Heat Go From Playoffs to Layoffs

Heat drop as many as 20 employees

The Heat fizzled in the first round of the 2009 playoffs and now there's even more bad news: business layoffs.
Nearly 20 employees on the business side of the NBA team are getting cut, including former player and Community Affairs Liaison Wali Jones.
The Heat employees became just the latest casualties in the economic slide that is effecting the country and especially South Florida.
"These challenging economic times mandate that every organization maximize efficiencies and remain strong," team president Eric Woolworth told the Sun-Sentinel. "To that end, the Heat Group has eliminated a small number of job positions. Each of the employees affected will receive a severance package, and will be eligible for rehire."

The announcement came days after another NBA team, the Sacramento Kings, made similar cuts.

The basketball side of things likely won't feel the effects of the economy, and is expected to operate at about a $57 million payroll next season.

Heat forward Jermaine O'Neal was the top earner on the team last year, making a reported $21.3 million, followed by Dwyane Wade at $14.4 million.

Of the 20 or so getting the ax -- the team wouldn't confirm any numbers -- Jones is the most notable. He's been with the team for nearly 20 years, running popular projects such as the Heat Academy, an after-school program, and the National Shoot For Stars program.

Contact Us