The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Wake Forest Demon Deacons men's basketball
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons men's basketball team participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference and their homecourt is the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Wake Forest made the Final Four in 1962 and through the years, the program has produced many NBA players; the Demon Deacons have won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament four times, in 1961, 1962, 1995, 1996. Wake Forest's biggest rivalries are with the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Duke Blue Devils and the NC State Wolfpack; the most recent coach is Danny Manning, hired on April 4, 2014. Head Coach – Danny Manning Assoc. Head Coach- Randolph Childress Asst. Coach – Steve Woodberry Asst. Coach – Jamil Jones Jeff Bzdelik Dino Gaudio Skip Prosser Dave Odom Bob Staak Carl Tacy Jack McCloskey Jack Murdock Bones McKinney Murray Greason Fred Emmerson Pat Miller James A. Baldwin R. S. Hayes Hank Garrity Phil Utley James L. White, Jr. Bill Holding Irving Carlyle E. T. MacDonnell J. R. Crozier The Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum is a 14,407-seat multi-purpose arena in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
It was named after Lawrence Joel, an Army medic from Winston-Salem, awarded the Medal of Honor in 1967 for action in Vietnam on November 8, 1965. The memorial was designed by James Ford in New York, includes the poem "The Fallen" engraved on an interior wall, it is home to Wake Forest's men's and women's basketball teams, is adjacent to the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds. The arena replaced the old Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum, torn down for the LJVM Coliseum's construction. Banners hang in the rafters commemorating past players' retired numbers and the late Skip Prosser. There are banners recognizing the Demon Deacons' past NCAA and ACC successes; the arena is home to the Screamin' Demon student section. Wake Forest's black and gold tie-dyed apparel and "Zombie Nation" were both implemented upon Prosser's arrival at Wake Forest; the Miller Center is the basketball team's on-campus home. It houses the players' locker rooms, team meeting rooms, coaches' offices, the Dave Budd Practice Gym; the players utilize the Miller Center for practice, academic work, relaxing with their teammates.
The Dave Budd Practice Gym has a full-length court, six stand alone baskets, bleacher seating and banners honoring some of the best players to don the black and gold. The locker room includes a separate player lounge which features multiple large flat screen TVs, multiple entertainment systems plus the latest video software, as well as dedicated equipment and training rooms. On March 5, 2014, Wake Forest announced a $7.5 million donation from WFU alum Bob McCreary towards a 95,000 square foot sports performance center. The Sports Performance Center is designed to meet the training needs of more than 350 student-athletes who compete in 18 sports; the building will be located on Wake Forest's main campus near the Miller Center. The building will house the football program's headquarters and will provide invaluable resources to the basketball program as well; the sports performance center will feature a robust strength and conditioning facility that will provide all athletes ample room and equipment to maximize their training.
Additionally, the new building will house a state of the art athlete nutrition program, which will provide all Wake Forest student-athletes with convenient access to nutritional resources and grab-and-go food options. The Demon Deacons have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 23 times, their combined record is 28–23. The Demon Deacons have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament six times, their combined record is 10–5. They were NIT champions in 2000. #3 – Chris Paul #5 – Josh Howard #12 – Charlie Davis #14 – Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues #15 – Skip Brown #21 – Tim Duncan #22 – Randolph Childress #24 – Dickie Hemric #32 – Rod Griffin #50 – Len Chappell #54 – Rodney Rogers Skip Prosser National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame: Billy Packer – 2008 Tim Duncan – 2017John R. Wooden Award: Tim Duncan – 1997Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award: Muggsy BoguesMcDonald's All-Americans Chris Paul - 2003 Al-Farouq Aminu - 2010ACC Coach of the Year: Murray Greason – 1956 Bones McKinney – 1960, 1961 Dave Odom – 1991, 1994, 1995 Skip Prosser – 2003ACC Player of the Year: Dickie Hemric – 1954, 1955 Len Chappell – 1961, 1962 Charlie Davis – 1971 Rod Griffin – 1977 Rodney Rogers – 1993 Tim Duncan – 1996, 1997 Josh Howard – 2003ACC Rookie of the Year: Rodney Rogers – 1991 Robert O'Kelley – 1998 Chris Paul – 2004ACC Most Improved Player of the Year John Collins – 2017 The players are all first team All-ACC, unless otherwise noted Denotes 2nd Team All-ACC Denotes 3rd Team All-ACC 1990: Rodney Rogers - NC 2003: Chris Paul - NC 2008: Ty Walker - NC 2008: Al-Farouq Aminu - GA Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs Dickie Hemric - Boston Celtics Al-Farouq Aminu - Portland Trailblazers John Collins - Atlanta Hawks James Johnson - Miami Heat Chris Paul - Houston Rockets Ish Smith - Detroit Pistons Jeff Teague - Minnesota Timberwolves Doral Moore - Memphis Hustle Bryant Crawford - Hapoel Gilboa Galil Codi Miller-McIntyre - BC Zenit Saint Petersburg Dinos Mitoglou - Panathinaikos Official website
