 2113.8