Former Heat teammate shares thoughts on Goran Dragic’s retirement

Goran Dragic was one of the most beloved players in Miami Heat history.
Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets
Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

After 15 NBA seasons, Goran Dragic is retiring from basketball. He steps away as one of the most beloved players in Miami Heat history by fans and teammates.

Dragic played seven seasons in Miami (2015-2021), making the 2018 NBA All-Star team and helping the Heat to the 2020 Finals in the Bubble. He averaged 16.2 points and 5.2 assists in 391 career games with the Heat.

Duncan Robinson said in a post on his Instagram story, “An honor to share the court with you brate,” with a picture of Dragic. 

Robinson and Dragic were the Heat’s starting backcourt for their 2020 Finals run, in which they lost to the Lakers in six games in the Disney World Bubble amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

That team grew close in the weeks in the bubble. Associated Press reporter Tim Reynolds shared a story on X, formerly Twitter, about Dragic’s final moments in the bubble:

“The bubble Finals end, the Heat are leaving the arena for the last time, and Goran — whose foot was pretty badly hurt, if you remember — turns around before walking out. ‘Can you do something for me?’ He said, his eyes just a red and tear mess at this point. ‘Tell the fans we really tried and I’m sorry. I really tried.’ And then he and Jimmy walked out, arms slung over each other’s shoulders. Goran pretty much inconsolable.”

Dragic spent the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career with Phoenix and Houston before being traded to Miami ahead of the 2015 trade deadline. He embraced the Heat’s culture, teammates and fans the moment he arrived and continued to praise the organization in brief stops in Toronto, Brooklyn, Chicago and Milwaukee over the last two seasons.

The Heat traded for Dragic in 2015 with the plan to pair him with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a new Big Three a year after LeBron James had left for Cleveland. 

However, Bosh and Dragic never played together after a lung condition ended Bosh’s career. Wade signed with the Chicago Bulls in 2016, though he returned to play again with Dragic in the Heat from 2018-2019. Bosh and Wade’s departures thrust Dragic into the role as the team’s leader. In 2016-17, the Heat memorable started the season 11-30 before finishing the year 30-11 and missing the playoffs by tie-breaker with the Bulls. In 2018, Dragic was named an All-Star as an injury replacement.

The Heat traded Dragic in 2021 as part of the deal for Kyle Lowry, but even then he never stopped admiring the Heat organization. On multiple occasions, he spoke to the media about trying to bring the Heat’s values to teams in Brooklyn and Chicago.

Dragic’s work with the media was also widely-heralded in league circles. He was generous with his time and insightful in his answers and was routinely cited as the best interview on the team.

Though Dragic had hoped to continue playing and was interested in a return to the Heat this past offseason, a reunion never materialized. Dragic will reportedly play a farewell game in Slovenia in August before making his retirement official, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who was first to report the news of Dragic’s decision.