Star Wars Day: Miami Heat As Their Star Wars Counterparts

Commentary2 years ago15 min readRachel Does Sports

As Heat fans, we’ve experienced many highs and lows this season to get us to the top of the East. The highs were electric and the lows let us discover the wonder and excitement of watching new stars come into the fold. As we reflect on this remarkable season for the Miami Heat, we thought we’d have some fun with highlighting the individual contributors that made up this season’s epic saga.

Now entering our final battle (playoffs), here’s a look back at the members of our team — from the current players, the dropped players, the coaches, and front office members who shaped the 2021-22 season. Told through a story that’s near and dear to all our hearts. May the Fourth Be With You!

The Players
Jimmy Butler: Han Solo

Our scruffy looking nerfherder. A blue-collar player and rough-riding cowboy. Enjoys being a scoundrel. Seems to always have beef with someone. Will occasionally do very stupid things, like trying to run through a whole group of defenders by himself or shooting firstspecifically one-legged 3s, aimlessly, with reckless abandon, putting both fourth quarters and his ankles in jeopardy—but then ends up miraculously succeeding anyway! Has found himself at odds with almost every team he’s been on. But once he found a home, he’s been loving and loyal to a fault. Has a heart of a champion and a heart of gold.

Kyle Lowry: General Princess Leia

“Buns.” The Floor General. A short king, who will give you an earful when you slip up. When he steps on the court everyone knows he’s in charge. His teaming up with Jimmy Butler is a match made in the stars, which both Eric Reid and John Williams can attest to.

Udonis Haslem: Chewbacca

Old as f*ck, will beat your ass, and still sticking around for the younglings. Battle-tested veteran. Keeps the ship afloat when everything seems like it’s falling apart. Heat Lifer and Heat Legend.

Bam Adebayo: Anakin Skywalker

The Chosen One. We have witnessed his journey from bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 14th-overall pick with huge promise who would do anything for his mom to an NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist. But there were always signs of more to come from the beginning. Fear: The league sensed in “y’all got me f*cked up!!” Bam’s training.

We have seen his recent rise to a true DPOY candidate (in our opinion, the best defender in the league) while playing aggressive, angry, and beating up on younglin—I mean six-foot guards on offense. Will we see him reach his final Darth form wreathed in White Hot flames?

Tyler Herro: Grogu

A baby but with incredible skill and basketball IQ that leaves all of us amazed and awestruck. Does not have the physical attributes to keep himself from getting trapped (on defense) but has enough other qualities to keep himself and his playing time alive. Loyal to his family over fame.

PJ Tucker: R2-D2

Mr. Reliable. A Swiss-Army droid. Does everything you need him to, even more than you need him to, often to a level that confounds the people who hired him. Rising to the occasion to play the best season of his career.

Dewayne Dedmon: Rey

Undrafted. Resilient. An old soul. A scavenger for rebounds. A Mechanic. Lost in the deserts of bad teams for years, scraping by in-and-out of the G league, looking for a home and a family. Has found one in Miami. And has discovered powers he never dreamt of, having the best season of his career and being the best backup center in the league. Has lifted rocks for this team with the reserves all season.

Omer Yurtseven: Kylo Ren

He’s got raw potential. He’s beautiful. He’s tall. He’s a mess. Often looks a little lost, but in an endearing way. Slightly flailing at his job, but will occasionally do something awesome, amazing, and inspiring before dropping the ball. Constantly chasing after his scavenger Re—I mean mechanic Dedmon for playing time. Has the heart and guts to come in to save the day when we need him the most! Destined for greatness in years to come.

Max Strus: Poe Dameron

A Hot Shot whose motto was “shoot first ask questions later” no matter how ill-advised, occasionally putting his team in bad position on defense and often earning him an earful from his (floor) general throughout the season. However, he’s been learning from those mishaps, has become much more reliable with better decision making, and by the end of the season, has earned himself a promotion to the starting lineup. Also, he seems to thrive when paired in a lineup with Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin.

Gabe Vincent: Finn

An undrafted, unlikely hero who was trapped with the Sacramento Stormtroopers Kings G League affiliate until he was unexpectedly picked up by the Miami Heat. With high expectations from fans that he never seemed to meet due to the spotlight being on others, many fans—stupidly—wrote him off during the beginning of his Heat tenure. But this season, he has since proved his doubters wrong, learned to thrive, learned to be a hero, become a Nigerian icon, and has led the charge when needed. The glue that kept the team together during the lowest parts of the season.

Caleb Martin: BB-8

A rolling ball of energy, taking after his SwissArmy knife power forward droid R2-D2 — doing it all but faster and cuter with two good knees. Has great chemistry with Max and Gabe.

Victor Oladipo: Boba Fett

A once ruthless mercenary who snatched bounties from some of the best baddies in the league while seemingly always falling into a pit of injuries and left for dead by various teams. But now, he’s on his way back to regain territory and purpose with a new squad. Played his heart out in the last game of the season, a satisfying conclusion for fans after his struggles the last few years despite losing the game. He has stepped in and earned the respect of everyone around him, even showing his commitment with ceremonial “dancing.” He might even have a bigger part to play in our playoff story than many originally thought.

Duncan Robinson: Mace Windu

Has tremendous specialist skill and talent, unfairly blamed by the “holo-net” and fans alike for systemic problems. Has lost his way at times but is tremendously loyal to his team and fights for their success. His favorite color is (probably) purple.

Markieff Morris: Darth Maul

Known by the league as a “dirty” player, he is lethal in spurts and plug and play roles. He somehow keeps coming back on contendingteams after being presumed “done.” His spine is currently defying medical science and functioning despite all odds.

Haywood Highsmith: Cobb Vanth

Only nerds may remember his name, but his flashes of excellent last-ditch defense against local rivals and promising shooting ability already make us hopeful for his return next year and mark him as a Heat Lifer in our eyes and hearts.

Gone But Not Forgotten

KZ Okpala: General Armitage Hux

We expected a lot more when we saw flashes of greatness, of dominance, and of a new promising front court villain. Alas, he left us without ever contributing much in an unceremonious exit halfway through his third season.

Kyle Guy: Rose Tico

Came onto the team mid-season and stepped up when the rest of the players were dropping like flies. Was initially picked on by fans for his appearance and role, but that never stopped him from contributing numbers in some of his extended minute games! Excited for the chance to make a difference, have an impact, and help the squad. A little ball of sunshine that was signed on as a two-way, but was dropped and seemingly forgotten about two months later (but not to us).

Mario Chalmers: Lando Calrissian

A Heat Legend from the Big 3 era, known for having a massive ego, talking a big game, and annoying his teammates (even when having their back). He seemingly showed up out of nowhere with no explanation this season for a bench cameo. Lots of fanfare for a gram of nostalgia.

Marcus Garrett: The Rogue One Squad

Showed displays of excellent defense. In the direst straits of the season, when most of our starters were down, jumped in to help us live another day. Suffered a serious injury and was lost mid-season. But his contributions and grit will never be forgotten!

The Heroes & Villains In Charge

Erik Spoelstra: Obi-Wan Kenobi

A bonafide master of the game. One of the top coaches of all timethough he was never likely to be in anyone’s eyes when he started from humble beginnings as a video assistant. Never as physically gifted as his peers when he was a player, but has tremendous power as a tactician and leader, and has gained respect around the league. Loves playing mind games. Uses his talents for defense first, before attack, but can still win matchups on the fly. Can sometimes wait too long to challenge to everyone’s detriment. A little bit reckless and chaotic. Will likely always have the high ground in whatever game he’s in. Looks way younger than he is. He’s run this thing for years now, but his own big show and grandest hour is still to come next month!

Chris Quinn: Ahsoka Tano

Someone we’ve watched since he was a baby Heat player himself in his own Clone Wars era (while the show was actually on airing on cable TV) who’s been a loyal member of the Miami Heat in heart and mind ever since. Left for a while, undetected, somewhere in the outer rim of basketball during some of our down years. But is now back to help restore us to greatness as a coach and leader. He is “no Jedi,” but he’s a product of the culture, a believer in the team’s ideals, and stepped in to lead us to wins toward the end of the season. Is destined for his own show as a head coach someday soon.

Pat Riley: Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious

Somehow, Pat Riley returned: another championship contender in his fifth decade in the league and third as part of the Miami Heat. Delivered some of the most memorable lines Heat fans recite different versions of (“there are obstacles but there are none”). He always has something up his sleeve. Nicknamed The Godfather for a reason, he’s the architect of Heat Culture and a big reason why we all enjoy being the league’s villains.

Andy Elisburg: George Lucas

The best GM in the league. This season’s roster should not have been as successful as it was with the budget we had for these players. He has made lemonade out of lemons with this roster getting us all the way to top of the east.

Finally, The Latest & The Greatest:

Dwyane Wade: Luke Skywalker

Number 1 Heat Legend. Makes skywalking to the basket look easy, even on one functioning knee. Lost his way for a few years, but found his way back to Miami on a heroic and exciting return tour. His last dance was exquisite as he went out with a bang and all the love and fanfare in the world.

Despite currently appearing to be the part owner of another NBA team, he’s spent the entire season talking up the Heat on every national outlet he’s been on, praising Spo and our players. Sources say, he’s even whispered the teachings of Heat Culture through the Force to another NBA superstar who one day may join our squad. He will likely be watching our playoff run smiling ear to ear as he has been all season.

These comparisons are not perfect, but were made by their perceived best fit for this season’s story. Some beloved characters may have been left out and some brief 10-day signings also might have been omitted.