Tag Archive for: Dwyane Wade

Dwyane says hello, J-Rich says goodbye

It’s not official official until July 6th, when the NBA’s free agency moratorium ends, but everyone knows Jimmy Butler is coming to the Miami Heat — including the guy most responsible for recruiting him here.

So Dwyane Wade, who had warm sentiments for outgoing players Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside on social media, went back to Instagram to let Butler know publicly what he’s surely been telling him privately.

With a little mockery of course.

Meanwhile, Richardson was at the Miami Pro-Am, watching his now-former teammate (but still close friend) Bam Adebayo and others.

Richardson received an ovation.

This came after Rook 2 thanked the Miami fans in a way they always wished that LeBron James had.

That was a little different from Whiteside’s departing thoughts — which the wife of new Heat center Meyers Leonard had some fun with.

Welcome to Miami, Elle.



The Miami Heat are acquiring Jimmy Butler

It took the length of a pregnancy term.

It took lots of lists — most of which were wrong early — about where Jimmy Butler wanted to play.

It took Butler getting traded to Philadelphia, away from Tom Thibodeau.

It took a remarkable farewell season from his buddy Dwyane Wade that impressed Butler mightily.

It took Pat Riley getting back on the beam.

We’ll find out what else it took, other than Josh Richardson, soon.

But for now, we know this:

Jimmy Butler is now the best player on the Miami Heat.

He wanted to be here. He didn’t want Houston, even though it was close to home. He didn’t really want LA. He didn’t want to be a third option in Philadelphia.

He wanted to be here.

He’s here.

And he’s here for a while, at a rich price, though not for five years at $191 million as it could have been.

The cost? We’re getting that. But it will definitely include Josh Richardson.


And we’re hearing the Heat aren’t close to done.

There was always a plan, and a plan after the plan. There was a belief that if Butler wanted to move to Miami, players and money could be moved.

How good will the Heat be?

Hard to say.

But they matter again.

I’ll be on WSVN-7 between 11 and 11:30 p.m. tonight.

Voting (just Wade) shows how far Heat are from star

Not as if we need a reminder.

But, the past few years, since the breakup of the Big 3, the Miami Heat have been nowhere near most NBA honors, whether All-Star Weekend of after the season.

That’s more true this season than ever.

Forty different players received at least one vote for one of the three All-NBA teams.

One Miami Heat player received one second place vote.

That, naturally, was Dwyane Wade, which was no doubt a sentimental selection — and may have been by one of the friendly local reporters.

Some teams with worse records, such as Washington and Dallas and Memphis, got more love from voters, and rightly so. You can make arguments for Brad Beal or Luka Doncic or Mike Conley. You couldn’t make an argument for anyone on the Heat, not if you had six All-NBA teams of five players each.

So that’s why you should take every rumor seriously. Brian Scalabrine says the Heat went for Washington’s John Wall, even with his awful contract, before he got hurt again? Sure. The White Mamba might know something. Conley, a long-time favorite of Wade’s, is in the Heat’s sights, according to some reports? Makes sense too.

The Heat may have a star-in-training on their roster. We just don’t know what Bam Adebayo in particular can become, once Hassan Whiteside is cleared out, and perhaps there are two more levels to which Justise Winslow can jump.

But for now, this is a star-less team in a star-less town.

And if you ever forget that, another face slap will come.

Isiah Thomas unleashes awful Spo-related LeBron take

Isiah Thomas was a terrific basketball player.

He was a score-first point guard before that was the norm. He was tough as anyone — remember that swollen ankle in the NBA Finals, and all that Thomas did on it. He was fiesty and relentless, not backing down even to Michael Jordan. He was the heartbeat of a mini-dynasty, the catalyst of the Bad Boys.

But since then?

Well, it hasn’t been great.

He was a decent head coach in Indiana by most accounts. Other than that? Failure with the CBA. Tragic failures, time after time, with the New York Knicks, where he somehow remained James Dolan’s pet. And FIU? We don’t want to talk about FIU.

Now he’s an analyst, and he’s generally enjoyable there. I’ve interviewed him, and been impressed by his breadth of knowledge. But even in that area, sometimes he slips up.

And this was a doozy,

I mean, what?

Or, in clearer terms…

And this…

The idea that James who, let’s be honest, thinks he can coach himself — and pretty much can — has been held back by his coaches is ludicrous.

First, he’s done pretty well in spite of them if that’s the case.

And then there’s the record.

