Tyler Herro hates false narratives. And the main one that has plagued the 21-year-old Miami Heat guard since his breakout rookie season in 2019 is that he spends more time partying than he does on his game. Social media is partially to blame for that. One picture of him at a Jack Harlow concert and you’d think that all he does is spend his days seeing the rapper perform his song “Tyler Herro.” Forget the hours of practice Herro had put in prior to that concert—and now that he’s a father, the sleepless nights and diaper changes that are all part of early parenthood. Forget that he runs youth basketball camps, has given out backpacks to underprivileged schoolchildren in the Miami area, and showed up with teammates and coaches after the Surfside condominium collapse to hand out food and water to first responders. Some people just seem to fixate on him being a flashy man-about-town.
Herro has grown up a lot over the past three years—and quickly too, because the NBA doesn’t care how young you are or how good you were in college. It expects you to play hard and put on a show just like the veterans do. And as Herro enters his third year of play, he’s eager to prove that his first year was no fluke. In the off-season, he gained 10 pounds of muscle and worked with one of the league’s premier trainers in hopes of helping the Heat make another playoff run.
“I’m trying to prove myself,” Herro says. “It’s my third year in the NBA and I really want to show people what I can do.”
At press time, Herro’s work seems to have paid off. He scored at least 24 points in four of the five preseason games in which he played, and led the league in scoring for that period with 112 points. Granted, it’s not the regular season, but it is a sign of what fans might see from Herro and the Heat.
“You can expect a very good team this year,” Herro says. “We’ll be one of the best teams in the league for sure. We have a chip on our shoulders, and we’re trying to prove ourselves. Whether I’m starting or coming off the bench, I want to help this team get to
For Herro, moments like this are something he dreamed about when he was growing up in suburban Milwaukee. As a third grader, he was focused on playing in the NBA, and stories abound about him as a scrawny little boy who never backed down from a challenge on the court. He grew (as did his legend) and eventually the number of haters determined to see him fail did too. People turned on him when, as a high school player, he opted to play for the University of Kentucky instead of going with a Wisconsin program. He got death threats. People called him a traitor and a snake. Some even threw toy snakes at him as he played. But he played on.
“It’s hard for me to understand why people hate Tyler,” says Travis Riesop, his high school coach. “Maybe the way he carries himself makes him seem cocky and that rubs people the wrong way. Maybe it’s because he’s a good-looking guy and people are envious.”
The hate seemed to motivate Herro to play even harder and better until he left for his lone year as a Kentucky Wildcat in Lexington, where opposing fans booed him even more. They booed him because there was no denying how good he was—and because he was good, he wound up in the NBA at age 19, playing in Miami, where the expectations are high and the temptations are plentiful for any young person with a newly flush bank account. In that first year, he soared, but in his second, he came down to earth. The fans—his own—turned on him and tweeted at him to hit the gym.
Frustrated, Herro sought out super-trainer Drew Hanlen of Pure Sweat Basketball. Among other things, Hanlen worked with Herro on his jump shot mechanics and on creating more scoring opportunities. Part of that involved tweaks to Herro’s footwork, shiftiness, and pace. So far, Hanlen says he’s seeing good results.
“You hear stories about Tyler being Mr. Miami, but the truth is all summer long all he cared about was improving his craft,” Hanlen says. “He would spend hours every day watching film and would come in two hours early just to watch Brad Beal [of the Washington Wizards] work out because he is mimicking some of the things he does. That just shows you the level of humility he has and how much he craves improvement.”
Mindset helps. In a preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets, Herro had an off-night, scoring just seven points. But Hanlen says he kept playing hard and finding ways to contribute to the Heat’s 104-103 win.
“I don’t think people recognize how much the mental side of the game matters,” Hanlen says. “Building up his confidence was something that will allow Tyler to take a big leap forward. He really worked his ass off to become different, not just look different.”
Right now, Herro’s confidence is sky high. In the preseason, he says, once again, that he’s set on being an All-Star—and that he’s determined to do what it takes to get there.
“I feel like I’m in the same conversation as the young guys coming up in the league who can be All-Stars, superstars one day…,” he told Bally Sports. “I feel like my name should be in that category too. I put the work in and I’m just continuing to get better every single day.”
Twitter erupted as soon as these words came out of Herro’s mouth, with people calling him everything from “drunk” to “not even in the same league” as some of the players he mentioned. But who could fault a young man who single-mindedly pursued his childhood dream, accomplished it, and continues to set the bar higher for himself? Love him or hate him, Tyler Herro keeps pushing himself and those around him.
If you’re a Heat fan, you know by now that Tyler Herro talks his talk. But he can back it up. It’s what makes him one of the most exciting players in the league—and it’s a big part of what he hopes will make the Heat a serious contender for this year’s NBA championship.
This December, Louis Vuitton will open a new men’s store in the Miami Design District, the brand’s first freestanding men’s store in the country. In addition to ready to wear, shoes, accessories, watches, and fragrances, the boutique will feature Objets Nomades, Louis Vuitton’s collection of furniture and decor created in collaboration with internationally renowned designers. In celebration, a special art installation inspired by Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection will be on view in the Miami Design District. Sculptures by the late Virgil Abloh will also pop up across Miami, continuing the men’s story throughout the city.
All clothing and accessories by Louis Vuitton Men’s, Miami Design District
Fashion editor: Katherine Lande
Hair and makeup: Patricia Desamours, Patricia’s Canvas, Miami
Tailor: Mitch Schultz
Fashion assistant: Rosie Cook
NI would like to extend a special thanks to Lauren Gnazzo, Gnazzo Group for production and location assistance.