South Florida basketball fans get warmed up every season by this company. Doing business as The HEAT Group, Miami Heat Limited Partnership owns and operates the Miami Heat professional basketball team, which joined the National Basketball Association in 1988 as an expansion franchise. The team has made several playoff appearances, winning the NBA championship title in 2006, 2012, and 2013 with the help of such stars as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Miami area fans cheer on their team at the American Airlines Arena. The family of Carnival CEO Micky Arison has controlled the basketball franchise since its founding.
Most of Miami's success has come under the watch of former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Pat Riley, who joined the Heat as head coach in 1995 and now serves as president and general manager. He relinquished the Miami bench to former head of scouting Erik Spoelstra after a disappointing 2007-08 season.
In 2010 the Heat franchise acquired superstar player and free agent James, who had sparked success with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He joined Wade and newly-acquired player Chris Bosh, who had been his teammates on the US Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal in 2008. A high school phenomenon who had forgone college to join the NBA, James was originally drafted by Cleveland in 2003.
The Heat made the NBA Finals in 2011 (the first season with James, Wade, and Bosh as the nucleus), but the team lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks. In 2012 the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to claim the championship. In 2013 the team was crowned NBA champion again after it defeated the San Antonio Spurs in seven games.