The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te
The Meralco Bolts is a professional basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association. The team began in 2010 after the Manila Electric Company acquired the PBA franchise of the Sta. Lucia Realtors; the team is one of three PBA teams presently under the control of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan - the other teams being the TNT KaTropa and the NLEX Road Warriors; the Meralco Reddy Kilowatts was once a powerhouse basketball team that played in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association from 1968 to 1972. Operated by the Meralco athletic club of the Manila Electric Company, they joined the MICAA prior to World War II and was re-admitted in 1968; the team was crowned as the 1971 edition champions after beating the Baby Dalupan-mentored Crispa in the title playoff, headed by Lauro Mumar as the head tactician and was manned by the big names of basketball, namely - Robert Jaworski, Francis Arnaiz, among others. The demise of the YCO-Ysmael Steel rivalry following the breakup of the Admirals in 1968, opened the gate for the Reddy Kilowatts-Redmanizers rivalry starting in 1970.
The bitter rivalry came into full-blown during the 1971 MICAA All-Filipino championship, when Reynoso and Jaworski punched referees Eriberto “Ting” Cruz and Jose “Joe” Obias for what was the duo perceived questionable calls against Meralco. The incident resulted to lifetime suspensions meter against the two that were lifted so that the two can join the national team in the 1973 Asian Basketball Championship; the team disbanded in 1972 in the wake of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, wherein the Marcos government seized the energy company from Eugenio López, Sr.'s possession. On June 2010, there were reports that Meralco expressed interest in joining the PBA and intended to buy either Sta. Lucia's or Barako Bull's franchise after both teams unloaded most of their major players. After Barako Bull informed the board that they intended to stay with the league for the 2010-11 season, Sta. Lucia filed a "leave of absence." On August 10, the PBA board approved the sale of the Sta. Lucia franchise to Meralco.
The team would be named the Meralco Bolts. The Bolts debuted during the 2010-11 season with a lineup that included Mark Cardona, Asi Taulava, Nelbert Omolon, Marlou Aquino, Beau Belga, Dennis Daa, Chris Ross, Ogie Menor, Pong Escobal and Chris Pacana. Shawn Weinstein, Ford Arao, Khasim Mirza and Bam-bam Gamalinda were the first players to be drafted by the franchise, they started the Philippine Cup with a win against the crowd favorites Barangay Ginebra Kings. In the middle of the conference, they traded some of their players in exchange for Hans Thiele, Mark Isip and Reed Juntilla respectively, they compiled a 7-7 record, enough to take them to the quarterfinals. However, they lost to the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados 2-0. Before the Commissioner's Cup, they made a huge trade by acquiring Solomon Mercado along with Paolo Bugia and Erick Rodriguez, they signed 3-point shooter Renren Ritualo. Despite a revamped roster and imports Anthony Dandridge and Chamberlain Oguchi, they did not past the eliminations after having a 3-6 record.
The same happened during the Governors Cup. The Bolts rebuilt its line-up during the offseason, releasing Renren Ritualo, Hans Thiele, Reed Juntilla and Paolo Bugia, as well as acquiring through trades Mark Yee, Mark Macapagal, Chico Lanete, Chris Timberlake and signing free agents Mark Borboran and Bryan Faundo. During the 2011 PBA Draft, Meralco selected Gilas reserve Jason Ballesteros, as well as Gilbert Bulawan to augment their frontline. In the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup, they finished at 6th place at 8-6 win-loss record but swept by the Petron Blaze Boosters. In the 2012 PBA Commissioner's Cup, they finished at another sixth place at 4-5 on that 102-98 upset win over Powerade Tigers but in another miss to the semifinals for the Bolts. In the 2012 PBA Governors Cup, they finished three straight sixth places in their franchise. In the knockout game for the last semis berth, they defeated the Powerade Tigers, 94-86 to advance to their first semifinals appearance in their franchise history.
