Mario Chalmers, Pat Riley

Getty Heat president Pat Riley and Mario Chalmers embrace after a winning the NBA title in 2012.

The Miami Heat officially inked Mario Chalmers to a 10-day hardship contract on December 31. It was a long time coming for the two-time world champion who started amping up his NBA comeback plans in early 2021.

Chalmers put some feelers out there last January, but no one picked up on them. One year later and the 35-year-old guard is getting his chance, one that reunites him with Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley in South Beach. The former second-round pick out of Kansas recently recalled to The Undefeated how everything went down. It started at the AT&T NBA G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas in December.

Chalmers was playing for the Grand Rapids Gold – the G League affiliate of the Denver Nuggets – but Heat assistant general manager Adam Simons was there keeping an eye out for talent. Grand Rapids waived Chalmers on Christmas Eve, according to Marc J. Spears, and then Miami called his father Ronnie who doubles as his agent. He was at his aunt’s funeral. This is how Chalmers relayed the story to Spears:

“The call came at a time where the family finally needed something to uplift them. It was perfect timing,” Chalmers said. “My aunt meant a lot to me. She had a smile that lit up a room. That was my dad’s sister. They were really close. I was close to her. He took it hard, so it was good for him to get this call and see his son get a chance to get back to the NBA.”

Shortly after, Heat president Pat Riley sent Chalmers a text message.

“’Are you ready to play? Get to Houston.’ It was short and simple, as Pat is,” Chalmers said.

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Chalmers Could Be Coaching Candidate

The Heat does a terrific job of turning former players into formidable coaches. Look at Caron Butler, Juwan Howard, Chris Quinn, Keith Askins, Malik Allen. And Chalmers appears anxious to follow that path, at least that’s what he told Spoelstra over the summer.

“He said he wants to get into this profession,” Spoelstra said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “If he does decide that he wants to get into this madness, I’d love to help him and continue the relationship whether it’s with us or somebody else.”

Gerald Green Making Own Comeback

Another former Heat player is making his own NBA comeback. Gerald Green has joined the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the G League affiliate for the Houston Rockets. He has career averages of 9.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 12 professional seasons.

Green played 69 games for Miami during the 2015-16 campaign where he averaged 8.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while shooting 39.2% from the field. In all, the 35-year-old has served stints on the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets.

Source: Heavy

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