The Miami Heat were focused on capturing a championship before the novel coronavirus abruptly halted the 2019-20 NBA season.
During an Instagram Live session with former NBA star Richard Jefferson, newcomer Jae Crowder stated the Heat were shooting for no less than a championship this year.
“We had a couple of weeks to prepare for this playoff run, and it was all championship talk,” Crowder said. “And it was nothing less than that.
“Here, it goes to the organization, and what Pat [Riley] has done is he’s created that championship environment. Everything is geared to just being the best, being the top, being the top of the league. So we wanted to come out of the East, no doubt. I felt like with that being our goal, we were definitely going to give it a good shot. I think we had a good chance of doing so.”
Crowder, 29, joined the Heat back in February.
The Heat shipped away Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson in exchange for Crowder, Andre Iguodala and Solomon Hill from the Memphis Grizzlies just before the 2020 trade deadline.
While the deal was considered somewhat bold, it also proved that Riley was serious about competing for a title this season.
Bringing in veterans like Crowder and Iguodala was expected to expedite the Heat’s championship timeline.
After all, Iguodala is coming off five consecutive NBA Finals appearances. The 2015 Finals MVP knows what it takes to win a championship.
As for Crowder, the journeyman has been a part of multiple playoff runs throughout his career. During the 2017 playoffs, he averaged a solid 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 18 games with the Boston Celtics.
There is no official timetable for when the 2019-20 season will resume.