Why Herro’s jersey retirement was particularly special for him. And Lowry out vs. Bucks
Well before the man of the hour arrived on a frigid Wisconsin night, the kids were already lined up -- several dressed in No. 14 jerseys -- shouting “We want Tyler! We want Tyler!”
The 1300 people who assembled at Whitnall High in suburban Milwaukee on Friday night didn’t only get to see Tyler Herro. They got the entire Heat team, coaching staff and several high-ranking executives.
Herro on Friday night became the first Whitnall player to have his jersey retired. And virtually everyone in the Heat’s traveling party was there to see it, taking buses from the team’s downtown hotel 25 minutes away.
“It’s what we believe in in Miami,” Herro said. “Family, we have a certain culture we abide by. I’m not the only player that’s had a high school jersey number retired.
“[Udonis Haslem] had one a couple months ago [at Miami High]. Max Strus had his [at DePaul]. We support each other. It’s a family. We really, really have a brotherhood we believe in and it’s the reason we’ve been successful for the last three, four years.”
Whitnall games typically draw about 800 fans. All 1300 tickets quickly sold out for Friday’s game.
And Herro rose from his seat, along the baseline, every time his brother, senior Austin Herro, hit a shot. Another brother, Myles, is a sophomore on the Whitnall team.
“Austin said something about the gym was going to be packed,” Herro said. “I said, ‘that’s how my gyms were every night.’ He was all excited.”
The halftime ceremony included a reciting of his high school stats - a resume that includes 2036 points and all-state honors three times - and a video montage of his highlights at Whitnall, from his one season at Kentucky and his 3 1/2 seasons with the Heat.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who came,” Herro told the crowd, which greeted him with a standing ovation when he arrived shortly before tip-off of Whitnall’s game against Greenfield High.
“This is a big deal for me and my family. I’ve always wanted to get my jersey retired and be a part of this community forever.”
Afterward, he called the experience “beyond a dream come true. It’s a once in a lifetime [experience].”
With much of his family also in attendance, Herro joked about being able to do “one stop shopping – I was able to see my brothers play, be back at the school, have my jersey retired and play a game [Saturday].”
The jersey retirement was nothing he expected this soon in life, at 23 and just five years removed from high school.
“I was emotional, seeing that video and my jersey coming down,” he said. “I had a speech prepared, but I forgot everything I wrote down. I freelanced it.”
Asked by a Milwaukee reporter about being a hometown hero, he said: “I have to be a good role model, set a good example for other kids out there with my jersey on. I know they look up to me. That’s all it’s about, inspiring the generations that come after me. I hope there’s another jersey put up next to mine at some point.”
Heat guard Kyle Lowry was ruled out for Saturday’s game with left knee soreness, an injury that sidelined him for four games in January and required a minor medical procedure. Lowry said he’s not sure how long he will be out.
“We’ll discuss it with the doctors and see what it is,” Lowry said after the team’s Saturday morning shootaround at Marquette University.
Spoelstra said: “We’re going to evaluate him when we get back to Miami. It’s the same knee. It just got swollen a little bit. We’ll get him back to Miami and recalibrate.”
Lowry had appeared in the Heat’s past eight games but shot just 20 for 53 in those games, while scoring in single digits in six of the eight.
This injury could impact his trade value, with Thursday’s NBA trade deadline approaching. Lowry is in the second year of a three-year contract that will pay him $29.7 million next season; the Clippers reportedly have some degree of interest in Lowry.
Gabe Vincent - listed as questionable with ankle inflammation - intends to play against the Bucks, giving Miami nine available players.
Victor Oladipo is expected to miss a second game in a row with a sprained ankle. “He’s making some progress,” Spoelstra said. “When we get back to Miami, we have three days in between the next game so we’ll see how he goes from there.”
Besides Lowry and Oladipo, the Heat also remains without Omer Yurtseven (ankle surgery), Duncan Robinson (finger surgery), Orlando Robinson (fractured finger) and Nikola Jovic (back injury).
The Heat did not summon forward Jamal Cain from its G-League team in South Dakota because he has a dental issue that is sidelining him for a few days.
As long as the Heat has 14 players on standard contracts (one under the maximum), the Heat’s two-way players can play a combined 90 NBA games. Teams carrying 15 players can have their two-way players suit up for 100 NBA games.
The Heat’s two-way players have 18 available NBA games remaining under the 14-player rule. Orlando Robinson and Cain have the Heat’s two-way contracts, but they can be replaced by other two-way players if the Heat chooses.
But replacing the two-way players does not reset the NBA eligibility clock. So any players with two-way Heat contracts would be limited to those 18 remaining games, or a bit more if Miami adds a 15th player to a standard contract at some point.