Miami Heat’s Herro explains reasons for optimism, changes in his life
Heat guard Tyler Herro begins his third NBA season with a new body, a new baby, a new documentary series and a new outlook on life.
And he made this clear during a chat with the Miami Herald this week: “I’m ready for a bounce-back year. No question I feel like I had a lot of expectations coming into last season and some people are sleeping on me again. In that way, I am going to wake a lot of people up again like I did in the bubble in my first year.”
Here’s what’s new in his life:
▪ The body: He added 10 pounds — mostly muscle — and has chiseled arms to show for it.
“Me and Spo [coach Erik Spoelstra] met before the offseason started and we came up with a couple of goals that we thought would be good for me,” Herro said. “Adding 7 pounds was one of them.”
He said he achieved it “with the help of strength coach Eric Foran, living in the weight room and eating enough calories every day and sticking to the plan. Adding some strength and muscle to my frame was really important.”
The upshot, he said, is “I’ll be able to stay in front of my man easier, keep everything in front of me” and withstand more “bumps” from defenders. Herro and Spoelstra said this also should improve his durability.
Herro said the added weight and strength aren’t “going to slow me down at all. I feel faster. I feel stronger. I feel quicker. I feel I’ve improved in every area.”
His offseason included lifting weights and shooting in the morning and coming back to the gym at night to loft more shots.
“I did two, three workouts every single day throughout the whole summer, trying to perfect my craft.”
▪ The outlook: Herro is in a good place mentally. That wasn’t always the case last season. He told the Associated Press last week that “I didn’t enjoy coming into work every day” last season.
“I just needed a little time to detach and step away from the game and have an actual offseason,” Herro said Monday after he and teammates had just 51 days of rest between the NBA Finals and the start of the 2020-21 season.
“When you step away from something, you end up missing it and loving it and that’s what I did. Took a couple weeks off, got back to working out and am really satisfied with where I’m at right now heading into the season… My mind-set is where it needs to be.”
Before last season ended, he visited with Heat president Pat Riley, who conveyed the importance of “sticking to who I am. When I got drafted here, I was known as one of the hardest workers. Nothing has changed. I’ve seen coach Riley say I’m a core piece. That means something to me because I feel the same way about myself.”
Herro is due $4 million this season and the Heat exercised his $5.7 million option for 2022-23; he’s eligible for a contract extension next offseason.
“I’m really excited for this upcoming year,” he said. “Whether I’m a point guard, shooting guard, sixth man, starter, whatever it is, I’m here to impact winning and help this team win a championship.”
Appearing last week on Shaquille O’Neal’s podcast, Herro said: “Our roster looks really good on paper. We can compete against anybody.”
▪ Shooting mechanics: Herro — whose numbers improved in all areas last season except three-point shooting (which dipped from 38.9 to 36 percent) — said he has made a subtle change.
“We watched film and tried to figure out what I do wrong on some misses,” he said.
One mechanical change executed: “I moved the ball over to the right a little bit and am starting to jump through every shot. We’re excited. When I’m at my best, I’m one of the best shooters in the league.”
Spoelstra made the point this week that “everything his first year was roses and compliments and easy sailing. Everything he did was considered great. If you look at last year from a statistical standpoint, his year was better in many regards.”
▪ The baby: On Sept. 14, Herro’s girlfriend Kayta Elise Henry gave birth to Herro’s first child, Zya Elise Herro.
“It’s very humbling, being able to have a little one and I have to be there for her every single day,” Herro said. “Being able to support her and my girlfriend, I’m very excited to have a kid. She puts a smile on my face and that’s all that matters.”
▪ The documentary series: Overtime – a digital media company – paid Herro an undisclosed sum to follow him around since June and produce six 10-minute episodes about his offseason. The title of the docuseries: “Super Herro Summer.”
Episodes focus on his offseason workouts, his basketball camp in Wisconsin, a trip to Milwaukee to visit family and a journey to Kentucky to visit coach John Calipari and old friends.
The series debuts on Overtime’s YouTube page on Sunday, Oct. 10.
Herro and Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham are the first NBA players to be the subjects of Overtime documentaries.
A spokesperson for Overtime said Herro was an attractive subject for a docuseries because “he’s someone our audience has grown up with, covering him since his time as a high school player. He’s immensely popular with our audience. To continue that journey with him was something we thought would be really appealing.”
Strangest moment of his offseason?
Probably seeing a female fan jump out of her car to get Herro’s autograph and inadvertently leaving her car in drive and watching it “hop over a curve and run into a building,” Herro said.
And it was hardly worth it for the woman because “she never got a picture or autograph,” Herro lamented. “She ran out for no reason.”
This story was originally published September 29, 2021 3:24 PM.
Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.