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The Heat were founded in 1988 during major NBA expansion. Although the inaugural team lost their first 17 games, they “rebounded” and finished 1567. In the 1989 NBA Draft, the Heat selected Glen Rice with the fourth pick. He would take them to their first playoff appearances in 1992 and 1995 against the Chicago Bulls. Miami experienced new heights during the mid 90s with the hiring of Pat Riley, a executive and coach who had reinvigorated several franchises on his way to South Beach. He orchestrated a deal that sent Rice to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for center Alonzo Mourning. Tim Hardaway came abroad the following year and the Heat begun a streak that saw them reach the postseason a franchise record six straight times amid win four divisions titles. Those years were also marked with clashes with the Bulls and the New York Knicks, who eliminated them three straight years.

Miami dwindled in the early 2000s, fielding sub-40 win teams and after several years of rebuilding and draft, the Heat made waves in the 2003 NBA Draft when they selected Dwyane Wade out of Marquette University and paired him with Shaquille O’Neal the following season. The duo, along with a resurgent Riley and well-traveled veterans, would lead Miami to three division titles and a NBA championship in 2006 over the Dallas Mavericks in which Wade was named Finals MVP. The Heat failed to defend their title and free agent signings, trades and injuries would eventually take hold of the future. O’Neal was traded in the 2007-08 NBA season, several players signed elsewhere, Riley retired and Wade underwent several surgeries during a nightmare 200708 season as Miami went 1567, a dubious mark tied by the inaugural team. Only Udonis Haslem, Dwyane Wade, and Dorell Wright remain from the championship team. Dwayane Wade had a monstrous season in the 2008-2009 season; Wade scored more than 2300 points and over 500 assists. He led the team to the NBA playoffs, the Heat face the Atlanta Hawks in the 1st round. The Heat have been very successful as an expansion NBA team, they seem to be in the playoffs consistently and are constantly giving teams headaches. The demand in Miami Heat tickets should be much more than it is, but the future is bright for the young and up and coming franchise.