The Miami Heat haven’t been around as long as most other teams in the league. The franchise was created in 1988 and had a rough time for the first few years. When the Heat hired Pat Riley, though, things started to get much better and brighter.
In the coming weeks, the Heat will play in their 7th NBA finals, attempting to win their 4th title. Below are key rookie cards for some of the franchise’s most legendary figures.
Pat Riley 1970 Topps
The story of the Miami Heat cannot be written without Pat Riley. The legendary coach and executive has been an employee of the Heat since the mid-1990s. And thanks to his work, Miami has remained a title contender for decades.
Prior to coaching the Lakers, Knicks, and Heat, Riley was a ballplayer himself. He was drafted by both the NBA and the NFL”s Dallas Cowboys but opted to play basketball. There are only 10 PSA 9 copies of his 1970 Topps rookie card, which shows him in a Portland Trailblazers uniform. Due to the scarcity, the cards sell for around $3,000.
Alonzo Mourning 1992 Topps
During the 1980s and 1990s, Georgetown had a series of outstanding centers. Alonzo Mourning was one of them. He was originally drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in 1992 but was traded to the Miami Heat in November of 1995. He would soon become the player that Pat Riley built his team around.
Over the course of his career, Mourning would make 7 All-Star teams and win 2 Defensive Player of the Year Awards. He would also win a title with the Heat at the back end of his career. Mourning’s 1992 Topps rookie card runs for around $100 in a PSA 10.
Dwayne Wade 2003 Topps Chrome
The legendary 2003 draft saw the Heat select Dwayne Wade 5th overall. It would go down as one of the greatest moves in franchise history. Wade would win a title in 2006 teaming with Shaquille O’Neal, then net two more in 2012 and 2013 alongside LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
A 13-time All-Star, Wade played in Miami for nearly his entire career. He will most certainly be named to the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible. Wade’s 2003 Topps Chrome Rookie is one of his most sought-after cards and recently sold for $300 in a PSA 10.
Bam Adebayo 2017 Prizm Rookie
Despite a significant prospect pedigree and an impressive Freshman year at Kentucky, Bam Adebayo wasn’t selected until the 14th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. It proved to be yet another shrewd move for the Miami Heat. Adebayo has proven to be an outstanding defensive player with a rapidly growing offensive game.
The 2023 finals will mark the second appearance for the 2-time All-Star Center. If he is able to win a ring, expect the price of his 2017 Prizm rookie to rise in value. It currently sells for under $100 in a PSA 10.
Jimmy Butler 2012 National Treasures Auto Patch
This will not be Jimmy Butler’s first finals and this is not his first team. The star forward has played for four teams and this is his third finals appearance. While he has only been with the team since 2019, Butler is already one of the most memorable Heat players in franchise history.
A true superstar, the small forward has made 6 All-Star teams and the last thing he needs for his legacy is to win a title. His rookie auto patch card, limited to 199, is hard to find and quite expensive. Issues in a PSA 9 and over will sell for more than $1,000.