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The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). They play their home games at the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami. The team owner is Micky Arison, who also owns cruise-ship giant Carnival Corporation. The team president and de facto general manager is Pat Riley, and the head coach is Erik Spoelstra. The mascot of the team is Burnie, an anthropomorphic fireball.
Formed in 1988 as one of the NBA's four expansion franchises, the Heat have won three league championships (in 2006, 2012 and 2013), five conference titles and 11 division titles. From February 3 to March 27, 2013, the Heat won 27 games in a row, the second-longest streak in NBA history (after the Los Angeles Lakers' 33 wins). In 2013, Forbes valued the Heat at $625 million, sixth-most-valuable among NBA franchises.
The Heat are not related to the Miami Floridians, an ABA team in the early 1970s, although the Heat have occasionally paid tribute to the older franchise by wearing a replica version of the Floridians' uniforms for the NBA's "Hardwood Classics Nights" during the 2005–06 and 2011–12 seasons. The rivalry between the New York Knicks and the expansion Miami Heat was a result of their history-making brutally physical four consecutive playoff series from 1997 to 2000. Each series went to the maximum number of games. The rivalry's central figure was Pat Riley, the head coach of both teams (the early 1990s for the Knicks and the late 1990s for the Heat). Jeff Van Gundy took over Riley's stint as head coach of the Knicks, while his elder brother Stan Van Gundy was simultaneously an assistant coach for the Heat. Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning, friends from their Georgetown college basketball period. Larry Johnson, one of the Knicks, held bad blood with Mourning as far back as their days in the Charlotte Hornets.