Goran Dragic has recently been selected to Team LeBron for the All-Star game in Los Angeles this season. While not being originally named as an Eastern Conference All-Star, injuries to John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins have boosted him into the festivities of the weekend. Dragic slots in deservingly though, averaging 16.9 points, 4.7 assists, and shooting 44 percent from the field. Miami have only ever had seven players named to the All-Star team before Dragic, making his debut even more exciting for the 31 year-old, but, where does he fit in the list of ever-talented Miami Heat All-Stars?

8. Anthony Mason

The late, great Anthony Mason only gave the Heat one year of service, but he was a perfect piece for a over performing Heat team in the 2000-2001 season. Averaging 40 minutes a game, Mason played his heart out night in and night out. He averaged 16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and shot an impressive 48 percent for a big man. Mason also proved to be the perfect compliment to Alonzo Mourning and Eddie Jones, leading the Heat to the playoffs on a 50-32 record.

7. Goran Dragic

Sadly, Dragic comes in at number seven, as his Heat ancestors were all superstars of their time. But, Dragic’s contribution to this young Heat side is still outstanding. He carries the ball up the court and sets the tempo for the night, charging to the basket fearlessly, either laying it in or passing it off to an open man. In his third season with the Heat, it is hard to remember time without him, as he is one of the best point guards we have had to date. His inclusion in the 2018 All-Star break is well warranted as Dragic finally gets the credit he deserves.

6. Tim Hardaway

Overshadowed at Golden State, Tim Hardaway was traded to Miami and enjoyed every second of it. Hardaway averaged 17.1 points, 8 assists and shot 41 percent from the field in his time at Miami. Not only was he a tremendous scorer, but his vision and passing was superb, always fizzing passes through traffic to the open man on the court. He was dubbed the name “Mr. Crossover” for his ability to beat almost any man of the dribble, leaving his trickery and smooth moves in his #10 jersey at the top of American Airlines Arena.

5. Chris Bosh

Often the scapegoat of “The Big Three” in Miami, Chris Bosh was actually a consistent high earner for the Heat. He averaged 18 points, 7.8 rebounds and had a field goal percentage of just under 50 percent while on the Heat. Bosh was probably the Heat’s most dynamic big man ever, having to craft his game around that of LeBron and D Wade’s, perfecting his three-point shot and perimeter defense as a result. Unfortunately, Bosh’s career ended early because of medical issues, but Pat Riley says he is always welcomed back in the Heat organization for years to come.

4. Alonzo Mourning

An NBA star who often slipped under the radar because he played when the likes of David Robinson and Patrick Ewing were stars, but Alonzo Mourning would have been a top big man in today’s league. Mourning played two different times in Miami, one stint when he was in his prime, and the other as a role player. In his first stint, Mourning averaged 19 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks, and in his second, much less as injuries plagued his production. But, his play on both sides of the ball were pure class, earning himself two Defensive Player of the Year awards and a spot in the Hall of Fame. The Heat retire Zo’s #33 jersey and still remains an integral part of the Heat organization, serving his ninth year as the Vice President of Player Programs and Development.

3. Shaquille O’Neal

The man who needs no introduction, the 7’1″ big man Shaquille O’Neal spent four years in Miami, winning an NBA Championship along the way. Shaq was coming off the best seasons of his career when he was traded to Miami to team up with young Dwyane Wade. He averaged 19.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks during his time in South Beach. Him and D Wade became one of the best duos ever seen in basketball. Without him, the Heat would have never won their first NBA title and because they were missing that physicality O’Neal brought to the table. Although Shaq’s time was short lived in Miami, he was the the perfect Heat big man and will never be forgotten as his #32 jersey hangs in the scaffolding of American Airlines Arena.

2. Dwyane Wade

Mr. Heat himself. Dwyane Wade will always be a Heat player at heart and the Heat faithful can never thank him enough for his service in Miami. In his 13 seasons in black, white and red, he averaged 23.7 points, 5.8 assists, 1.7 steals and shot just under 50 percent from the field. He lead the team to three titles in five Finals appearances and became the face of the franchise, while also helping to orchestrate the uniting of The Big Three. Watching Wade play was exquisite. The former Marquette man was so quick and dynamic on the court that Shaq nicknamed him “Flash”, dashing from the arc to the rim in the blink of an eye night in and night out. Recent reports state his hopes of coming back to Miami to retire, and, although not producing what he once was, he could still make history one last time wearing his famous #3.

1. LeBron James

Rounding out the list is arguably the best player to ever play the game, LeBron James. If it wasn’t for him, Wade would have taken the number one spot, but it’s LeBron. His announcement to South Beach in 2010, broadcasted worldwide as a special called “The Decision”, was a shock but proved to be quite successful. He averaged 26.9 points, 6.7 assists, 1.7 steals and shot 54 percent on the court. He also brought home two consecutive NBA Championships in four Finals appearances and was a part of a historical team of stars that perhaps changed the modern game forever. LeBron was a superhuman at times in a Heat jersey, shooting off balanced clutch three-pointers and making a fool out of the league’s best teams in the process. His time in Miami might have ended on bad terms, but Miami fans will always remember his time in South Beach.

The Heat have had quite the star-studded cast over the years: The Big Three, Zo and Hardaway, D Wade and Shaq. And although having only eight All-Stars ever named in a franchise history, you could say these All-Stars were more special players to watch.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.


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