Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 4/18/12
MIAMI The Big Cat will turn into a big Heat fan once the playoffs start. Toronto center Jamaal Magloire, who played for Miami the three previous seasons, hopes and expects the Heat to win the NBA championship. Magloire, who still has a home in South Florida, anticipates attending some playoff games. First, the hope part. Magloire admits it would bittersweet if the Heat win the title in his first season gone. But that won't change his allegiance. "My hope is that they do win it," Magloire said before Toronto's 96-72 loss Wednesday to the Heat to AmericanAirlines Arena. "I love (Miami president Pat) Riley for the opportunity he gave me and I'll never forget him for what he's done." Now, for the expecting part. The Big Cat believes the Heat will win it all in June. "I do think they have what it takes to win it," he said. "They have great players. Of course, the big three (of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh), (Udonis) Haslem's a soldier. (Joel) Anthony is continuing to improve every year and they have key (reserves) in (Shane) Battier, (James) Jones and (Mike) Miller." Magloire, who turns 34 next month, might be watching from the stands during the playoffs but he doesn't expect to be doing that next season. Even though he's played sparingly this season, he said he's not thinking at all about retiring. "There's no chance of that," said Magloire, a free agent this summer after this season becoming the first native of Canada to play for the 17-year-old Raptors. "As long as they'll have me, (Magloire still wants to pay). I have fun playing basketball. I enjoy the camaraderie. I enjoy the competition. I have a lot of gas left in the tank." Toronto coach Dwane Casey doesn't disagree. He wants Magloire back with the Raptors next season. "That's our plan," Casey said. "We haven't really sat down and talked about it. We haven't made an offer to him. But that's my hope and my plan." Casey said the final decision will be up to the organization as a whole. But he will push for Magloire to return because of his value to the team even when not playing. "He's helped me tremendously," said Casey, who hopes Magloire next season can be a valuable mentor when center Jonas Valanciunas joins the Raptors after being taken No. 5 in last year's draft and spending this season in his native Lithuania. "He's set the tone in the locker room. He's helped me deal with players. He's set the tone defensively for us. "He's invaluable to me as coach, and not only that, as a friend. When things get rough, he's always there, he's always positive And I want him as part of our foundation (for the future)." In 33 games, Magloire has averaged just 1.2 points and 3.3 rebounds over 11.2 minutes and is shooting a that's-not-a-misprint 7-of-27 (25.9 percent) from the foul line. He hasn't played in Toronto's past five games, including Wednesday's, but that's because Casey said he wants to look at younger players down the stretch with his team out of the playoff race. Magloire said it remains be seen where he might play next season. As for who he'll be cheering for in the playoffs, there's no mystery there. And Magloire, who was very popular in the Miami locker room, shouldn't have any problem getting Heat tickets. "If he wants them, every guy in here will accommodate him," said Miami guard James Jones, a teammate during all three of Magloire's seasons with the team. "Whatever he needs, he's got it." Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker