New Heat power forwards P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris believe they’re ideal fits on a team known for its work ethic and strong veteran culture, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Tucker called it a “match made in heaven,” while Morris said he had a strong sense that he’d eventually end up playing for the Heat.
“(We’re) going to bring toughness and will and dog (mentality), which they already have,” Morris said of the impact that he and Tucker can have in Miami. “We’re just adding to it. Me and Tuck played together a couple years in Phoenix; he’s one of my good friends. We’re both (NBA) champions.”
- Young center Omer Yurtseven is receiving on-court mentoring from former Heat big man Alonzo Mourning, who is the team’s VP of player programs and development, Jackson writes for The Miami Herald. “He comes in and watches me play and gives me words of wisdom,” Yurtseven said. “It’s really helpful. He dominated his time. I hope to do the same.”
- New Heat point guard Kyle Lowry joked during his Media Day presser that his good friend Jimmy Butler is “a little bit more crazy” than the stars he has played alongside in the past, as Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald relay. “He wears his emotions on his sleeves,” Lowry said. “(DeMar DeRozan) and Kawhi (Leonard) are very quiet. (Jimmy) makes sure everyone knows there’s no (messing) around. You appreciate players like that.”
- Head coach Erik Spoelstra is eager to see how the Heat’s new pieces fit together after adding Lowry, Tucker, and Morris to the roster this offseason, per Jackson and Chiang. “I’m just as curious to see as anyone how this all works together,” Spoelstra said. “We checked some boxes of things we wanted to accomplish from a personnel standpoint. We acquired some like-minded people.”
- Shane Battier stepped down from his front office position with the Heat (VP of basketball development and analytics) earlier this year, but he’s still with the team in a less formal capacity, according to Chiang. Battier is now a strategic consultant for the club and was among the executives in attendance at Miami’s first practice on Tuesday.