MIAMI (AP) - Nick Arison's first job with the Miami Heat was as a team attendant, 16 years ago.
His rise to the top of the franchise is now complete. The 30-year-old son of Heat owner Micky Arison is now the team's chief executive officer, a newly created position that gives him day-to-day control of the franchise. Nick Arison has been a limited partner in Miami's ownership group for several years; Friday's move does not increase his stake in the club, but completes a long-expected move by his father.
Micky Arison remains the CEO of cruise company Carnival Corp. Nick Arison will report directly to his father, who will keep his spot with the NBA Board of Governors.
"This is something Nick has been working toward his whole life. He's more prepared for this job than I was at his age when I became CEO of Carnival," Micky Arison said in a release distributed by the team. "I have the utmost confidence that Nick will continue to lead the Heat as a model NBA franchise for many years to come."
Nick Arison's grandfather, Ted Arison, was one of the Heat founders. Micky Arison bought the team's controlling share in 1995.
"I'm very excited and thankful for this opportunity and look forward to a seamless transition in my new position," Nick Arison said.
Heat President Pat Riley will continue running the basketball side of the team, and Eric Woolworth will continue overseeing the Heat business operations.
Nick Arison has been the team's vice president of basketball operations since September 2008. He has worked in just about every aspect of the team's business through the years.
Riley said the move had been discussed in earnest for about a year.
"I have been working for the Arison family for 16 years," said Riley. "The Miami Heat is truly a family organization and that is what makes it a desirable franchise to work for. The Heat are the Arisons. Like his grandfather Ted and father Micky, Nick is an extraordinary, special young man and will serve the Heat in a highly professional manner as those men did. Congratulations to Nick. He has earned it."
Nick Arison was a student manager under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke for four years, and to this day their relationship remains close. Nick Arison also helped run USA Basketball's day-to-day operations at major events including the 2004 and 2008 Olympics along with the 2006 world championships.
Last summer, when the Heat went on their free-agent tour, Nick Arison was a key part of the recruiting team alongside his father, Riley, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Heat executives Alonzo Mourning and Andy Elisburg.
"I had an unbelievable meeting with not only Pat but Micky and Nick Arison and Coach Spo and Zo," LeBron James said during the NBA finals. "It was a great meeting. Basically gave me the blueprint about how this organization is run, both on the court and off the court. The great thing I got out of that is about how important family is. I'm a big believer in that."