He was drafted by Cleveland when Paul Silas was there; Silas may not have been an elite strategist, but he was a respected player and was well-liked by players and would have success after coaching James (remember Charlotte vs. Miami in 2001; Ricky Davis is still dunking somewhere, with Pat Riley memorably saying he was “embarrassed and ashamed” by what Silas’ team did to his).

Mike Brown? He was well-regarded as a strategist, especially on defense, at least for a while. Enough to get other gigs. And he was a branch from the Gregg Popovich tree.

David Blatt? He wasn’t suited for the role. At all. Horrible horrible fit. I was there. I know. David Griffin tapped him in Cleveland before he knew he was getting LeBron. Blatt did not take to challenges well. He made excuse after excuse (doesn’t fly with LeBron) and compared himself to a fighter pilot. He botched a timeout in a big playoff game against Chicago and the officials didn’t see it and then James’ game-winner bailed him out.

But James and his camp didn’t have to deal with him long. They had a little something to do with Ty Lue — who was doing good work coaching the Cavs defense — getting the main job. They won a title and, while it wasn’t clear Lue was all that responsible for it, he didn’t get in the way much.

Then James went to the Lakers with Luke Walton in place, so he knew sort of what he was getting (plus, Walton had posted a sterling won-loss record with the Warriors, even better than Steve Kerr’s. For what that’s worth.).

But, of course, we are in Miami, and so it’s the Spoelstra part of the Thomas take that is most wrong.

And most offensive.

Whatever you think of what Spoelstra has done the past couple of years — 2018-19 was not his best, under difficult circumstances — he did make the playoffs with Dwyane Wade and not much else before James arrived (broken down, playoff flop Jermaine O’Neal was the second best player Wade had during those two seasons; Michael Beasley was force fed minutes when he was a lackadaisical defensive liability only to justify his selection to a threadbare roster). The Heat were 15-67 the year before Spoelstra took over, with Pat Riley taking sabbaticals, and tripled their win total under Spoelstra.

So the idea that Spoelstra was being “experimented with” is farcical. He was entrenched at that point, with two playoff appearances even if they were first round exits. And recall, Wade didn’t want Riley back as the coach, for plenty of reasons. My reporting has always indicated that James didn’t either. Later, maybe. But not initially.

Then Spoelstra proved himself after a sometimes-rocky first season with the Big 3, especially on offense. But he probably wins a title even that first year if James doesn’t turn into Evan Turner Light in the 2011 Finals (and that’s even while acknowledging that Spoelstra erred badly in playing Mike Bibby over Mario Chalmers for so long).

The next season, Spoelstra won a championship in a weird lockout-shortened schedule. And then he found a perfect 9-man rotation to help propel a 27-game winning streak and a 66-16 record in 2012-13. In doing so, he unlocked James in a way no one else had, convincing him to play some power forward and designing a pace-and-space scheme around James’ otherworldly skill set. He also got buy in from James, at least enough of it, which may be the hardest thing to do in sports, because James doesn’t just think he’s the smartest basketball man in the room. He is. By far. Always.

Has Spoelstra gotten past the second round since James left? No. But look at the Heat rosters. Look at what happened to Chris Bosh. Who would have in Miami? Gregg Popovich? Maybe. Rick Carlisle? He hasn’t lately. Doc Rivers? He did masterful work this season for the Clippers, but he’s also made his share of mistakes. Riley? Not so sure. Not with the way he views basketball now, a view that is too tied to the past, while Spoelstra is always pushing to the future.

Isiah Thomas is in the Hall of Fame for his work as a player, not as anything else.

And sorry to tell you, Isiah:

Spo is joining you there someday.

Make room.

Make a better argument.

Stop making excuses for LeBron. He doesn’t need them. He’s one of the two best players in history. And, with the exception of where he was drafted, he’s made all of his own choices.

The Heat’s Big 3 stars want Juwan Howard at Michigan

By now, you’ve probably seen the Miami Heat Beat/Five Reasons Sports Network report that Juwan Howard is expected to be offered, and accept, the head coaching job at the University of Michigan.

If not, here it is.

While some in the media and Twittersphere are discrediting it, two people who are not?

His former Big 3 teammates, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Wade saw the aggregation of our report on Bleacher Report, and James saw Wade’s tweet.

