If you’re wondering why the Miami Heat have been one of the most successful organizations in the NBA over the past 15 years, look no further than the culture of the franchise.
Golden State Warriors veteran forward Andre Iguodala — who played on the Heat over the past two years and was a member of the 2019-20 team that advanced to the Finals — explained what “Heat culture” is all about during an appearance on The Draymond Green Show podcast.
He also went into detail on the similarities and differences between the Heat and Warriors’ cultures.
“Our environment is a little more relaxed,” explained Iguodala. “It’s got some hippy vibes to it, go at your own pace, go as you please. Miami is kind of like, straight and narrow, everybody in formation. I could see weaknesses in both. Because both had a lot of success—Pat Riley is probably one of the most successful player/coaches/GMs in NBA history. He’s done it at every level. We had success here, and I saw some flaws here. Being in those two places, I tried to step back and appreciate the value in both sides. When I was there, I saw some things we did with the Warriors that I could bring to some of the players to the team—some guys might not be as mentally strong at a young age, nudge them and get them to open up a little bit.”
“It’s kind of like who you are, you know, you’re so brash and you’re competitive and you have that fire, that’s the Heat culture,” Iguodala continued to elaborate. “I was able to appreciate that even more. I was like, ‘Damn, the Draymonds are even more valuable than I thought,’ and I saw that up close every day.”
Riley Created ‘Heat Culture’ Mindset
The beginnings of “Heat culture” can be traced back to the mid-90’s when Pat Riley originally arrived in Miami as the team’s head coach. Although Riley is no longer patrolling the sidelines, he is the architect as the president of the Heat.
Since 2006, Miami has won three NBA championships and has made six Finals appearances. During that time frame, only the Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have as many championships. As far as Finals appearances, no franchise has more than the Heat over the past 15 years.
During his brief time in Miami, Iguodala played a key role in the team’s rotation. After making 19 appearances during the 2019-20 regular season, the former Finals MVP ended up becoming a member of the starting five during the postseason. Iguodala started 14 of the team’s 21 playoff games.
Although Iguodala couldn’t deliver a title to Miami as he did in Golden State, there’s no doubt that he brought that championship-level intensity to the Heat. Furthermore, he’s bringing that “Heat culture” to Golden State, where the new-look Warriors are currently 18-3 and surging in the Western Conference.
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Bam Adebayo out For Several Weeks
As the Heat continue to navigate through a competitive field in the Eastern Conference, they’ll have to go the next four-to-six weeks without their starting center.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Wednesday, December 1, that Bam Adebayo will undergo surgery on Sunday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb. With Adebayo sidelined for at least a month, he could be out for the next 15-to-20 games.
“Can’t do anything about it,” Adebayo said. “It was my only option.”
In their first game without Adebayo versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, the Heat went with Dewayne Dedmon as the starting center. They went that route again as they played the Indiana Pacers on Friday.