Is Tyler Herro’s growing celebrity figure impacting his play on the floor? The Miami Heat are apparently concerned that’s the case.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Ethan Skolnick f Five Reasons Sports Network discussed Herro’s status as a cultural figure on a recent episode of the “Inside the Paint” podcast. At one point, Skolnick said members of the organization have expressed concern about Herro for some time now:
“Ultimately, the team starts to get a certain level of concern,” Skolnick said, via Heat Nation. “In this particular case, the team has been concerned now for months.”
Tyler Herro was one of many breakout stars during the NBA restart at the “bubble” in Orlando last summer, giving the Heat vital playmaking and clutch shot-making during their run to the NBA Finals.
The former Kentucky guard’s off-floor happenings became every bit as notable. He started dating Instagram fitness model and, more recently, COVID-19 conspiracy theorist Katya Elise Henry. Rapper and songwriter Jack Harlow made a track in his name. Winderman also elaborated on the Heat youngster’s endorsements that followed his star turn in the bubble.
“Tyler Herro chose to become a celebrity,” Winderman added, per Heat Nation. “He chose to become something outside the game, as is his right. With his breakfast cereal, and his Tyler Tuesdays, and his Chipotle Bowl and that’s all well and good. But you know what? Other players when they see a player doing that before they’ve truly reached it. I don’t know if I want to say there’s a jealousy. … They sort of take a scant view of the guy and say, ‘Wait a minute buddy. You haven’t done anything yet.’”
Whether there is a direct correlation between the growing fame and decline in productivity is unclear. But one thing is certain: Herro is struggling.
The 21-year-old has not cracked double figures in scoring in any of his last three games, shooting a combined 7-for-30 from the floor across those three contests. He is a whopping -64 in his last four appearances in terms of plus-minus for the Heat.
Miami desperately needs Tyler Herro to rediscover the form that made him such an impact player last summer. He might even hold the keys to the Heat’s chances of making a deep run come playoff time. Time will tell if he can find a new level of focus on the hardwood.