One of Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro‘s nicknames is “Boy Wonder.” His 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range to fuel a career-high 37-points in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals showed us exactly how he got the moniker.
The 20-year-old isn’t old enough to drink, but he was man enough to accelerate the timetable for his official coming-out party at a crucial time. The rookie, who signed with hometown Wisconsin out of high school before reversing course and going to John Calipari’s one-and-done factory, was selected by the Heat in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft (13th overall pick) and came out the gate with an NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection in 2020. He’s now a household name in the NBA after one riveting performance put him on everybody’s superstar radar.
“That’s just who I am. I grew up like that and I’m gonna stay like that for as long as I’m in the league.”
Herro on playing with confidence all throughout his career. pic.twitter.com/xphXkRCBgc
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 24, 2020
Having a veteran dawg like Jimmy Butler challenging and pushing Herro every day in practice is priceless. Herro, not only has the skills to pay the bills, but his approach to the game and his relentless mentality and court savvy makes the neophyte they call “Buckets”, the kid from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a sure-fire superstar.
The minds of marketing gurus across the country are already in motion. The Real American Herro has arrived.
"My teammates and coaches put full trust in me."
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) September 24, 2020
“I more wanna do it for Jimmy though. … He hasn’t gone to the Finals. I wanna do it for him. … He’s been a great big brother to me since I’ve been in Miami, and I know how much it means for him to win. And I just wanna help him get there.”
The lovfest between Butler — a player accused of dragging younger players, being too aggressive for certain locker rooms — and Herro a talented baby boomer like so many of the players Butler has criticized and clashed with in the past, was obviously a match made in hoops heaven.
Both of these guys bring an IDGAF, underdog demeanor to the court. The legendary Larry Bird had that same approach to the game. Herro is becoming that lost, white American NBA superstar we’ve been searching for. That’s like finding gold in a swap, but we don’t have to dwell on the fact that Herro’s skin isn’t melanated, because his game surely is.
America hasn’t had a homegrown white superstar since Bird from Frenchlik, Indiana. It was Bird’s undeniable skills and Magic Johnson co-sign that propelled him to greatness, After he showed he could ball with the brothers, Bird’s skin color simultaneously fueled his celebrity and influence. Current Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash is Candian, Dirk Nowitzki is German, Herro’s teammate Goran Dragic and young bull Luka Doncic are Slovenian. Luka’s All-Star partner Kristaps Porzingis is Latvian and Denver Nuggets multi-faceted big man Nikola Jokic is Serbian. JJ Reddick’s an American. He’s aight too.
Tyler Is The Real American Herro
Rookies don’t usually come up big like a Nicole Young divorce settlement in the playoffs, but Herro is special. His 37 points are the most by a 20-year-old in the playoffs since Magic Johnson’s 42 in 1980.
Only one other rookie has scored more than Herro and Johnson in a playoff game: Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain.
“Herro’s shotmaking tonight was the difference in the game,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “Herro was ridiculously good tonight. The rim must have looked like the ocean to him.”
His elevation is a huge part of the reason why Miami is up 3-1 on the Boston Celtics and just one win away from advancing to the franchise’s first NBA Finals since losing to the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, the final year of Bron, Wade and Bosh’s Superteam Miami Dynasty.
Herro’s averaging a point more in the postseason (14.4 ppg) than he was in the regular season (13.5 ppg) but Wednesday night’s explosion comes at the perfect time. Butler and Dragic need a third scoring option that can dribble, pass, hit long shots and create in the clutch and Boy Wonder became a man in Game 4.
He will also forever be a part of Disney Bubble history and Herro’s ability to handle the pressure of playoff hoops and the mental strain associated with playing inside the Bubble, will carry him forward as he becomes a cornerstone, franchise piece for the Heat in the future.
You don’t hear about many NBA superstars from Milwaukee, however, the state has a rich hoops history and has produced more than 50 notable NBA players, a few all-stars, 20-point scorers and NBA champions.
Latrell Sprewell, Nick Van Exel, Joe Wolf, Caron Butler, Devin Harris, Downtown Freddie Brown, Jim Chones, Terry Porter, Golden State Warriors youngster Jordan Poole, and Milwaukee Bucks starting guard and Madison Memorial star Wesley Matthews just completed his 11th NBA season after going undrafted out of Marquette.
Van Exel and Spree might have something to say about this, but Herro is on his way to becoming Milwaukee’s best-ever NBA product. For now, the Miami Heat will settle for Herro continuing to exhibit a consistent flow, more ice in the veins focus, and getting one more win for the team.