For the third time in 10 years, the Miami Heat will hold a training camp in the Bahamas.
The Heat previously trained in 2013 and 2016 at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort, this time holding camp at the Baha Mar resort on New Providence Island.
The Heat had planned to return to the Bahamas in the meantime, with those plans being preempted by the COVID pandemic. Instead, the team primarily hosted a camp at FTX Arena, although there were also camps in Palm Beach County.
The Heat’s initial camp in the Bahamas preceded the Big Three franchise’s fourth and final season of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, following back-to-back NBA championships.
The visit resonated with all three.
“It was,” Bosh said, “the best training camp ever.”
Wade said: “It was one of my favorite training camps.”
After the Heat’s last camp in the Bahamas, coach Erik Spoelstra said, “We’ve spent so much time together and really tried to get to know each other. We spent a lot of time on the pitch but we spent a lot of time off the pitch. That’s why I like to go away. That gives you a little start on that.
The Heat alternately held their annual camps at both the FTX Arena and outdoor venues, including one in 2010 at the Hurlburt Field Air Force facility at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle prior to the first season of the Big Three. The team has also trained many times at Florida Atlantic University, as well as several smaller colleges in Palm Beach County.
The Heat’s connection to the Bahamas has transcended the team’s marketing partnership, with several players last season traveling to the island for a team bonding session before the playoffs, a trip organized by point guard Kyle Lowry . Additionally, Jimmy Butler is among the Heat players who have made the Bahamas a regular getaway.
The Heat will hold their media day on Sept. 26 at FTX Arena before departing that night for Baha Mar. The Heat will then practice and train in private sessions there through Oct. 1. The exception will be an October 1 practice open to guests and children of the Bahamas Youth Basketball Federation.
The Heat open their preseason on October 4 against Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert and the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 4 at FTX Arena. The Heat enter their 35th regular season on October 19 against the visiting Chicago Bulls.
The Heat have 19 players under contract for training camp, one below the NBA offseason maximum, then will be forced to reduce by their regular season opener to a maximum of 15 under standard contract and two players under a two-way contract.
Fourteen players are under standard contract with the Heat: Butler, Lowry, Bam Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon, Udonis Haslem. Tyler Herro, Haywood Highsmith, Nikola Jovic, Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Omer Yurtseven.
Under two-way contract, Marcus Garrett and Darius Days.
Jamaree Bouya, Jamal Cain and Orlando Robinson are invited to training camp for their solid summer league play for the Heat, then are expected to transfer to Heat G League affiliate Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Haslem is the only Heat player to have made all three camp trips to the Bahamas.
“I like the people. I like the culture, the food. Everybody’s nice. The weather’s great. There’s a lot of Miami Heat fans,” he said, adding, “It’s is like being at home.”