Why Rashard Lewis signed with Miami Heat
by Alex Kennedy, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — Rashard Lewis had to join the Miami Heat.
The two-time All-Star had been bought out last July by the New Orleans Hornets and was an unrestricted free agent. Several teams were pursuing him, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks and Heat. But after meeting with several teams, the 33-year-old made up his mind and joined the defending champions.
Lewis likely would have played more with the Lakers or Hawks, both playoff teams in their own right. But no team gave him a better shot at his first championship than the Heat. At this point in his career, that’s all that mattered. So Lewis inked a two-year deal and now stands four wins away from a ring.
“I’ve accomplished a lot over my career, but now the ultimate goal is winning an NBA championship,” Lewis said. “I felt like playing in here in Miami was the best fit for me, with the type of team that they have, the dominant players they have and the three-point shooters they have. They like to spread the floor so I felt like this would be a good fit for me to win that championship.
“There were a few other teams, but I pretty much had my mind made up about what I wanted to do. I really wanted to play for a contender, a team that was going to be competing for the championship. When I was talking to Miami, (Heat President) Pat Riley called during free agency and I saw that they were recruiting Ray Allen. When Ray called me and we talked about it, it was a no-brainer for me. I pretty much knew where I wanted to be, especially once Ray was coming here since he’s a guy that I played with for awhile. It seemed like it was the perfect fit for me.”
Lewis said the move became a no-brainer when he found out the Heat were recruiting shooting guard Ray Allen, his teammate for 4½ seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics. Lewis and Allen paired up to make the 2005 NBA All-Star Game while leading Seattle to a 52-30 record that season.