During a very complimentary Wednesday afternoon media session before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about the similarities between his defending champion Heat and Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs, not only as squads on the floor, but as organizations that have risen to the ranks of the NBA’s elite.
"You have very similar structures and a commitment to a culture where there's a structure within the culture, there's a discipline, there's a style of play, there's a type of player," Spoelstra said. "It's not a coincidence that a lot of free agents have run through both organizations, because we're looking for similar players of a similar fabric."
That made us wonder — how many players have run through both organization since the Heat joined the NBA as an expansion franchise for the 1988-89 season? A trip through Basketball-Reference.com’s archives turned up two dozen names, including some players you probably remember very well and some others whose careers might not have stuck in your mind. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit the 24 players who’ve worn the jerseys of both this year’s NBA Finals participants.