The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. Founded in 1989, the team is owned by Glen Taylor who owns the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx; the Timberwolves play their home games at Target Center, their home since 1990. Like most expansion teams, the Timberwolves struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA draft, the team qualified for the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2004. Despite losing in the first round in their first seven attempts, the Timberwolves won their first division championship in 2004 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals that same season. Garnett was named the NBA Most Valuable Player for that season; the team had been in rebuilding mode for more than a decade after missing the postseason in 2005, trading Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007.
Garnett returned to the Timberwolves in a February 2015 trade and finished his career there, retiring in the 2016 offseason. NBA basketball returned to the Twin Cities in 1989 for the first time since the Minneapolis Lakers departed to Los Angeles in 1960; the NBA had granted one of its four new expansion teams on April 22, 1987 to original owners Harvey Ratner and Marv Wolfenson to begin play for the 1989–90 season. The franchise conducted a "name the team" contest and selected two finalists, "Timberwolves" and "Polars", in December 1986; the team asked the 842 city councils in Minnesota to select the winner and "Timberwolves" prevailed by nearly 2–1. The team was named the "Minnesota Timberwolves" on January 23, 1987. Minnesota is home to the largest population of timberwolves in the lower 48 states; the Timberwolves debuted on November 3, 1989, losing to the Seattle SuperSonics on the road 106–94. Five days they made their home debut at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, losing to the Chicago Bulls 96–84.
Two nights on November 10, the Wolves got their first win, beating the Philadelphia 76ers at home 125–118. The Timberwolves, led by Tony Campbell with 23.2 ppg, went on to a 22–60 record, finishing in sixth place in the Midwest Division. Playing in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the expansion Timberwolves set an NBA record by drawing over 1 million fans to their home games; this included a crowd of 49,551 on April 17, 1990, which saw the Timberwolves lose to the Denver Nuggets 99–88 in the final home game of the season. The next season, the team moved into their permanent home, the Target Center, improved somewhat, finishing 29–53. However, they fired Bill Musselman, they fared far worse in the 1991–92 NBA season under Musselman's successor, ex-Celtics coach Jimmy Rodgers, finishing with an NBA-worst 15–67 record. Looking to turn the corner, the Wolves hired former Detroit Pistons general manager Jack McCloskey to the same position, but with notable first-round selections such as Christian Laettner and Isaiah Rider, the Timberwolves were unable to duplicate McCloskey's "Detroit Bad Boys" success in the Twin Cities, finishing 19–63 and 20–62 the next two seasons.
One of the few highlights from that era was when the Target Center served as host of the 1994 All-Star Game where Rider won the Slam Dunk Contest with his between-the-leg "East Bay Funk Dunk". As winning basketball continued to elude the Wolves and Wolfenson nearly sold the team to New Orleans interests in 1994 before NBA owners rejected the proposed move. Glen Taylor bought the team and named Kevin McHale general manager; the Wolves finished 21–61 in 1994–95, the future looked bleak. In the 1995 NBA draft, the Timberwolves selected high school standout Kevin Garnett in the first round, Flip Saunders was named head coach. Christian Laettner was traded along with Sean Rooks to the Atlanta Hawks for Andrew Lang and Spud Webb. First-round pick Donyell Marshall was traded the previous season for Golden State Warriors' forward Tom Gugliotta; these trades paved the way for rookie Kevin Garnett to become the go-to player inside. Garnett went on to average 10.4 ppg in his rookie season as the Wolves finished in 5th place in the Midwest Division, with a 26–56 record.