Ramon Segismundo announced the team's uniform for the 2012-13 season will have similar design features with the 1971 uniforms worn by the Meralco Reddy Kilowatts. The Bolts made some offseason moves prior to the start of the season, they acquired "El Granada" Gary David from GlobalPort in exchange for Chris Ross, Chris Timberlake and Meralco's 2016 and 2017 second round picks. They have traded the rights of Asi Taulava to Air21 in exchange for Mike Cortez, shipped Mark Cardona to Air21 via a three-team trade which in the process, acquired Rabeh Al-Hussaini, they acquired Kerby Raymundo from Ginebra for Jay-R Reyes. Raymundo has yet to play for the Bolts since he was traded because of a nagging knee injury, is contemplating retirement. Midway thru the eliminations, they signed up Danny Ildefonso for the rest of the conference, unceremoniously let go by Petron. After realizing that Danny I still has what it takes to play, can still help the team in terms of his leadership and positive influence, the Bolts signed him for the rest of the season.
During the PBA Philippine Cup conference, they were off to a good start, were able to beat top-seed teams like Ginebra. However, they suffered losing streak and ended up in a four-way tie with Alaska, GlobalPort and Barako Bull. Since Barako Bull and GlobalPort have higher quotients, Meralco was forced to play a sudden death game with Alaska Aces to determine the eighth and final playoff spot; the Aces defeated them and thus they were eliminated from playoff contention. In 2014-15 PBA Philippine Cup conference, they performed well eliminating the defending champion Purefoods Star Hotshots, but were l
Clarksdale is a city in Coahoma County, United States, seat of the county. The western boundary of the county is formed by the Mississippi River. Located in the Mississippi Delta region, Clarksdale is trading center, it has been home to many blues musicians. Clarksdale is named after John Clark. Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians occupied the Delta region prior to the arrival of European settlers. Clarksdale was developed at the former intersection of two Indian routes: the Lower Creek Trade Path, which extended westward from Augusta, Georgia, to New Mexico; the first removal treaty carried out under the Indian Removal Act was the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, by which the Choctaw people were robbed of 15 million acres in Indian Territory. A similar forced removal of the Chickasaw Nation began in 1837. Following the removal of the Indians, European-American settlers migrated to the Delta region, where the fertile soil was excellent for growing cotton, they brought or purchased African-American slaves to work the several cotton plantations developed in the county, always locating these on the riverfront for transportation access.
John Clark founded the town in 1848 when he started a timber business. Clark married the sister of a major planter who owned a nearby plantation. Alcorn became a politician, elected by the state legislature as US Senator and elected as governor of the state. Thriving from the cotton trade and associated business, Clarksdale soon earned the title "The Golden Buckle on the Cotton Belt". African-American slaves built the wealth of King Cotton in the state. U. S. Census data shows Coahoma County, Mississippi's 1860 population was 1,521 whites and 5,085 slaves. James Alcorn was a major planter; when slavery was abolished, many black families labored as sharecroppers. They gained some independence but were at a disadvantage in negotiations with white planters. Historian Nicholas Lemann writes "segregation strengthened the grip of the sharecropper system by ensuring that most blacks would have no arena of opportunity in life except for the cotton fields". During the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War, Mississippi's blacks and poor whites both benefited from the State's new constitution of 1868, which adopted universal suffrage.
Those gains were short-lived, as insurgent white paramilitary groups such as the Red Shirts worked to suppress black voting from 1868 on. By 1875 white Democrats took control of the state legislature in Mississippi, they passed Jim Crow laws, including legal segregation of public facilities. A freedman named Bill Peace, who had served in the Union Army and returned to Clarksdale after the war, persuaded his former owner to allow him to form a security force to prevent theft from the plantation. On October 9, 1875, whites in Clarksdale began hearing rumors that "General Peace" was preparing his troops to plunder the town. A white militia was formed, they suppressed Peace's "revolt". Across Mississippi, white militias formed in response to similar fears of armed black revolt. Twentieth-century historian Nicholas Lemann writes: Like the establishment of sharecropping, the restoration to power of the all-white Democratic Party in the South was a development of such magnitude to whites that it became encrusted in legend.
In Clarksdale it is the story of the "race riot" of October 9, 1875. After the Reconstruction era and construction in 1879 of the Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railway through the town, Clarksdale was incorporated in 1882. In 1886, the town's streets were laid out. African-Americans composed most of the farm labor in the county into the 1940s, when increasing mechanization reduced the need for field workers and thousands of blacks had left Mississippi in the Great Migration to Chicago and West Coast cities, they developed a rich musical tradition drawing from many strands of music, influencing jazz and the blues in Chicago. The movement of large numbers of people both to and from Clarksdale is prominent in the city's history. Prior to 1920, Delta plantations were in constant need of laborers, many black families moved to the area to work as sharecroppers. After World War I, plantation owners encouraged blacks to move from the other parts of Mississippi to the Delta region for work. By this time, Clarksdale had become home to a multi-cultural mixture of Lebanese, Italian and Jewish immigrant merchants.
