The Miami Heat took on the Brooklyn Nets in an NBA preseason game on Tuesday night, but Miami was playing for more than just a win. The Heat honored late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who passed away in a boating accident last month. The Heat wore special shooting shirts when they went out to warm up.
They had Fernandez’s initials with his number 16 inside a circle. Players and coaches for the Heat locked arms to show unity while the national anthem played. Some players were bowing their heads during the anthem. Players and coaches for the Nets put their arms around each other’s shoulders.
“It was a devastating blow to all of us in South Florida and our hearts go out to his family and everyone at the Marlins,” Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s just so tragic for a player so young. We also want to acknowledge the other two gentlemen who were on that boat as well, and their families.”
There was a special guest at the Heat’s 121-100 win on Tuesday at the American Airlines Arena. Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, who homered the day after Fernandez’s death, was sitting court side wearing one of the team’s shooting shirts. Gordon made arrangements to be at the game after the Heat announced they would be honoring Fernandez. “He was the heart and soul of Miami,” Gordon said. “It’s just still weird that he’s gone.”
Around the League:
While the ALCS matchup has been made official (Cleveland vs. Toronto), the NLCS still has one half of the bracket to figure out. The Dodgers and Nationals will go to back to Washington D.C. for a do-or-die Game 5 after Los Angeles staved off elimination on Tuesday, beating Washington 6-5. The Chicago Cubs came back from down three runs in the ninth to defeat the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, 6-5. Chicago will play Washington or Los Angeles in the NLCS.
Miami’s NL East rival, the Atlanta Braves, removed the interim tag from Brian Snitker and named him their full-time manager. After starting the season 9-28, Snitker took over for Fredi Gonzalez and led the Braves to a 59-65 record the rest of the way. Atlanta won 12 of their last 14 games.
Former Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow made his Arizona Fall League debut on Tuesday. Tebow played for the Scottsdale Scorpions, who beat the Glendale Desert Dogs 9-6. Tebow went 0-3, but he was a star off the field, after he comforted a man who was having a seizure. Tebow signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets last month.