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The Miami HEAT announced today several front office hirings, including Keith Smart as Assistant Coach, Chris Quinn as Assistant Coach/Player Development, Brandon Gilliam as Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation, Wes Brown as Assistant Trainer and Eric Foran as Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Smart will bring over 25 years of professional basketball experience as a player and coach to the HEAT bench serving as Assistant Coach. His duties will include assisting in the areas of game management. He comes to Miami after serving as head coach for three different NBA franchises, including Sacramento, Golden State and Cleveland.

Quinn, who played three and a half seasons with the HEAT for both Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, will join Spoelstra’s staff as an Assistant Coach/Player Development. The six-year NBA veteran will assist Miami in the areas of player development and will also have responsibilities with the HEAT’s NBA Development League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Quinn spent last season as Director of Player Development at Northwestern University.

Gilliam has been named Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation after spending the last eight years owning his own private practice that specialized in concierge physical training for entertainers and athletes. In addition to his duties as assistant trainer, Gilliam will oversee all player rehabilitation programs as he will work with each player individually during the recovery process.

Brown has been named Assistant Trainer after spending the last seven years at the University of Miami as associate athletic trainer. His duties will include managing the day-to-day health of HEAT players during the regular season, postseason and off-season. Brown is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist, certified Corrective Exercise specialist, certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner and a level 2 Fascial Stretch Therapist.

Foran, who spent the last two seasons with the HEAT as a strength & conditioning intern, has been named Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach. He is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and a certified USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach. A University of Florida graduate and son of HEAT Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning Bill Foran, Eric was a four-year letter winner and an All-SEC pole vaulter on the track and field team that won two national championships during his tenure.

Additionally, the HEAT also named David Fizdale to Assistant Head Coach, Juwan Howard to Assistant Coach, Dan Craig to Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development and Octavio De La Grana to Player Development Coach/Director of Minor League Operations.

Here’s Reuters, via the Toronto Sun, reporting that Dwight Howard, or whoever drives his car, makes questionable decisions on the road:

dwight howard

The Florida driver’s licence of Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has been suspended for his failure to pay a fine for running a red light, court records show, but the team said on Tuesday he was playing basketball in Texas the day of the alleged infraction.

According to the court records, Howard’s licence had been suspended since at least Aug. 15 for his nonpayment of a $285 fine for running a red light in Winter Park, Fla., on April 14.

“It couldn’t have possibly been him,” said Houston Rockets spokeswoman Tracey Hughes, who told Reuters that Howard and the Rockets were playing the San Antonio Spurs in Houston on that date. “Dwight played 31 minutes. He scored 20 points and 17 rebounds.”

UPDATE: According to TMZ Sports, “Dwight Howard might be color blind — ’cause officials in Florida say he ran 10 RED LIGHTS in 2-and-a-half years — and now his license has been suspended.”

Heat sign forward Khem Birch

Heat sign forward Khem Birch

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Khem Birch.

We assume this is a non-guaranteed training camp signing that merely gives Birch a chance to compete for a regular season contract. 

Birch appeared in six games (all starts) with the Washington Wizards during the 2014 Vegas Summer League and averaged 5.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.17 blocks and 19.3 minutes while shooting 47.8 percent from the field. He led the team in offensive rebounds and finished second in blocks, third in total rebounds and fourth in field goals made, free throws made and minutes. Additionally, he posted a seven-point, 11-rebound game vs. Miami on July 15 while shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and a perfect 1-of-1 from the foul line.

Last season at UNLV he averaged a double-double after appearing in 33 games (32 starts) with the Rebels averaging 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.76 blocks, 1.2 assists and 31.4 minutes while shooting 51 percent from the field. He was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Defensive Team and All-Mountain West Second Team honors. He finished second in the NCAA in blocks per game and total blocks (124) and tied for seventh in total rebounds (337). He capped the season leading the team in blocks, free throws made (131), minutes (1,037), offensive rebounds (131) and tied for total rebounds.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 17.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting some insight from NBA commissioner Adam Silver:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t denying Miami as a sexy market, but in his recent interview with Bloomberg Television he clearly did not have an issue with LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, citing NFL-style parity. “And so we want to build to be at that same point where 30 teams are all competing for championships,” he said in the wake of the Heat’s four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. “If, for example, in the NFL, when Green Bay’s playing Pittsburgh, the reaction isn’t, oh, that ‘they’re small markets,’ it’s that, ‘they’re storied franchises,’ ” he said. “And I think we’re beginning to see that in the league with teams like Oklahoma City, with the San Antonio Spurs, now, with the return of LeBron to Cleveland. And that’s what you want if you’re a commissioner. You want all of your teams to be competitive and you want them ultimately to succeed based on management, not who’s got the deepest pocket or what market is the most attractive.” Of course, it’s one thing for LeBron to return home to Cleveland, another for a top-tier free agent to aggressively pursue a future in Sacramento, Utah or Milwaukee.

