Exclusive: ESPN's Israel Gutierrez on his new Miami Heat Big 3 podcast and how the superteam changed the NBA
The new podcast series arrives just in time for the 10th anniversary of Miami's NBA Finals triumph against the Spurs and Ray Allen's iconic Game 6 shot.
Amid another memorable Miami Heat deep playoff run, let’s exhale and take a step back and rewind to 2010 in what became a truly special era for the proud franchise and indeed for the NBA.
For those perhaps too young to remember all the details, or for die-hard fans who simply want to look back on it fondly, iHeart Radio and the NBA have released a brand new limited podcast series “Four Years of Heat” with host Israel Gutierrez that dives deep into an unforgettable time in the NBA and the franchise’s rich history when Dwyane Wade was joined by LeBron James and Chris Bosh to form an incredible superteam.
The South Florida native and longtime ESPN journalist sat down with Hot Hot Hoops to give further details about this intriguing project that is sure to set Miami Heat and NBA fans down memory lane with fresh insights, archival material and wide-ranging interviews with former NBA players, fellow journalists, celebrity fans and some surprises along the way.
“It’s been a lot of fun to do,” said Gutierrez, explaining this was his first stab at a podcast. “I definitely had to go back and revisit it all. Just look through game logs, box scores, recaps and everything else to kind of put myself back there and remember some of those finer details.”
Somehow a decade has already passed since Ray Allen’s legendary corner 3 in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, and the special anniversary was the “driving force” behind creating this podcast, according to Gutierrez. “It was built around that shot, that was the target date. The one episode where we tackle the shot will be released that same week.”
Some more tidbits from our chat with Izzy:
Expect plenty of surprises along the way. “Even somebody like me who covered the team often and I was around the team often. And even when I wasn’t covering them I was watching them anyway and digesting all this information. There were things even I learned.”
We look back at what it was like to cover the team at the time. “When LeBron and Chris joined the team, there was a little less access if you will but not much less. I don’t think there’s too many teams that would be as flexible and open to the media as they were at the time given how big they were. These days you’d get a lot less access.”
Izzy looks back on the Decision special and LeBron joining the Heat. “It was such an important part of his career. Does he become the greatest player of all time — debate that among yourselves — but does he become THAT player if he doesn’t learn how to win this way? If he doesn’t learn how to lead this way? All of that was enhanced starting with the reaction to the Decision.”
We discuss how successful the Heat could have been after the Big 3 era had Bosh stayed healthy. “If Chris had stayed healthy as being not just the perfect big man adjusting for a shifting league, but just a great defensive big man and probably one of the best, if not the best, pick and roll big man defenders at the time, I think always they would have given themselves a chance.”
Listen to our complete conversation right on top of this article or on your favorite podcast app and make sure to listen to the new limited podcast “Four Years of Heat” right now on iHeart Radio!
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