It’s been 15 years since we saw Shaquille O’Neal team up with Dwyane Wade to win the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship. It was Wade’s third year ever playing in the NBA. After winning the title, the 2006 Finals MVP grew up as one of the faces of the league.
The Heat featured a slew of fan favorites, including Hall of Famers Gary Payton, Alonzo Mourning, O’Neal, and eventually Wade once he is eligible. This group won just one title together, but it was enough to place a bow on some of these legendary players’ careers.
Only one player remains in the league from this squad. Others have taken their talents to new occupations, servicing the league elsewhere, while others have left the league completely. Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic players from that 2006 Bulls team and see what they are up to now.
Michael Doleac - Teacher And Basketball Coach
Doleac played for the Heat from 2004 to 2007. The highlight of his career was being the backup center to Shaquille O’Neal on the championship team. Doleac played in eight games during the championship season and averaged just over four points in his career.
After retirement, Doleac went back to school. He enrolled at the University of Utah and initially wanted to pursue a medical career, but he switched his studies to a master’s in physics. He eventually became a graduate manager for the men’s basketball team.
Since his later college years, Doleac was a frequent name mentioned on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, a former radio show on ESPN. As of 2017, he taught physics at Park City High School in Utah and was the school’s basketball coach.
Wayne Simien - Podcaster
In college, Simien was a consensus All-American, Wooden Award finalist, and Naismith Award finalist his senior year at Kansas. He was the 2005 Big 12 Player of the Year and a first-round draft pick by the Heat.
Simien enjoyed a brief career in the NBA with the highlight of his career being on the 2005-2006 team. Altogether, Simien played eight games. He was eventually moved with Antoine Walker and Doleac in 2007 to the Timberwolves for Ricky Davis and Mark Blount.
Simien retired from basketball in 2009 to pursue work in Christian ministry. As of recently, Simien was named the official host of the podcast of Kansas Athletics, The Jayhawker.
Shandon Anderson - Chef
Anderson attended the University of Georgia before being selected as the No. 54 overall pick in 1996. He bounced around the Jazz, Rockets, Knicks, and Heat where he played shooting guard and small forward.
Anderson’s best season came in 2000, where he averaged 12.3 points. His career average was 7.8 points per game. After winning a championship with the Heat, he retired from the league.
After retiring from the league, Anderson pursued a food career. Anderson entered the culinary school and stayed with it from 2010 to 2013. He eventually opened the Atlanta-based vegan restaurant Drink Art. The restaurant opened in 2014 but closed in 2015.
Derek Anderson - Pharmacist
Anderson was the former No. 13 overall pick in 1997 despite missing much of his second senior season at Kentucky due to a torn ACL. Anderson played for five teams before joining the Heat in 2005. During the season, Anderson played in 23 games, including three starts.
Anderson played for two more seasons with the Hornets and retired in 2008. Anderson has remained a fan of the game and has even posted about wanting to return to Kentucky to coach.
His coaching plans are up in the air for now. In December 2020, Anderson graduated with his pharmacy degree. Through the UK Athletics Post-Eligibility Program, Anderson returned to Kentucky to complete his degree.
Jason Kapono - Father
Kapono enjoyed a successful career in the league, which featured winning back-to-back Three-Point Contest championships in 2007 and 2008. However, the highlight of his career had to be taking a backseat as a role player to win a championship. Kapono signed with the Heat after averaging 8.5 points with Charlotte but took a lesser role to join an elite team.
At one point, Kapono was the most accurate three-point shooter in NBA history. Since then, he has dropped behind Steve Kerr, Kyle Korver, and others.
Kapono was last seen in the league in 2014. After leaving the league, Kapono sold his mansion in California. It was last reported that his wife, Ashley, and he are raising their two children.
James Posey - Assistant NBA Coach
In August 2005, Posey was involved in the largest trade in NBA history, which involved 13 players. In the regular season, Posey averaged 7.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. Despite a subpar regular season, Posey performed much better in the playoffs.
After moving to the bench, Posey averaged 11.8 points as the team’s sixth man in the first round. In the second round, Posey was forced to play defense on either Vince Carter or Richard Jefferson. Posey’s scoring dropped, but his defense helped the team make the Conference Finals. He then guarded the likes of Chauncey Billups or Rasheed Wallace.
In the NBA Finals, Posey was effective on both sides of the floor. In Game 4, Posey recorded a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds for his best performance. Since then, Posey has served as an assistant coach for the Canton Charge, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Golden State Warriors. Posey won a championship ring as part of the 2016 Cavaliers team. He also runs a podcast called “The Posecast.”
Alonzo Mourning - Heat Vice President Of Player’s Program
In Mourning’s first stint with the Heat (1995-2003), he was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. When Mourning rejoined the team, he was in the latter part of his career but was an effective player that came off the bench. Mourning served as the Heat’s backup center but was a starter when Shaquille O’Neal missed time for injuries.
Mourning started in 20 games and averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 65 games total. Mourning’s best moment came in Game 6 of the NBA Finals where he scored eight points, six rebounds, and a team-high five blocks.