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal:

Shaq still interested in being a crime-stopper

Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal applied to be a reserve police officer for the city of Doral on Wednesday.

O’Neal stopped by Doral’s City Council chambers to say hello before sitting down with the police chief. The council was in session discussing budget proposals. The mayor called a five-minute break and council members rushed to pose with the superstar.

The 7-foot-1 O’Neal is still going through the application process as well as a background check, city spokeswoman Christina Baguer said.

“If he passes, he will then have to do everything else to be certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, just like any of our other officers, reserve or not reserve,” Baguer said.

Ron Rothstein retires from coaching

Ron Rothstein retires from coaching

The Miami HEAT announced today that former head coach and long-time assistant Ron Rothstein has retired from coaching and will join the HEAT Broadcast team and serve as a Corporate Liaison. The HEAT also announced that long-time assistant and Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo will become a pro scout and serve as a Community Liaison.

“Both Ron and Bob were instrumental in the success of the HEAT and their contributions to our three championships cannot be overstated,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “They are HEAT lifers and I’m happy that they will continue to be an important part of the organization as they evolve into their new roles within the HEAT family.”

“I want to thank Ron and Bob for their guidance, wisdom and dedication that they provided to me when I took over as head coach,” said HEAT Head Coach Erik Spoelstra. “I especially want to thank them for all their hard work and support these past six seasons. They were a huge part of all our team success. Moving forward, having their great basketball minds just down the hall will continue to be invaluable.”

Rothstein, with over 40 years of experience in the game of basketball, will join the HEAT broadcast team and bring his vast knowledge of the game to the Sun Sports studio. For Rothstein, it marks a return to the broadcasting field in which he previously served as a color commentator for the Detroit Pistons during the 1991-92 NBA season. He will also serve the South Florida community in his additional role as Corporate Liaison. Rothstein, an original HEAT employee who has served the organization for 16 years in various capacities, became the organization’s first head coach on July 12, 1988 and guided them for three seasons, increasing the team’s victory total each year. During his 26 years on an NBA bench, his teams made 18 postseason appearances, highlighted by three NBA championships, six Eastern Conference championships, six NBA Finals appearances, nine Eastern Conference Finals appearances and nine divisional championships.

McAdoo, a former NBA MVP and Hall of Famer, will take his 33 years of combined NBA experience, 19 as a coach (all with the HEAT) and 14 as a player, into the world of player personnel and scouting where he will serve as one of the lead scouts under HEAT Vice President, Player Personnel Chet Kammerer. In his new role, McAdoo’s duties will include scouting on the NBA, college and international levels. Generally considered one of the greatest shooting big men in league history, the five-time NBA All-Star captured three consecutive scoring titles from 1973-74 through 1975-76 and was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1973. In 1982, he was a member of Pat Riley’s first championship team in Los Angeles and later played professionally in Italy where his teams went on to win the Italian Championship three times and the European Championship twice. In 2008, he was named as one of the 50 most influential personalities in European Club Basketball over the last half century and in 2014 he was named the best foreign player to play in European Basketball. In addition to his role as scout, McAdoo will also serve in the capacity of Community Liaison.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat:

The Miami Heat’s Duke replenishment program continues.

In the wake of losing forward Shane Battier to retirement and ESPN’s broadcast booth, the Heat have added a third former Blue Devil to their training-camp roster, with a recent workout by undrafted Duke guard Andre Dawkins cementing an invitation.

Dawkins joins former Duke players Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts as ex-Blue Devils who have been added this offseason.

“He had about 12 or 13 teams who had expressed interest,” agent John Spencer said Tuesday of Dawkins, “but we had already agreed a while back that he was going to be with them come training camp.”

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on the Heat coaching staff:

Heat reassign longtime assistants McAdoo, Rothstein

Two longtime assistant coaches for the Heat will no longer be regular contributors to the day-to-day operations of the team.

Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo and Heat coaching legend Ron Rothstein have been reassigned by the team, the Miami Herald confirmed Monday. McAdoo and Rothstein were both originally hired as assistants by Heat president Pat Riley. Yahoo Sports first reported the story.

With McAdoo and Rothstein likely off the bench, assistants David Fizdale, Dan Craig and Juwan Howard are expected to assume more prominent roles.

The Miami Heat finished last season with a 54-28 record, and lost in the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs. Enjoy these video highlights of some of their best plays from the season:

Miami Heat sign Shannon Brown

Miami Heat sign Shannon Brown

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Shannon Brown.

