Miami Heat representatives pay their respects to NFL legend Don Shula

A general view of the Coach Don Shula statue on display at Hard Rock Stadium (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
A general view of the Coach Don Shula statue on display at Hard Rock Stadium (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat are a representation of greatness in South Beach, but they aren’t the first or only. On Monday, they paid their respects to one of the first.

The Miami Heat are a class organization and one known for going about things the right way. Only being apart of the NBA for a relatively short time in the grand scheme of it all, they have come a long way in that short period of time.

With quite a few key figures already in their record books and rafters, the greatest Miami Heat player ever in Dwyane Wade for example, they have managed to build a legacy that begins to rival some of the original NBA franchises. They are the current representation of greatness in South Beach, but they aren’t the only ones who have been or the first.

The winningest coach in NFL history by almost two seasons worth of games, an NFL champion prior to the AFL-NFL merger, a two time Super Bowl champion, a five-time AFC champion and the only NFL head coach to lead his team to the elusive perfect record, all-time great former Miami Dolphins Head coach Don Shula passed away on Monday. He was 90 years old.

Being a staple of the NFL and Miami communities for so long while having as great an impact as he did, the reactions were swift and emotional, as you would have expected. Among those reactions were those from the Miami Heat.

Among those Miami Heat reactions, there were two that stood out more than any others. The first one came from Miami Heat team president Pat Riley, via

"There was no better man or coach in the history of the profession than Coach Don Shula. He was tough, courageous and an authentic leader with great integrity in his pursuit of perfection, which he achieved! I followed his coaching philosophies with great eagerness since moving to Miami and my respect for him helped mold me not only as a coach, but also as a man. My heart and prayers go out to his wife, Mary Anne, and his entire family at this time. May God bless you as you continue to spread your light while teaching in your new locker room. Rest In Peace Coach."

Those weren’t the only heartfelt words extended toward Coach Shula from a member of the Miami Heat organization. Longtime play by play announcer Eric Reid also shared his thoughts, via this message from his personal Instagram account.

While there were quite a few to choose from, these were two of the ones that most reflected how he was viewed from a myriad of perspectives.

The NFL world, the sports world, and the Miami area lost a great one today. His memory will never be forgotten and his impact on the NFL shall remain forever relevant and substantial.

Next. The 15 Greatest Dwyane Wade moments of all time. dark

There will never be another coach to have his specific set of achievements, while there may never be another coach to ever even come close to his one specific achievement of the perfect season. He was truly one of a kind in those areas.