The Miami Heat have benefited greatly from the services of young star guard Tyler Herro this season. He’s certainly caught the eye of famed sports pundit Bill Simmons, who recently declared Herro as the “best American white guy” in the NBA today.
“Cruising to his second straight Mokeski Award for our best American White Guy,” Simmons wrote. “(He’s only eight trophies away from Larry Legend.) I love that Herro rebounds—almost six a game this season. Might have a 25-7-5 / 45-40-85% season in him some day. He’s only 23. But for a $120 million extension, I kinda want him to be able to defend a little. Call me nuts. Regardless, for Tyler Herro…the action IS the juice.”
Of course, there are numerous fantastic white players in the NBA today, including two of the best players in the entire league in Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic. However, the majority of white stars in the league today do tend to hail from Europe.
Herro, on the other hand, is a homegrown American hailing from Milwaukee.
Though he’s from Milwaukee, he played his college ball at the University of Kentucky, and it was there that he burst onto the scene and earned the chance to become a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The Heat selected him with the No. 13 overall pick in that draft.
If the draft were redone today, it’s hard to argue against the idea that Herro would go in the top five. He’s certainly outperformed his original draft stock, something that Heat fans have come to expect of some of their players.
Last season was arguably his best as a professional. Despite coming off the bench in all but 10 of his 66 appearances, he averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He earned the Sixth Man of the Year award as a result.
This season, he’s been slotted in as a permanent starter and started in all 41 of his appearances. He’s scoring 20.3 points per game — just slightly below his career-high mark from last season — but currently has career-high averages in both rebounds and assists per game at 5.8 and 4.4, respectively.
His ability to perform as a streaky shooter, as well as his penchant for coming up huge late in games, is a big reason why the Heat have been able to claw back into the playoff conversation this season.
At the moment, the Heat are 29-24 and own a one-game lead for the No. 6 seed in the East.