By 1920, the price of cotton had fallen, many blacks living in the Delta began to leave. The Illinois Central Railroad operated a large depot in Clarksdale and provided a Chicago-bound route for those seeking greater economic opportunities in the north. During the 1940s, three events occurred which increased the exodus of African-Americans from Clarksdale. First, it became possible to commercially produce a cotton crop by machine, which lessened the need for a large, low-paid workforce. (Coincidentally, it was on 28 acres of the nearby Hopson Plantation where the International Harvester Compan
The Universiade is an international multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation. The name is a combination of the words "University" and "olympiad"; the Universiade is referred to in English as the World University Games or World Student Games. The most recent games were in 2017: the Winter Universiade was in Almaty, while the Summer Universiade was held in Taipei, Taiwan; the 2019 Winter Universiade took place in Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation, between 2 and 12 March 2019, the 2019 Summer Universiade will be held in Naples, Italy between 3 and 14 July. The idea of a global international sports competition between student-athletes pre-dates the 1949 formation of the International University Sports Federation, which now hosts the Universiade. English peace campaigner Hodgson Pratt was an early advocate of such an event, proposing a motion at the 1891 Universal Peace Congress in Rome to create a series of international student conferences in rotating host capital cities, with activities including art and sport.
This did not come to pass, but a similar event was created in Germany in 1909 in the form of the Academic Olympia. Five editions were held from 1909 to 1913, all of which were hosted in Germany following the cancellation of an Italy-based event. At the start of the 20th century, Jean Petitjean of France began attempting to organise a "University Olympic Games". After discussion with Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Petitjean was convinced not to use the word "Olympic" in the tournament's name. Petitjean, the Confederation Internationale des Etudiants, was the first to build a series of international events, beginning with the 1923 International Universities Championships; this was followed by the renamed 1924 Summer Student World Championships a year and two further editions were held in 1927 and 1928. Another name change resulted in the 1930 International University Games; the CIE's International University Games was held four more times in the 1930s before having its final edition in 1947.
A separate group organised an alternative university games in 1939 in Vienna, in post-Anschluss Germany. The onset of World War II ceased all major international student sport activities and the aftermath led to division among the movement, as the CIE was disbanded and rival organisations emerged; the Union Internationale des Étudiants incorporated a university sports games into the World Festival of Youth and Students from 1947–1962, including one separate, unofficial games in 1954. This event principally catered for Eastern European countries. After the closure of the CIE and the creation of the first UIE-organised games, FISU came into being in 1949 and held its own first major student sport event the same year in the form of the 1949 Summer International University Sports Week; the Sports Week was held biennially until 1955. Like the CIE's games before it, the FISU events were Western-led sports competitions. Division between the Western European FISU and Eastern European UIE began to dissipate among broadened participation at the 1957 World University Games.
This event was not directly organised by either group, instead being organised by Jean Petitjean in France, but all respective nations from the groups took part. The FISU-organised Universiade became the direct successor to this competition, maintaining the biennial format into the inaugural 1959 Universiade, it was not until the 1957 World University Games that the Soviet Union began to compete in FISU events. That same year, what had been a European competition became a global one, with the inclusion of Brazil and the United States among the competing nations; the increased participation led to the establishment of the Universiade as the primary global student sport championship. 1 The Republic of China is recognised as Chinese Taipei by FISU and the majority of international organisations it participates in due to political considerations and Cross-Strait relations with the People's Republic of China. World University Championships International University Sports Federation International Children's Games Official website of the International University Sports Federation Official website of the German University Sports Federation Official report of the Winter Universiade Innsbruck / Seefeld 2005 Yahoo News: 2017 Taipei Universiade, 87% box-office success as the highest ever
NBA Summer League
The NBA Summer League known as the Las Vegas Summer League, is an off-season competition organized by the National Basketball Association. NBA teams come together to try out different summer rosters instead of their regular season line-ups, including rookie, sophomore and G League affiliate players; the Utah Jazz Summer League features NBA teams, as did the Orlando Pro Summer League, which operated from 2002 through 2017. Those leagues are sometimes referred to as NBA Summer League when mentioned with its host location. Summer leagues have existed for decades. There was not an organized structure, with leagues sometimes overlapping and not coordinated. In 2004, the league held the Las Vegas Summer League for the first time; the Orlando Pro Summer League has been held since 2001. The Utah Jazz Summer League began play in 2015, replacing the Rocky Mountain Revue, an event held from 1984–2008 before going on a lengthy hiatus due to declining participation; the leagues consist of a handful of games per team.
