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After moves, Wade isn’t bothered by Heat naysayers
MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade is keeping track. He’s heard analysts say this Miami Heat lineup will be a flop. He’s heard other players lash out over the way LeBron James made his decision. He’s heard executives from other teams list Boston and Orlando as the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference.
All duly noted in Wade’s mind.
He’s not bothered nor angered, he says. But at the Summer Groove charity game Wade co-hosted Sunday with Alonzo Mourning, he acknowledged that when the Heat convene for training camp in late September, the naysayers will serve as motivation for himself, for James, for Chris Bosh and everyone else inside the reloaded Miami locker room.
“My whole career is built on fuel,” Wade said. “It’s always been there. It’s not going to change what I do with my life. It’s not going to change the way I am as a person. But it fuels you. And we all need that. Every athlete, every competitor needs something to fuel them. It’s going to happen throughout the year.”
After an offseason with little time to relax, Wade got back to doing what he prefers Sunday _ playing basketball. With a dozen NBA pals, Wade entertained a crowd of about 15,000 fans in a glorified exhibition of dunking, 3-pointers and a halftime concert by Flo Rida. Common, the Grammy-winning rapper, was on one bench and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. coached Wade’s team.
Mayweather wouldn’t talk about the status of talks with Manny Pacquiao for the fight that the boxing world most wants to see. But ask him about the prospects of Wade, James and Bosh playing together, and Mayweather spoke volumes.
James wasn’t there for the festivities Sunday, nor was Bosh. But there has clearly been a giant spike in Heat buzz since they all announced they would play together. Outside the arena for the charity, parking lots that typically charge $10 a spot for NBA games wanted $20. Fans begged for autographs, and Wade said there was more excitement than after the 2006 title.
He would know.
Wright was one of the players who left Miami this summer to make room for all the upgrades to the roster. He’s a close friend of Wade, who is a godfather to Wright’s son. But when Golden State made Wright an offer, he decided that it was time for a new beginning.
“I’m just glad I’m getting out of the way,” Wright said.
The new nameplates are already up in the Miami locker room. “James 6” and “Bosh 1” have already been installed just down from Wade’s cubicle. The proximity of the stars, within about 12 feet of each other, isn’t sitting well with Wade, who joked the new arrangement won’t work.
It’s his lone complaint of the summer.
The Heat kept Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony and Jamaal Magloire, traded Michael Beasley and added Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mike Miller. Deals with Magloire and Juwan Howard will be announced later this week. Carlos Arroyo is on the cusp of returning, and James Jones said Sunday that he’ll be coming back as well _ even though it’ll be at a lower salary.
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
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