By Brian Taylor
Why you might remember him: A highly touted guard coming out of USC, (back when the Trojans made noise on the basketball court AND the gridiron), Harold David Miner was selected 12th by Miami in that fabled 1992 draft that brought us Shaq, Alonzo, Spree and others. Miner was on those early, post-expansion Miami Heat playoff squads that included Steve Smith, Rony “the Model” Seikaly and Glen Rice. What he’s most famous for, however is for officially being crowned the first “next Jordan”. Yes, yes ladies and gents, before LeKing, before Lil’ Penny, before Wince Carter and before Kobe Beef, there was “Baby Jordan”, a heavy moniker that possibly weighed down his career before it really got off. At the 1993 and 1995 All Star festivities, the first real “Miami #32” took home the Slam Dunk Contest crown. His career averages of 9 pts and 2 boards per game didn’t open eyes, but he was a bald, 6’5” high flyer/dunker that got the crowd out of its seats when he DID “throw it down”, (as instructed by Bill Walton).
Why you probably forgot about him: Did I mention his Hall of Fame worthy 9 points and 2 whopping rebounds a game? Um…yeah. That was Harold in a nutshell. In his last season in Miami, he added some three-point range to his arsenal, but was one of those “great in college-always hurt in the pros” type guys who had a ton of potential, but was always shut down by injury, his jersey number (switching to number four) and loss of confidence from his coaches. He finally called it quits after trying out for the Raptors (team motto: “Where good players go to retire!” Just kidding Ryan!). The most forgettable (or memorable, if you like tragically funny stuff) were the rumors about his life AFTER the NBA. Apparently, he had a Nike deal that didn’t allow him to play overseas, so at the age of 24 he called it quits. Some rumors included everything from him working at a Jack-In-The-Box in LA, being in the witness protection program, being a member of the LAPD to being a college coach/ordained minister. I read somewhere he has a huge crib in Vegas, and that he didn’t piddle away his NBA money. So if you get a chance and you’re bored at LeOffice, go ahead and give him a Google.