Tyler Herro and His Rise to the League


Photo by Garrett Ellwood, Taken on September 23, 2020, Some rights reserved, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/tyler-herro-of-the-miami-heat-smiles-and-talks-the-media-on-news-photo/1228678110?adppopup=true

Although Tyler Herro was only drafted to the Heat in 2019 as the 13th pick, he has made himself known as a force to be reckoned with. The playoff winner took it upon himself to break records in the NBA that had stayed stagnant for over forty years. As a 20-year-old, he was the youngest player in history to start in the NBA finals and then to score over 30 points in a playoff game. While many seasoned players are nearing their retirement, young players, like Tyler Herro, have time on their side and give hope for the future of the league.

Herro’s journey to greatness began in high school when he accumulated over 2,000 points for his hometown high school in Milwaukee. His eccentric playing style and hungry mindset made his season as a senior one to never forget; he played eight 40+ point games. His performance in high school opened many doors for him and he became a prospect for many colleges. In 2016, he verbally committed to stay loyal to his hometown and attend the University of Wisconsin, but Coach Calipari had different plans for Herro at the University of Kentucky. 

28 days after Herro verbally committed to Wisconsin, he changed his mind and committed to Kentucky. The followers that Herro had already accrued strongly detested his decision. As a result, he received death threats through the usual Twitter and letters, but, unfortunately, some were bold enough to say it to his face. Herro was undeterred by these comments because he knew he was destined for greatness and that all the work he put in would pay off when he got to the NBA. 

During Herro’s single season with the Kentucky Wildcats, he averaged 14 points a game and was the only player to start for all 37 games. All of his dreams came true when he got drafted to the Heat in 2019. Tyler Herro did not waste any time to make his presence known, even as a rookie. He was essential in the team’s success of exposing Giannis’ first seed Bucks by winning the Eastern Conference Semifinals which boosted his team through the remaining playoff games and towards the championship against Lebron’s Lakers. Although they fell short to the Lakers in the finals, it was the fact that the Heat had played so hard and made it up to that point that meant so much to the team. Tyler Herro describes Lebron as the final boss if the NBA were a video game.

Even though the Heat didn’t make it out of the postseason with a ring, they had a beautiful path through the postseason leading up to the championship. They started off the first round of the playoffs by sweeping the Indiana Pacers in a 4-game series. They moved up to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the first seed Bucks. Miami ended the series with 4 wins against Milwaukee’s single win. This specific series was a major confidence and morale booster for the Heat; they gained their traction and were on fire. The Eastern Conference Finals were more of a nail-biter, but Miami finished the series with four wins over Boston’s two wins and moved on up to the playoffs. Herro’s performance during the ECF against the Celtics made it clear that he was not messing around and that he was here to stay. The Heat had faith in him to score 37 points in their fourth game of the series against the Celtics, which ended up being a 3 point game in Miami’s favor. 

When the Heat got to the “final boss” of the NBA, they weren’t enough to overcome the unstoppable Lakers. Any other team would have taken this loss to heart, but Miami knew that they had put their heart and soul into every game they played and left the season with no regrets. 

“This is a team that would have played the Lakers again that same night if they’d let us,” Herro wrote in an article for the Players’ Tribune.

Throughout the two seasons that Herro has spent in Miami, he has proven his loyalty to the team and shown that he is a driving force in their success. He is keeping up with the Heats’ youthful and energetic playing style and giving a new face to the NBA that is beginning to lose seasoned players to age. Big things are happening for the young player and he even has his own cereal called Tyler HerrO’s Fruit Hoops. He’s using funds from the sales of the collectors’ edition boxes to benefit disadvantaged youth through his T. Herro Foundation. The opportunities for the 21-year-old player are boundless and his life is just beginning.