Wade wants to stay in Miami

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wade.jpgDwayne Wade has made his intentions clear: He doesn’t want to leave Miami, he wants another superstar player to come to South Beach so he can win another title there. However, if the help doesn’t come to him….

Heat management, that would be the ball in your court.

Wade would be one of the stars of the potentially huge free agent class this summer, but rather than going somewhere else he wants a lure another superstar to come to him

“Yeah, we need to add pieces!” Wade said, busting into laughter at the obviousness of the situation. “Aint’ no question about that!”

Wade says the Heat have not had an elite roster in years. “We’re not one of the top teams in the League,” he explains. “You want to have an opportunity every year. You’re not Magic, you’re not Michael, you’re not Larry. You’re not going to win the championship every year. But you do want to have an opportunity to compete for that. I feel like we haven’t had the opportunity since ’06. I feel like, while I’m in my prime, before my prime leaves me in about four or five years, I want to make sure that I can give my all to the organization.”

Miami should be a tempting destination — great climate, fun city, no state income tax and on the court Wade surrounded by a pretty good cast of role players. But a second star player is needed to make it work.

Wade’s comments, as much as a public declaration of what he has told Heat management in private, was a sales pitch to other star free agents — come here and we can win together, we can build a dynasty. And maybe even hit up a South Beach club together. We’ll have to see if Wade is as good a salesman as T-Mobile thinks he is.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Don’t expect more wins in Toronto

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After winning the Atlantic Division then getting thumped in the playoff two years running, the powers that be in Toronto decided it was time for a change.

The added DeMarre Carroll and made shifts to make this a more defensive-minded team, all because of dreams of playoff success (which for the Raptors would be making the second round). What this changeover is not going to mean is an improvement off the 49 regular season wins the Raptors had last season — they sacrificed some scoring to get this defense, and there is a trade-off.

That said, I still expect the Raptors to win the Atlantic. Maybe they make the second round of the playoffs (way too early to make that call).

How many regular season wins they get — and if they win a postseason series — for me is going to come down to if Jonas Valanciunas takes a step forward. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will be strong, Carroll is an upgrade, but the big man in the middle will be the hinge for everything.

Mike Budenholzer smirks at lawyer calling Thabo Sefolosha ‘NBA superstar’

Mike Budenholzer, Thabo Sefolosha
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The funny part, via Robert Silverman:

The substantive part:

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who was arrested outside a New York City nightclub in April following a confrontation with police officer, has a character “of the highest order,” his head coach, Mike Budenholzer, testified Thursday.

Taking the stand as the final defense witness in Sefolosha’s trial, Budenholzer described the Atlanta Hawks guard-forward as “highly intelligent” and a “hard worker.”

When asked by defense attorney Alex Spiro to describe his character, he said it was, “of the highest order.”

“Thabo is of the highest character,” he said during brief testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The Swiss national is charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub early in the morning on April 8. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officers testified this week that Sefolosha and former teammate Pero Antic repeatedly disobeyed their orders to move off the block and away from a crime scene that had been established following the earlier stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland, and two women.

One of the officers also said Sefolosha lunged at an officer with his arm extended but was intercepted before making contact, eventually taken to the ground and arrested.

Sefolosha has testified that he was complying with orders and moving up the block as a particularly aggressive officer screamed profanities at him.

His attorney has argued that his client was singled out by the officer, who is white, because Sefolosha is black.

Sefolosha testified Thursday that he was trying to give money to a panhandler before entering an awaiting car when he was grabbed by police. He said his leg was kicked in the scuffle and he was taken to the ground, handcuffed and hauled to a police precinct. He suffered a fractured right leg, which forced him to miss the playoffs.

The case is the second one involving high-profile athletes accusing New York Police Department officers of wrongdoing this year. On Wednesday, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct substantiated claims by former tennis star James Blake that an officer used excessive force when he took him to the ground last month after mistkaing Blake for a fraud suspect.