Brown, an eight-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 403 career NBA regular season games (58 starts) and averaged 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 18.0 minutes while shooting 42 percent from the field, 33.1 percent from three-point range and 80.7 percent from the foul line. He split the 2013-14 season between the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks, appearing in 29 total games (one start) and averaging 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.7 minutes of action while shooting 36.4 percent from the field. He scored a season-high 14 points, on 4-of-7 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line, in a 109-98 win vs. Brooklyn on April 15, 2014.

Brown, who won back-to-back NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010, has appeared in 55 career postseason games and averaged 5.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 13.9 minutes while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from three-point range and 72.7 percent from the foul line.

He was originally drafted in the first round (25th overall) by Cleveland in the 2006 NBA Draft.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 16.

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on a Miami Heat rookie:

Some might be tempted to scoff at Miami Heat rookie Shabazz Napier’s excuse for his poor NBA Summer League performance — the ball. Like many aspects of NCAA and NBA basketball, the actual ball is not the same, a lesson Napier is learning the hard way.

“[M]y biggest thing is getting comfortable with that basketball,” Napier told the Associated Press. “That’s one of my biggest problems and it’s kind of ironic, because it’s a basketball. But it’s different than a college basketball.”

Both NCAA and NBA basketballs measure 29.5 inches, but the materials can vary. In the NBA, regulation balls are composed of leather, while in college, the balls can be made of pebbled rubber. Napier’s problems might be compounded by him never having touched an NBA ball until the combine.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Miami Heat free agent forward Michael Beasley:

Mike Beasley remains available in free agency

“I’ve grown,” he said. “Just like you can look back and say I did a lot of things I’m not proud of. Take it in stride, grow up and move on with life. So, I’ve grown. I’m more mature about situations.

“I’m definitely not as social as I used to be. That’s just because of trust issues. Just trust issues. I’m not going to get into all that. But I definitely don’t have as many friends as I used to have. That’s definitely by choice.”

He stressed that he lived alone, “me and the mosquitoes that bite me.”

Now he stands alone, again, for a second consecutive summer. He remains a scorer and a shooter, the league now left to decide whether he still is an NBA player.

A year ago, coach Erik Spoelstra said the mandate was basic for Beasley, “Embrace our culture. Embrace the routine. Embrace the work.”

Of course, what matters most is to be embraced in response.

Three weeks ago, Heat President Pat Riley said Beasley was “still a consideration.”

Instead, No. 8 belongs to another, the Heat seemingly having moved on. Again.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat. Note that while loyalty probably was a factor, we have to assume that nice money was a factor. Anyway, here’s the Sun Sentinel:

Chris Andersen discusses why he stuck with Heat

Just as LeBron James cited going home as a reason for his free-agency return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chris Andersen said Saturday among the reasons he re-signed with the Miami Heat was because South Florida felt like home.

“It was definitely the loyalty from the fans and from the team,” said the Texas native who signed a two-year, $10.3 million contract with the Heat last month. “That had a big part of it. And it’s matter of me ending my career in a place that I’d be happy at and am familiar with.”

Andersen’s popularity was evident during his Saturday promotional appearance at the grand opening of the new Dick’s Sporting Goods location in Coral Springs, as he was mobbed by fans during an afternoon autograph session, with fans, including a few Birdman lookalikes, arriving before daybreak. The store’s supply of bracelets needed for his autograph was exhausted well before his arrival.

Miami Heat sign Reggie Williams

reggie williams

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Reggie Williams.

Williams, a five-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 180 regular season career games (32 starts) averaging 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 19.7 minutes while shooting 46.0 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from three-point range and 74.3 percent from the foul line. The 6’6”, 210-guard has previously played in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors (2009-11), Charlotte Bobcats (2011-13) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2013-14). He enjoyed his finest NBA season as a member of the Warriors in 2010-11 when he appeared in 80 games (nine starts) and averaged 9.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 20.3 minutes while shooting 42.3 percent from three-point range, connecting on a career-high 102 three-point field goals.

He split the 2013-14 season between the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League and the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippine Basketball Association. He appeared in three games for the Thunder and averaged 3.7 points and 5.7 minutes. He also appeared in 25 games (21 starts) for Tulsa and averaged 20.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 47.7 percent from the field, 35.9 percent from three-point range and 73.2 percent from the foul line. In 10 games (all starts) for San Miguel, Williams averaged 29.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 44.8 minutes while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range.

Williams, who led the NCAA in scoring average in consecutive seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08) at Virginia Military Institute, went undrafted by the NBA upon graduation. After playing overseas in France for one season with JDA Dijon, he was drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the 2009 NBA Development League Draft. In his lone season with the Skyforce, Williams was named to the 2010 NBA D-League All-Star Team and earned All-NBA D-League First Team honors after averaging 26.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 40.0 minutes while shooting 57.6 percent from the field, 41.0 percent from three-point range and 82.4 percent from the foul line.

