Tyler Herro became one of the NBA’s biggest stars during the 2019-20 NBA season. The then-rookie helped guide the Miami Heat to an NBA Finals appearance in the Bubble, leading to a lot of hype and excitement about his future.
Incredible Instagram models, bizarre tattoos, and unbelievable love triangles followed. Herro immediately became a viral superstar. His stock was so sky-high, in fact, that the Heat refused to trade him for James Harden when the Houston Rockets kicked the tires on a potential swap.
Unfortunately, Herro’s sophomore campaign wasn’t as kind to him.
After averaging 15.0 points on 43.9 percent shooting from the field and 36.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc as a rookie, Herro became a starter. The Heat subsequently went 5-9 in their first 14 games with Herro in the starting lineup, leading to his prompt relegation to the bench.
It only got worse from there.
After averaging 16.0 points per game in Miami’s run to the Finals one season prior, Herro ended up averaging a mere 9.3 points on 31.6 percent shooting in this season’s playoffs.
By any objective measure, Year 2 was a disappointing one for Herro.
Herro’s Heat teammate Bam Adebayo offered one theory on what went wrong; team president Pat Riley offered another. The common denominator, however, was the near-universal agreement that Herro disappointed in 2020-21.
This past week Herro spoke with Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press and got brutally honest about last year’s struggles.
“Last year, it was all mental,” he said. “I didn’t enjoy coming into work every day.”
That said, Herro made it a point to push back against and dispel a popular theory regarding last season.
“For me, one of the biggest things was hearing people say that I partied too much, that I’m not in the gym, that I don’t love the gym,” he continued. “If you knew me, you’d know I try to be the hardest-working dude out here. So, I think you’ll see that this year.”
What’s done is done, though. Herro says that the birth of his daughter over the offseason has given him new perspective – and he plans to come back strong in 2021-22.
“I just feel good,” he said. “I feel like I have a reason now. Not that I didn’t before. But now I have another reason to be motivated every single day when I walk into the arena. I have to be the best I can every single day because I have a daughter now. And I’m in a very good spot right now.”
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
This is going to be a big year for Herro. If he comes back strong and looks as good or better than he did in his rookie season, all of last year’s struggles will be forgotten.
Should the opposite occur, however, then it’ll suddenly became fair to wonder if he will ever truly be able to live up to his initial promise.