Report: Miami Heat Make Players Wear Mouth Guards and Knee Pads Due to Intensity of Practices

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The culture of the Miami Heat prizes aggressiveness and intensity, which explains why the Heat require players to wear mouth guards and knee pads during team practices.

David Wilson of the Miami Herald looked at how new acquisition Andre Iguodala is adapting to his new surroundings.

“Andre Iguodala had heard stories — maybe urban legends — about what practices are like for the Miami Heat,” Wilson wrote. “The Heat turns off the air conditioning on the practice courts at AmericanAirlines Arena. Players are expected to don mouth guards and knee pads because of how physical it can get.”

What Iguodala has discovered is that the level of intensity of Heat practices is much like it has been described by others.

“You hear so many things about wearing knee pads at practice,” the wing said. “You’re telling a professional basketball player that he’s wearing knee pads after 16 years, they’ll look at you crazy.”

Iguodala was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this month, and agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in Miami beyond this season.

The hope is that Iguodala’s extensive postseason experience can help the Heat go deep into the playoffs this season and beyond.

Prior to the All-Star break, Iguodala played in three games for the Heat, scoring 13 points. Nine of those points came in the last of those contests at Utah on Feb. 12, with Iguodala also contributing a total of 16 rebounds and seven assists during his appearances.

Having been through the grind of five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, the 36-year-old Iguodala is prepared to try for a sixth trip — assuming he can get through the Heat’s practices unscathed.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.