In 1996, the Wolves added another star player in the draft, trading Ray Allen to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to Stephon Marbury, the 4th overall pick. The addition of Marbury had a positive effect on the entire team, as Garnett and Gugliotta became the first Wolves to be selected to the All-Star team. Gugliotta and Garnett led the Timberwolves in scoring as the team made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a record of 40–42. However, in the playoffs the Timberwolves made a quick exit as they were swept by the Houston Rockets in three straight games; the T-Wolves decided to change their image by changing their team logo and color scheme, adding black to the team colors and replacing the original logo with one featuring a snarling wolf looming over a field of trees. It was during this season that Minnesota began to play on a parquet floor. In 1997, Garnett and Marbury established themselves as two of the brightest rising stars in the NBA. Garnett averaged 18.5 ppg and 9.6 rebounds per game, while Marbury averaged 17.7 ppg and dished out 8.6 assists per game.
Despite losing leading scorer Tom Gugliotta for half the season, the Timberwolves went on to post their first winning season at 45–37, making the playoffs for the second straight season. After dr
United States men's national basketball team
The USA Basketball Men's National Team known as the United States Men's National Basketball Team, is the most successful team in international competition, winning medals in all eighteen Olympic tournaments it has entered, coming away with fifteen golds. In the professional era, the team won the Olympic gold medal in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016. Two of its gold medal-winning teams were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in August 2010 – the 1960 team, which featured six Hall of Famers, the 1992 "Dream Team", featuring 14 Hall of Famers; the team is ranked first in the FIBA World Rankings. Traditionally composed of amateur players, the U. S. dominated the first decades of international basketball, winning a record seven consecutive Olympic gold medals. However, by the end of the 1980s, American amateurs were no longer competitive against seasoned professionals from the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. In 1989, FIBA modified its rules and allowed USA Basketball to field teams with National Basketball Association players.
The first such team, known as the "Dream Team", won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, being superior in all matches. With the introduction of NBA players, the team was able to spark a second run of dominance in the 1990s. Facing increased competition, the U. S. failed finishing sixth. The 2004 Olympic team, being depleted by a number of withdrawals, lost three games on its way to a bronze medal, a record that represented more losses in a single year than the country's Olympic teams had suffered in all previous Olympiads combined. Determined to put an end to these failures, USA Basketball initiated a long-term project aimed at creating better, more cohesive teams; the U. S. won its first seven games at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan before losing against Greece in the semi-finals. The team won gold two years – at the 2008 Summer Olympics – in a dominant fashion; this success was followed up at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, where despite fielding a roster featuring no players from the 2008 Olympic team, the U.
S. did not lose a single game en route to defeating host Turkey for the gold medal. The Americans continued this streak of dominance in the 2010s by going undefeated and capturing gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics, 2014 FIBA World Cup. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, the team, led by Mike Krzyzewski for a record third time, won its fifteenth gold medal, making him the most decorated coach in USA Basketball history; the US men were dominant from the first Olympic tournament to hold basketball, held in Berlin in 1936, going 5–0 to win the gold, joined by continental neighbors Canada and Mexico on the medal platform. Through the next six tournaments, the United States went undefeated, collecting gold while not losing a single contest in the games held in London, Melbourne, Rome and Mexico City. Participation in these tournaments were limited to amateurs, but the US teams during this period featured players who would go on to become superstars in professional basketball, including all-time greats Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas.