And not surprisingly, both are in favor — as would be Chris Bosh, who was very close to Howard when they played together with the Heat, their families spending a lot of time together. The Heat continued to call Howard “17” even after he was playing — sparingly, like Udonis Haslem now — into his 19th season. It’s like he never aged. Also, both James and Wade have been big proponents of black coaching prospects getting more opportunities, and backed former Heat assistant Fizdale, who filled the communicator role on the Heat staff prior to Howard.

Now we see when it’s confirmed.

And then LeBron…

It makes you wonder if James wanted Howard to coach the Lakers rather than Frank Vogel.


Dwyane Wade continues telling the tale of 2010

There will be a 30 for 30 someday — and maybe a book, if I can find all my notes — but in the meantime, the story of the formation of the Big 3 Miami Heat continues to take shape.

There’s long been a question of whether Dwyane Wade or Pat Riley was more responsible for the formation of the Heat’s villainous superteam. Riley got the majority of the credit early, but those more aware of the process knew that — while Riley’s presence as the grand poobah of a successful, structured organization was a plus — it was always more about two things:

— The cap space the Heat created, which was Riley’s vision yes, but which Andy Elisburg actually was most responsible for executing.

— LeBron James and Chris Bosh wanting to play with Wade.

This credit question became a point of contention for Wade — and even more for the people in his circle — during the difficult summers negotiating with Riley in 2015 and 2016. (Just trust us on that.)

Wade and Riley have appeared to largely reconcile, with Riley doing something unusual and actually spending time at an All-Star Weekend (Wade’s last as a player) and then gushing about Wade again in the post-season press conference.

But Wade is still on the interview circuit, and this was interesting.

Miami wasn’t initially even second on he and James’ list when they were deciding where they could play together in 2010.

Click on it to listen to the clip.

Riley deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done with the Heat over the past 24 years. He made basketball matter here, and the Heat’s record of sustained success is second to only the Spurs during his tenure.

But there’s some mythology that gets in the way of the truth.



Dwyane Wade Triple-Doubles in Last Game

(Photo taken after the 2013 championship, and one of the few I have that isn’t blurry.)


This was supposed to be anticlimactic.

Dwyane Wade, however, isn’t capable of creating boredom.

So in his last game, in front of his Banana Boat mates and mostly Miami Heat fans in Brooklyn, and playing 36 minutes the night after playing 35, Wade recorded his first triple-double in eight years.

Wade took 28 shots (the good old days! But not quite Kobe!) and finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, recording that 10th assist on a pass to Udonis Haslem at the top of the key. (Haslem had a double-double in what may have been his final game too).


Here are some of the top tweets:


Marino, Clinton, more: Best tweets of Dwyane Wade’s last night

As we write this, Dwyane Wade has played 17 minutes and scored nine points in the first half in Brooklyn — which is more than we expected. But after a nearly-perfect last night at AmericanAirlines Arena, the most interesting stuff today has been on social media, as luminaries have sent Wade off into retirement.

Here was Wade arriving at Barclays Center…

Here are the best tweets so far…

First, one South Florida GOAT to another….

Then, after President #44 wished Wade well on a video message on Tuesday, #42 weighed in….

Barack and Bubba….

And yes, #44 again…


Some old friends from the Big 3 years chimed in…


And this from a South Florida resident…

Magic Johnson somehow drags Dwyane Wade into it

This has been a nutty night in the NBA, and it’s not just that Dwyane Wade nearly suffered his first significant injury of his age-37 season when he stood on a table, or that Udonis Haslem was draining jumpers again.

Anthony Davis wore this to the arena:

Jamal Crawford did this:

Dirk Nowitzki dropped some big news and then dropped 30…. on 3,012 shots. (But congrats Dirk!)

Oh yeah, and Magic Johnson quit without telling his bosses he was quitting, just eight months after luring LeBron James to start a supposed Lakers renaissance.

But that’s not the weird part.

The weird part was this…

Poor Magic.

He wanted to be in Miami.

So does everyone in Los Angeles  — they just don’t readily admit it.

Right, LeBron?

Best moments of Dwyane Wade’s Last Dance

Dwyane Wade got what he wanted. His last dance. In what turned out to be the last night that the Miami Heat were still in playoff contention. When Detroit came back to beat Memphis, the Heat were out, but Wade still had memories to provide — adding to his scoring total (30 in all) and even getting up on the table one last time in his House.

Here are some of the better moments:

Wade with Spoelstra early


Erik Spoelstra on Wade before the game

Wade started his last home game with the Miami Heat

Best moments during the game


Dwyane Wade’s dangerous farewell

Last team picture


The chants, the reality and the and post-game pressers




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