The Miami Heat have had some great players don their uniforms. I thought I’d generate some thought and discussion by taking a look at the top 5 players from each position.
**These rankings are based on both longevity and impact. A player is not ineligible if they player for a short amount of time, but their impact must be high.**
We are starting with the point guard. Of all positions, this one is the slimmest when it comes to rounding out a complete five. I really thought the Heat had more candidates, but many players spent such a short time at the position. We have a few like that in the top 5. So here’s the list of the top 5 all-time point guards for the Miami Heat.
#5 — Gary Payton
The Glove spent only two seasons in Miami, and it were his last two in the Miami at age 37 and 38. He came off the bench mostly, although he started quite a few games at shooting guard due to injuries. But he was a presence that was well needed in the Heat’s 2006 NBA Championship. He hit a huge shot in the Finals, and he was the one draped all over Jason Terry for the final shot that missed in Game 6 (maybe it was a hold).
Payton didn’t score much, but his legacy carried him to an important role with the Heat. There’s other’s that could have landed here in the top 5...but I prefer to give the nod to GP since he became a champion.
#4 — Jason Williams
White Chocolate helped lead the Miami Heat to their first NBA Championship in his first season in Miami and he started at point guard. He played three seasons in Miami averaging 10.6 PPG and 4.9 APG. But the real factor was that he was a reliable point guard with creativity and under control alongside some big names. He even held of Gary Payton for the starting PG job.
Williams was a fan favorite.
#3 — Mario Chalmers
Many Heat fans have a love-hate relationship with Chalmers...in fact maybe the Big Three did as well. But the fact remains that Chalmers was the starting point guard on both the 2012 and 2013 NBA Champion teams for the Heat. Chalmers wasn’t a major scorer but he was a major player and stepped up in big moments. Chalmers played 8 seasons with the Heat and his longevity as a point guard was important...even when he had to battle with Norris Cole for minutes or even Carlos Arroyo. Chalmers started every game he played in the final three years for the Big 3.
#2 — Goran Dragic
The Slovenian guard has spent 6 seasons with the Heat averaging 16.6 PPG. And he’s the only first point guard to lead the team in scoring since Tim Hardaway. Dragic was brought in to pair alongside of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh but that trio never saw the court together due to Bosh’s blood clots. Dragic has been a non-stop force and among point guards has been a great asset.
Unlike the first three, Dragic has not won a championship with the Heat. But he was selected as an All-Star in 2018 for the Miami Heat. That alone moves him the list in addition to the amount of time he has played for Miami.
#1 — Tim Hardaway
Tim is the standard for the Miami Heat point guard. A two-time All-Star with the Heat (5 total) and a two second team All-NBA selections. He was the running-mate to Alonzo Mourning on the mid and late 90’s Heat teams that were constantly battling the Knicks.
Hardaway was known for his killer crossover and transition threes. In his first full season with the Heat, at his healthiest he averaged 20.3 PPG and 8.6 APG. The Heat haven’t had a point guard like that ever in their franchise history, and that’s why he’s number 1. He helped create a culture in Miami alongside Zo and Pat Riley, and his legacy lives on with Tim Hardaway Jr.
Personally, Tim is one of my favorite All-Time Heat players. It’s been great to have his around the arena from time to time and I know he loves seeing the Heat succeed. His Game 7 performance against the Knicks with 38 points was phenomenal. And I loved when he hit that buzzer-beating three-pointer against them in the regular season. Tim had a connection with the crowd and Miami and he is the best point guard to ever play here.
Tim Bug’s number 10 jersey is in the rafters.
I’m sure you have some opinions on this...I feel like #1 and #2 and are pretty clear...but even putting Gary Payton in the top 5 is a stretch. Who else are we missing? And no...you can’t put rookie year Dwyane Wade in there...