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Games become secondary in the wake of Connecticut tragedy
One of Dwyane Wade’s nephews was shot last March in Chicago, where gun violence is a major topic of discussion. Ray Allen attended the University of Connecticut, still calls it “my state” and expressed shock as he tried to collect information about Friday’s events.
“It’s still on my mind. I’m really emotional about it. My eyes water up a little bit just thinking about it right now. Your kids are what you live for,” Heat forward Udonis Haslem said, his voice barely above a whisper.
He started his remarks Saturday by talking about Newtown, nothing about the Heat or the Wizards.
“We talked about it as a team today and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the community,” Spoelstra said. “Horrific tragedy in Connecticut. We took some time to give our thoughts and prayers to them.
“It’s despicable,” he added. “It’s a horrific tragedy. And it doesn’t matter whether you have family or not or kids or not, you can relate to a tragedy like that.”
Spoelstra said he monitored news reports on the Internet until late Friday night. James was getting updated on the day’s events even as the Heat were visiting sick children in a pair of Miami hospitals Friday afternoon, after which he immediately went home and hugged his sons, neither of whom is likely old enough to comprehend what took place inside that Newtown school.
“Just having two kids of my own, in elementary, I could not imagine sending them off to school and them not returning,” James said.
Haslem has three sons and said he tried telling his oldest boy that “things happen in this world that we have no control over.”
He’s all-too-familiar with the grieving process, having lost close friends and relatives over the years. Still, Haslem insisted that he cannot comprehend what the families in Newtown feel, especially with this all happening so close to Christmas.
“You take it one day at a time. You’re never going to forget about it. Time heals the wounds, slowly,” Haslem said. “I still grieve over my friends. I still grieve over my family members I’ve lost. Slowly, slowly, it gets a little bit — not a lot — but a little bit easier.
“We love the money, we love the fame, we love the sport, but at the end of the day, we do this for our kids and the legacy to give them things you never had,” Haslem said. “If it was about us, a lot of us would have retired after our first contract. You do this for your kids. Your kids are everything. My three kids are my heart. I just imagine someone taking my heart away from me. Might as well kill me.”
By John R. Bolton
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