On April 21, 1987, the day before the planned franchise announcement for three NBA teams, Ted Arison, Zev Buffman, Lew Schaffel and I went to David Stern’s office to make one last pitch for Miami. The NBA commissioner was told that investing in the Overtown area was the right thing to do. Arison was hoping for a reduction in the expansion fee, but Stern stuck to his $32.5 million. Arison relented, and the next day Miami had its team.
Twenty-five years and 18 million fans later, no one could have predicted how successful the Miami Heat would become. That includes signing one of the greatest basketball talents of all time, LeBron James. After four years, four NBA Finals appearances, two NBA titles, two MVP awards and countless memories, King James is taking his talents back to Northeast Ohio.
Growing up in Miami, I look back fondly on the 1972 and 1973 Miami Dolphins the same way this generation will remember the Heat title teams of 2012 and 2013. I also recall Dolphins fans having their hearts broken four years later when Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Paul Warfield bolted for the WFL. As James exercises his free-agency right to return home, it’s important to realize that room at the top is transient and fleeting. Enjoy it while you can.
Rick Horrow, president, Horrow Sports Ventures, Miami