Since Mourning left the league, Morning has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. Then in 2019, Mourning was named to the FIBA Hall of Fame. Mourning serves as the team’s vice president of the player’s program.
Gary Payton - Head Basketball Coach
Head coach Pat Riley wanted to make the Heat contenders, so he sought out proven veterans like Mourning and Gary Payton. After a successful 13-year career in Seattle, and brief stints in Milwaukee and Los Angeles, Payton was brought to the Heat to help bring a title to Miami.
Payton started 25 games during the regular season and played in all of the Heat’s playoff games. Payton had numerous impacts in the playoffs, including a critical three-pointer with 56 seconds left in Game 4 of the Conference Semifinals against the Nets. In Game 1 of the Conference Finals, he scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Payton scored the game’s final shot in a one-point victory.
Payton has since been an advocate to bring basketball back to Seattle. In the meantime, Payton has agreed to become the head basketball coach at Lincoln University in his hometown of Oakland, California. Payton has hopes of making the team a Division I program down the line.
Antoine Walker - Basketball Analyst
Walker was a three-time All-Star before he was traded with 12 other players total. The Heat played Walker mostly off the bench, where he averaged 12.2 points and 5.1 rebounds as the team’s main scorer off the bench. Walker led the team in three-point shots made in the season.
In the playoffs, Walker became the third-leading scorer for the team. He posted 20 points in four different playoff games, including 23 points against the Nets in the final game of the Conference Semifinals. Walker averaged 13.8 points against the mavericks, including chipping in 14 points and 11 rebounds in the title-clinching Game 6.
Walker’s life off the court and his struggles of bankruptcy are well-documented. Despite losing a lot of money and receiving negative attention, he has turned his life around. You can catch him on FS1, where he is a basketball analyst.
Jason Williams - Father
Williams was the team’s starting point guard and started all 23 games for the Heat in the playoffs. Due to a knee injury, Williams was only able to play 59 games in the regular season. He was the team’s third-leading scorer in the regular season at 12.3 points per game and was second in assists with 4.9.
In the playoffs, Williams had lower playoff averages, but he scored in double figures 11 times, including 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons. The Heat closed out the Pistons in that game and eventually went onto clinch the NBA Finals.
Outside of playing in Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 tournament, Williams lives a very private life. He has been raising his three kids, including watching his oldest son, Jaxon Williams, stand out in basketball at Windermere Prep in Florida.
Udonis Haslem - Member Of The Miami Heat
Since going undrafted in 2002, Haslem has played his entire basketball career for the Miami Heat. He has been a part of three championships in 2006, 2012, and 2013. That also includes playing in the NBA Finals in 2011, 2014, and 2020.
In 2006, Haslam averaged 9.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in the regular season. He started 80 of the team’s 81 games. Haslam then started 22 of 22 games played in the playoffs. His best moment came in the title-clinching Game 6, where he recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Haslam has played in just five games the last two seasons but serves as a player-coach for the team. Haslam was ejected from his one-game played this season, making him the oldest player to be ejected from a game in the last 20 years at the age of 41.
Shaquille O’Neal - TNT Basketball Analyst
When Shaq joined the Heat, his mission was to win a title before Kobe Bryant. He accomplished that in his second season. During the regular season, Shaq averaged 20.0 points and 9.2 rebounds. In the playoffs, that became 18.4 points and 9.8 rebounds. While his numbers may have not replicated his stats from winning three straight NBA Finals MVP trophies in L.AHe remained a vital part of this championship team.
In the playoffs, Shaq had some standout performances. That included a 30-point, 20-rebound performance in Game 6 of the first-round against the Bulls. He recorded two strong double-doubles in the second round, as well as 28 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks in the series-clincher in the Conference Finals. In the Finals, Shaq let Dwyane Wade carry the offensive load, but still averaged 13.7 points and 10.2 rebounds.
Since leaving the league, Shaq has been very busy. He has made appearances in acting, wrestling, as well as operating businesses in Krispy Kreme and Papa Johnson. He is best known for his work on TNT as an analyst on Inside the NBA.
Dwyane Wade - Minority Owner Of The Utah Jazz
The 2006 Finals MVP shined in his third year in the league. He was an All-Star starter and averaged 27.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.9 steals in the regular season. In the playoffs, he helped lead the Heat past the Bulls despite playing with a severely bruised hip. In the Conference Finals, he led the Heat past the Pistons despite battling flu-like symptoms in Game 6.
In the NBA Finals, Wade was a maestro. He scored 42, 36, and 43 points in Games 3, 4, and 5 respectively. He became the fifth-youngest player in the NBA to earn a Finals MVP. His 34.7 points per game were the Finals’ third-highest among players, while his 33.8 player efficiency rating was considered the best since the NBA-ABA merger.
Since leaving the league, Wade has made stops on Inside the NBA as an analyst. Wade was a part of the telecast that talked about the death of Kobe Bryant. He has also served as a Slam Dunk Contest judge. In April 2021, Wade purchased a minority ownership stake in Utah Jazz. He has hopes of taking a hands-on approach and has been seen near the sidelines during the regular season and playoff contests.