Miami Heat sign guard Tyler Johnson

Miami Heat sign guard Tyler Johnson

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Tyler Johnson.

Most recently, Johnson appeared in 11 Summer League games with the HEAT and averaged 12.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 22.2 minutes while shooting 54.8 percent from the field, 46.7 percent from three-point range and 81.4 percent from the foul line.

Johnson played four seasons at Fresno State University, appearing in 127 career games (87 starts) and averaged 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.10 steals and 27.9 minutes while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three-point range and 71.6 percent from the foul line. He finished his collegiate career ranked No. 16 on Fresno State’s all-time scoring list (1,346 career points). As a senior, he was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team and shot 43.2 percent from three-point range, the sixth-highest single-season three-point field goal percentage in school history.

Enjoy these video highlights of some of Alonzo Mourning’s best career plays:

Ray Allen still undecided about future

Here’s the Hartford Courant reporting on NBA veteran Ray Allen:

Ray Allen still undecided about future

Ray Allen could play one more year in the NBA. He is wanted, and he knows it.

Or he could retire with no regrets, all business finished. All the years of solid play and diligent work at conditioning have put him, at 39, in this rare position — to script his own ending, and take his time doing it.

“I’m not in any rush [to make a decision],” Allen said during a break in the Citi Ray Allen Basketball ProCamp at East Granby High on Saturday morning. “I’ve played 18 years, and the way I look at my career, I’m content with everything that I’ve done. I just want to take this summer and see how it goes.”

Allen, an All-American who scored 1,922 points at UConn, is back in Connecticut doing his usual summer round of good works, including hosting this camp for 200 boys and girls in grades 1 through 12. Last week, his Ray of Hope Foundation provided a new computer lab for Ponus Ridge Middle School in Norwalk, something he has done for other schools across the state. On Monday, he will host his annual golf tournament, benefiting his foundation, at the TPC in Cromwell.

Miami Heat sign Shawne Williams

Miami Heat sign Shawne Williams

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Shawne Williams.

Williams, a six-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 251 career regular season games (36 starts) averaging 5.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 17.1 minutes while shooting 40.3 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 73.3 percent from the foul line. He has appeared in four career postseason games and averaged 8.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.00 steals, 1.00 blocks and 25.3 minutes while shooting 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from the field, 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from three-point range and 75 percent (6-of-8) from the foul line.

He split the 2013-14 season between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. Williams appeared in 36 games (13 starts) with the Lakers last season and averaged 5.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 20.9 minutes. He also appeared in 23 games (21 starts) with the L.A. D-Fenders and averaged 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.09 blocks, 1.7 assists and 31.5 minutes while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 41.8 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent from the foul line. He was named the NBA D-League Performer of the Week on March 17 after averaging 26.3 points, including a 34-point game at Canton on March 15 while helping the team to a perfect 3-0 week. Additionally, he appeared in two postseason games with the D-Fenders, totaling 22 points, 20 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block.

Williams was originally drafted in the first round (17th overall) by Indiana in the 2006 NBA Draft.

Heat likely keeping Justin Hamilton

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat:

Heat likely keeping Justin Hamilton

Center Justin Hamilton is poised to become the 12th player under guaranteed contract to the Miami Heat, when his partial guarantee kicks in Friday.

Hamilton, an outside-shooting 7-footer who finished last season with the Heat, has an $816,000 contract for 2014-15 that becomes 50-percent guaranteed if not waived on or before Aug. 1, and 75-percent guarantee if he is on the roster on Dec. 1. All NBA contracts become guaranteed for the season the second week of January.

“I think we’re probably going to move forward,” Heat President Pat Riley said. “We like Justin and what he’s done in the summer league, from that standpoint. There have obviously been discussions with Justin and his agent. So he wants to be here and we want him to be here.”

Because of his Croatian lineage, Hamilton has drawn interest from European teams. He spent part of the 2012-13 season in Latvia, after he was acquired by the Heat in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft out of LSU, and then split this past season between the Heat’s NBA Development League franchise, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and the Charlotte Bobcats and Heat.

Here’s the Miami Herald with an interesting update on the Heat backcourt:

Mario Chalmers may play some shooting guard for Heat

Heat president Pat Riley said Wednesday that he sees an evolving role for starting point guard Mario Chalmers, while insisting LeBron James’ praise of Shabazz Napier had no influence on Miami trading up to draft him.

On the decision to give Chalmers a two-year, $8.3 million contract after a poor NBA Finals performance, Riley said: “Mario is a big-game player. He learned more than ever in this [Finals] that you can never take anything for granted at this level of play.

“We’re looking at Mario differently in this roster. He’s a point guard, but we’re also looking at him as a [shooting guard]. Mario can be very effective as a long-armed [shooting guard] who can shoot the three.”

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