Pat Riley speaks about why he believes Heat can improve this season
The Heat cannot guarantee season ticket holders that there will be significant changes to the roster before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline or even this summer.
But the franchise will guarantee some of you a large part of a free vacation.
In an unusual move, the Heat is giving two choices to season ticket holders who renew for next season by Feb. 21:
▪ complimentary accommodations in Cancun, Mexico, for five days and four nights or
▪ complimentary accommodations in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for four days and three nights
The resorts are operated by the Heat’s corporate partner, Holidays Network Group.
Season ticket holders must provide their own transportation. The Cancun accommodations were offered during last season’s renewal campaign, as well.
The Heat does not disclose its number of season-ticket holders but Miami has the seventh-longest sellout streak in NBA history and the second-longest ongoing streak.
Miami has sold out 405 consecutive regular-season and playoff games, dating to 2010. Only the Dallas Mavericks, who have sold out 770 games in a row since 2001, have a longer active streak. The Mavericks are closing in on Portland’s NBA record of 814, achieved from 1977 to 1995.
But Miami must motivate fans to renew in the midst of a third consecutive season near the .500 mark, and with the Heat already standing well above next season’s salary cap.
As for the roster, the Heat continues exploring potential upgrades before Thursday’s trade deadline but finding a willing partner has been difficult for the past eight months. There is no ownership mandate to get below the luxury tax threshold. Unless the Heat can dump salary by April 12, Miami would pay a $9.7 million luxury tax bill.
▪ The Heat is unlikely to trade for disgruntled Pelicans center Anthony Davis. According to The Athletic, Davis has informed the Pelicans that he would sign longterm deals with the Lakers, Knicks, Bucks and Clippers if he is traded. The Heat doesn’t believe in giving up assets for players that it’s unlikely to be able to keep longterm. Davis can become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
▪ Guard Goran Dragic, who has been sidelined since Dec. 12 with a knee injury and subsequent surgery, did not travel with the team on its five-game pre All-Star break road trip. He’s still working his way back from the surgery and unlikely to play until some point after the All-Star break.
Erik Spoelstra, speaking to Fox Sports Sun from Portland on Monday evening about the Heat’s decision to retire Chris Bosh’s jersey number (No. 1):
“C’mon. It was just a matter of picking the right date. Which game are we going to do it? We all knew this was going to happen and we’re all pretty fired up about it. It’s great to have CB and his family back around where he should be.
“He’s one of my favorite people in this business. It will be a great night. It’s going to be fun, obviously with Dwyane [Wade] and UD being brothers with him on those championship teams. But I think it’s going to be really cool for our other guys who didn’t play on those teams to see a great pro, somebody in the Heat family get honored in front of our fans with the treatment that champions deserve. And I want out guys to see that because CB as a champion embodied so many qualities of winning and that’s of sacrifice, of leadership, of willing to give to help other people be at their best. That’s what makes him a Hall of Famer and so deserving to have that number retired.
“I can’t imagine all the emotions that will go through Chris’ mind on that night. He’s had a career with no regrets and it ended in a way that you can’t explain, and it was probably extremely frustrating to wrap his mind around.
“But it doesn’t take anything away from his career, from being a two-time champion, one of the ultimate winners in this league. The story I tell all the time, you’re talking about an eight-year All-Star, seven-year All-Star before he gets to us and he was so willing to take a step back from his game to allow other people to step up his game. That’s a lesson I’ll be telling until the last day I coach in this business. You want to be a champion, you want to know what the qualities of champions are like, just look at Chris Bosh’s career. Not a lot of guys would be willing to do that and he was, and he rightly should be celebrated for that.”
Here are a lot more Heat notes from earlier Monday, including details on the team’s plan to retire Chris Bosh’s jersey.