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Miami’s Best NBA Players

One stands above the rest. Way, way above the rest.

Denver Nuggets v. Golden State Warriors
 DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 09: Rick Barry #24 of the Golden State Warriors passes the ball over David Thompson #33 as Bobby Jones #24 watches during a game against the Denver Nuggets at McNichols Arena on November 09, 1976 in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Mark Junge/Getty Images

Wrapping up the southern tier of the ACC, we look at Miami’s best NBA players.

It’s a little tricky because a) Miami killed their program from 1971 to 1985 and it took awhile to get some traction.

But there’s no question about Miami’s finest player.

  • Rick Barry - The very demanding Barry is a Top 25 NBA talent. He was a pure basketball player even if he’s always been a pure pain in the butt to people who are less committed. The guy was simply a brilliant basketball player, arguably as good as any player out of any ACC school except for UNC’s Michael Jordan.
  • Lonnie Walker - He’s been pretty solid in his four years with San Antonio. Famous at Miami for his eccentric hair style, he shaved it off in the NBA. Turns out he grew it as a response to sexual abuse and cut it when he felt stronger.
  • James Jones - he had a 14-year career, won three rings and never played on a losing team. He’s also turned out to be a damned good GM with Phoenix.
  • John Salmons - A solid but unspectacular NBA player, Salmons had a 13-year career and you can’t do that without being pretty good.
  • Bruce Brown - Still a young player, Brown has improved steadily and when Brooklyn melted in the 2022 playoffs, he stepped up. He has the potential to develop into a pretty good guard. After the season, Brown signed a two-year deal with Denver for about $13 million.