Back in 1999, Tim James was drafted 25th overall out of the University of Miami by the hometown Heat. It seemed like the start of a perfect story.
But it didn’t pan out that way. James played four games for the Heat as a rookie, spent the next season with the Charlotte Hornets and the one after that with Philadelphia. Then he was out of the NBA in three years having played just 43 games.
What he did next is a step few would have taken, and why he will be honored by the Heat this weekend:
He joined the army. He has done a tour in Iraq.
Heat President Pat Riley told the Associated Press wanted to make sure James was honored for that sacrifice.
“With what’s going on in our world today, I think one of the greatest sacrifices that anybody, anybody, in our country today can make is to enlist in the military and help this war on terror,” Riley said. “I just think what he’s done is so unselfish and so great, that we really hope we can do justice by honoring him on Saturday.”
The Heat regularly honor members of the military at their games. This one is just a little different, a little more personal for the Heat.
The ceremony will take part prior to the Heat’s home game Saturday night.