The Miami Heat were one of the most surprising teams last season, as they caught everybody by surprise in the bubble and made their way into the NBA Finals. They lost to LeBron and the Lakers in six games, but that didn't diminish the success of their season and the potential for a great future with some young assets. Possibly the most valuable piece they got from their run was the coming-out party from rookie Tyler Herro.
The 13th pick of the 2020 Draft came into the league without too much hype but some potential, being a high school star and Kentucky alumni. It wouldn't take too much time for Herro to find his place in the NBA and become one of the league's rising stars, averaging 13.5ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 2.2 apg, earning All-NBA Rookie honors.
His flashy style on and off the court made Herro very popular in the NBA world amongst fans, putting the spotlight on him early and setting up high expectations for Herro in his second season. So far, he has had a solid second season, improving his numbers slightly with 15.0ppg,4.9rpg, and 3.4apg. But still, Heat fans are not satisfied with how Herro has been playing this season, showing some stagnation and inconsistency.
Heat insiders Ethan Skolnick and Ira Winderman believe the reason for that is Herro falling into the trap of celebrity life, focusing more on his career and life outside of the court while putting his craft into the background, as they talked about that topic on the "Inside the Paint" podcast:
Ira Winderman: "Tyler Herro chose to become a celebrity. He chose to become something outside the game, as is his right. With his breakfast cereal, and his Tyler Tuesdays, and his Chipotle Bowl and that's all well and good. But you know what? Other players when they see a player doing that before they've truly reached it. I don't know if I want to say there's a jealousy. … They sort of take a scant view of the guy and say, 'Wait a minute buddy. You haven't done anything yet."
Ethan Skolnick: "Ultimately, the team starts to get a certain level of concern. In this particular case, the team has been concerned now for months."
The NBA lifestyle is a dangerous trap for many players, especially young players that get a lot of money and attention early in their career before they even achieve anything significant. Hopefully, Herro doesn't become one of the players that peaked at the start of their career. The Heat is hoping Herro will shift his focus on basketball, improving himself, and helping the Miami Heat win games. In this injury-riddled season, they need him to step it up if they want to make another run in the playoffs.