S. roster until the formation of the 1992 Dream Team. Alex Groza and Ralph Beard, both NBA stars, made the 1948 squad as Kentucky Wildcats, with 3-time Oklahoma State All-American and 6-time AAU All-American, Hall of Famer Bob Kurland leading the way; the 1952 team included big man Clyde Lovellette of the University of Kansas, a future Hall of Famer and NBA star. Kurland once again led the team to victory; the 1956 team was led by San Francisco Dons Bill Russell and K. C. Jones; the 1960 team included nine future NBA players, including not just Robertson and West, but Bob Boozer, Adrian Smith, Jay Arnette, Terry Dischinger, Rookie of the Year in 1963, another Hall of Famer in Walt Bellamy. The 1972 Olympic men's basketball gold medal game, marking the first loss for the USA in Olympic play, is arguably the most controversial in Olympic history; the United States rode their seven consecutive gold medals and 63–0 Olympic record to Munich for the 1972 Summer Olympics. The team won its first eight games in convincing fashion, setting up a final against the Soviet Union, holding a 6–0 advantage over the Soviets in Olympic play.
With three seconds left in the gold medal game, American forward Doug Collins sank two free throws to put the Americans up 50–49. Following Collins' free throws, the Soviets inbounded the ball and failed to score. Soviet coaches claimed; the referees ordered the clock reset to three seconds and the game's final seconds replayed. The horn sounded as a length-of-the-court Soviet pass was being released from the inbounding player, the pass missed its mark, the American players began celebrating. Final three seconds were replayed for a third time; this time, the Soviets' Alexander Belov and the USA's Kevin Joyce and Jim Forbes went up for the pass, Belov caught the long pass from Ivan Edeshko near the American basket. Belov laid the ball in for the winning points as the buzzer sounded; the US players voted unanimously to refuse their silver medals, at least one team member, Kenny Davis, has directed in his will that his heirs are never to accept the medals posthumously. It was revealed that game officials might have been bribed by the Communist party.
After the controversial loss in Munich, 1976 saw Dean Smith coach the USA to a 7–0 record and its eighth Olympic gold medal in Montreal. The success at this tou
2001 NBA draft
The 2001 NBA draft took place on June 27, 2001 in New York City, New York. Kwame Brown became the first high school player to be drafted with the first overall pick in the history of the NBA; the selection of Kwame Brown by the Washington Wizards, over players that have gone on to have more successful NBA careers, has been a source of great criticism, with Brown having been labeled one of the worst draft busts in NBA history. Several international players from this draft, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Mehmet Okur, became NBA All-Stars; this was the last draft. This was the final draft participated by the Charlotte Hornets until 2014. Minnesota Timberwolves forfeited their first-round pick due to salary cap violations, it would be the first of two first rounders that would have to forfeit their picks during the early 2000s. These players were not selected in the draft but have played at least one game in the NBA. NBA.com: 2001 NBA Draft Basketball Reference: 2001 NBA Draft
Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School
Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in St. Louis, Missouri, it is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Cardinal Ritter Prep opened its doors on September 6, 1979, it is named for Archbishop of St. Louis in the mid-20th century. From 1977–1978, a community representative task force was established by the Board of Catholic Education of the St. Louis Archdiocese to study the future existence of a Catholic school in the old Labouré location in North St. Louis. Arrangements to establish Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School as a co-educational college preparatory high school began in August 1979. On May 18, 2003, Cardinal Justin Rigali dedicated the new Cardinal Ritter Preparatory High School adjacent to the Saint Louis University campus; the school opened its doors for students in August 2003. Ritter Prep is ranked in the top 50% among the large private high schools in Missouri; when the school first opened, it was located on 5421 Thekla Ave.
Saint Louis, Missouri, 63120, in the neighborhood of Walnut Park. The school had a great relationship with its surrounding community. In 2003, at the beginning of the school year, the new state-of-the-art Cardinal Ritter was erected on 701 N. Spring Ave, St. Louis, Missouri, 63108, it is in the heart of the Grand Center, adjacent to the Jesuit St. Louis University; the school is in MSHSAA Class 3. The athletic conference they are a member of is the Archdiocesan Athletic Association; the school has 8 varsity sports. Sports offered here are Football, Dance, Cross Country, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Boys Track & Field, Girls Track & Field. Note: * - Third place.
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