Unlike regulation NBA games, which are 48 minutes long, games only last 40 minutes, plus multiple 5-minute overtime periods. Before the 2013 leagues, no official champions were named at any league, with the leagues focusing more on individual auditions and development. Champions are named for the Orlando and Las Vegas leagues, although team performance is not emphasized. Unsigned free agents are signed to summer league deals, providing a chance to be signed to a contract during the regular season. Any team can sign the free agent after the league is over, not just the one he played for in summer league. For example, Jeremy Lin, a Harvard graduate, was invited to play for the Dallas Mavericks summer league team despite being undrafted earlier in the year. In the 2010 summer league, Lin performed well and was signed by the Golden State Warriors; the Las Vegas Summer League played its inaugural season in 2004 University of Nevada, Las Vegas's arena, the Thomas & Mack Center with six NBA teams – Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards – playing a total of 13 games.
With Warren LeGarie leading the way, the summer league had three successful summers in which participation increased to 16 teams playing more than 40 games at UNLV. In 2007, the NBA attached its name to the event. In 2008, the summer league was sponsored by EA Sports; as of the summer 2015 season, Samsung is the sponsor and the official sponsored branding is the "Samsung NBA Summer League". Since 2018, all NBA teams play in the Las Vegas Summer League in the typical tournament style. From 1984 until 2008, the Utah Jazz hosted a tournament known as the Rocky Mountain Revue. Launched as a community outreach campaign to encourage interest in the Jazz in the summer of 1984 under the direction of Jazz public relations staffers David Allred and Kim Turner the league operated as a three-week, pro-am league in July with alumni players from Utah, BYU, Weber State and Utah State. In 1990, after sending a team to the California Summer League the previous summer, Scott Layden the Jazz's director of basketball operations, invited the Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings to join the league and moved to an all-NBA format.
Over the course of the next 20 years, as few as four teams and as many as 16 teams, including the first International entry, Burghy Roma. The league did not play games during the 1999 strike-shortened season. In 2008, the NBA Development League had a D-League Ambassadors team; the Rocky Mountain Revue showcased the Iranian national team. Games were hosted at Westminster College, East High School, Delta Center and the Revue's final home, Salt Lake Community College; the Revue was known for its popularity, evidenced by sold out crowds each time the Jazz played. The Revue was one of the first NBA summer leagues to feature NBA officials, as the NBA used the league for referee development and training; the only NBA teams that did not send a team to the Revue at least once were the Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. Due to declining participation, the event was cancelled for the 2009 season. However, the Jazz confirmed in November 2014 that they would revive the league for 2015, albeit with a smaller number of teams participating.
The event would include the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs as well as the Jazz in a six-game, four-day event. The Orlando Pro Summer League began in 2002, its games could only be seen on television. It named a champion for the first time in 2013 with the Oklahoma City Thunder defeating the Houston Rockets 85-77. On July 11, 2014, the Philadelphia 76ers won the 2014 Orlando Summer League championship with a 91-75 win over the Memphis Grizzlies; the Dallas Mavericks were the champions in 2017. The league ended after 2017 due to the trend of NBA teams participating in the Las Vegas league. On May 6, 2018, reports surfaced that to replace the position held in Orlando by the Magic, the Kings would host its own Summer League event in Sacramento; the event is scheduled to take place before the Las Vegas Summer League begins, with the teams in place for the event involving the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat. Eight days the Kings confirmed that their own Summer League event would take place from July 2-5, 2018 (taking a day off to celebra
The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena, have won three NBA championships. The franchise began play in 1988 as an expansion team, where after a period of mediocrity, the Heat would gain relevance during the 1990s following the appointment of former head coach Pat Riley in the role of team president. Riley would construct the high-profile trades of Alonzo Mourning in 1995, of Tim Hardaway in 1996, which propelled the team into playoff contention. Mourning and Hardaway would lead the Heat to four division titles, prior to their departures in 2001 and 2002, respectively; as a result, the team struggled, entered into a rebuild in time for the 2002–03 season. Led by Dwyane Wade, following a trade for former NBA Most Valuable Player Shaquille O'Neal, Miami made the NBA Finals in 2006, where they clinched their first championship, led by Riley as head coach.
