Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets is quickly approaching on Thursday night. Ahead of the contest, Heat royalty Shaq, Alonzo Mourning, and Pat Riley all met up in the tunnels, via Tomer Azarly.
Shaq, The Godfather Pat Riley, and Alonzo Mourning at Game 1 of the NBA Finals 🏆
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 1, 2023
All three Heat legends will be rooting for Miami in Game 1 and for the rest of the NBA Finals. While Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning still have a vested interest in the team, Shaq will probably be rooting for the Heat because of the place the organization holds in his heart.
Alonzo Mourning and Shaq won an NBA Finals together in 2006 as members of the Heat, while Pat Riley has won multiple championships with the organization during his tenure as team president since 1995. Championship DNA seems to run through the Heat organization, and Miami faithful will be hoping it spills onto the court in the NBA Finals.
Game 1 will be critical for the Heat if they want to give themselves a good chance of winning the NBA Finals. They have won Game 1 on the road in every series they have played in throughout the 2023 NBA Playoffs, so it would be quite the good omen if they were able to do so in Denver. Not to mention, the Nuggets have not yet lost at home in the postseason, so it would create a whole new dynamic for Denver if they ended up losing Game 1.
Shaq, Alonzo Mourning, and Pat Riley will be like the rest of the NBA world and be tuned into Game 1 of the NBA Finals as soon as it tips on Thursday. They will be more alike the Heat side of things in hoping for an upset to to start the series.