Above: Guard-Forward Mickael Pietrus (Photo: NBA)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
While Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have deservedly received much attention for the Miami Heat’s success thus far in the NBA Playoffs, they’ve gotten some help from the Caribbean.
Manning the middle for the Heat are Martinique’s Ronny Turiaf and Joel Anthony, who is of Antiguan heritage.
Turiaf, who started Game 1 against the Boston Celtics Monday, has, as he has done for a number of teams around the NBA, provided the Heat with a significant boost of energy, both on the court and from the bench.
The Heat, who faced off against Jamaican center Roy Hibbert in the Semifinals, are battling guard-forward Mickael Pietrus in the Eastern Conference Finals, who hails from Les Abymes in Guadeloupe. (Pietrus’ brother, Florent, is also a professional player, having played most recently for Caja Laboral in Spain. Another Guadeloupe-born player, Rodrigue Beaubois, plays for the Dallas Mavericks, who lost in the first round).
In the first round, James and company ousted New York’s Carmelo Anthony, who is of Puerto Rican heritage.
In the Celtics’ first round series, they defeated the Atlanta Hawks and Al Horford, who comes from the Dominican Republic.
Earlier this year, Caribbean Journal talked to another Caribbean-born Knicks player, Jamaican center Jerome Jordan.
The team that advances from this series could go up against perhaps the greatest NBA player ever born in the Caribbean — US Virgin Islands native Tim Duncan.