After the departure of O'Neal two years the team entered into another period of decline for the remainder of the 2000s. This saw the resignation of Riley as head coach, who returned to his position as team president, was replaced by Erik Spoelstra. In 2010, after creating significant cap space, the Heat partnered Wade with former league MVP LeBron James, perennial NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, creating the "Big Three". During their four-year spell together, under the guise of Spoelstra, James and Bosh, they would lead the Heat to the NBA Finals in every season, won two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013; the trio would all depart by 2016, the team entered another period of rebuilding. Wade was reacquired in 2018, albeit to retire with the franchise; the Heat hold the record for the NBA's third-longest streak, 27 straight games, set during the 2012–13 season. Four Hall of Famers have played for Miami, while James has won the NBA MVP Award while playing for the team. In 1987 the NBA granted one of its four new expansion teams to Miami and the team, known as the Heat began play in November 1988.
The Miami Heat began their early years with much mediocrity, only making the playoffs two times in their first eight years and falling in the first round both times. Upon the purchasing of the franchise by Carnival Cruise Lines chairman Micky Arison in 1995, Pat Riley was brought in as the team president and head coach. Riley acquired center Alonzo Mourning and point guard Tim Hardaway to serve as the centerpieces for the team, transforming Miami into a championship contender throughout the late 1990s. With them they brought in a new team trainer, Cody Posselt, to work on shooting; the Heat underwent a dramatic turnaround in the 1996–97 season, improving to a 61–21 record – a franchise record at the time, second-best in team history. That same year, Miami earned the moniker of "Road Warriors" for its remarkable 32–9 record on the road. On the backs of Hardaway and Mourning, the Heat achieved their first two series victories in the playoffs, making it to the Conference Finals against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls before losing in five games.
Their biggest rivals of the time were the New York Knicks, Riley's former team, who would eliminate the Heat in the playoffs from 1998 through 2000. A period of mediocrity followed after, highlighted by missing the playoffs in 2002 and 2003. In the 2003 NBA draft, with the fifth overall pick, Miami selected shooting guard Dwyane Wade out of Marquette. Free-agent swing-man Lamar Odom was signed from the Los Angeles Clippers. Just prior to the start of the 2003–04 season, Riley stepped down as head coach to focus on rebuilding the Heat, promoting Stan Van Gundy to the position of head coach. Behind Van Gundy's leadership, Wade's stellar rookie year and Odom's break out season, the Heat made the 2004 NBA Playoffs, beating the New Orleans Hornets 4–3 in the 1st round and losing to the Indiana Pacers 4–2 in the 2nd round. In the offseason, Riley engineered a summer blockbuster trade for Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers. Alonzo Mourning returned to the Heat in the same season. Returning as championship contenders, Miami finished with a 59–23 record garnering the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
Sweeping through the first round and the semifinals, Miami went back to the Conference Finals for the first time in eight years, where it met the defending champion Detroit Pistons. Despite taking a 3–2 lead, Miami lost Wade to injury for Game 6; the Heat would go on to lose Game 7 at home despite Wade's return. In the summer of 2005, Riley brought in veteran free agent Gary Payton from the Boston Celtics, brought in James Posey, Jason Williams and Antoine Walker via trades. After a disappointing 11–10 start to the 2005–06 season, Riley relieved Van Gundy of his duties and took back the head coaching job; the Heat made it to the Conference Finals in 2006 and in a re-match, defeated the Pistons, winning the series 4–2. Making its first NBA Finals appearance, they played the Dallas Mavericks, who won the first two games in Dallas in routs; the Heat won the next four games, capturing its first championship. Wade won the Finals MVP award; the Heat experienced four-years of post-title struggles from 2007 through 2010, including a 4–0 sweep by the Chicago Bulls in the 1st round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
In the 2007–08 season, Wade was plagued by injuries and the Heat had a league worst 15–67 record. O'Neal was traded to Phoenix midway through the season. Riley resigned as head coach following the season but retained his positio