There's nothing quite like the myth that is the famed Miami Heat culture among those well-versed in NBA lore. It's the habits ingrained deep within those who enter the Heat organization that seems to make the roster add up to something more valuable than the sum of its parts. Even veterans who didn't exactly spend too much time imbibing the Heat organization's ethos, such as Andre Iguodala (who spent a grand total of 1.5 seasons as a member of the Heat), know just how magical the aura is surrounding the franchise — even invoking Michael Jordan's name in the process.
Speaking on JJ Redick's The Old Man and The Three podcast, Iguodala, the four-time champion with the Golden State Warriors and a huge piece during the Heat's run to the 2020 NBA Finals, explained how Jordan, in essence, was the Heat culture's founding father of sorts.
“And then MJ should be in his different world, that's how good MJ was. […] I don't think we understand what we watch when we see what MJ was doing. He was the most competitive player out there. Like, he had Heat culture before there was Heat culture,” Iguodala said.
Given how hard-working, driven, and overcompetitive Michael Jordan was during his heyday, it's not too surprising to see the arguable greatest basketball player of all time come up in a discussion regarding Heat culture. Jordan did not relent an inch to his opposition; he worked day and night on his game, and it resulted in immense rewards, nabbing six championships during his storied career.
Nevertheless, in recent times, Heat culture has become more synonymous with developing unheralded talents, plucking overlooked players from the undrafted free agent bin and turning them into meaningful contributors. But at its core, this is only possible through the sheer culture of hard work the organization has instilled over the years. And in that sense, the former champ with the Warriors is correct in his assertions — especially when the Heat franchise itself validated Jordan's Hall of Fame career by retiring his jersey even though he did not play a single minute for the organization.