Dwyane Wade says Heat need to pass chemistry to win


Chemistry is hard. It’s hard for high school students — if you just said “no it wasn’t” I’m not sure we can be friends — and it’s hard for sports teams.

It was hard for the Miami Heat.

Dwyane Wade was in a talkative mood on with Jorge Sedano of 790 The Ticket in Miami (transcribed at ESPN’s Heat Index). Especially when the topic was what needs to happen for the team to take the next step and get a ring.

Individually, we have to come back as better players. One thing that Dallas beat us at – they had more chemistry than us. They had a game plan and we were still figuring ours out in our first year together.

Wade admitted it took time for the Heat to mesh.

You got players like me and LeBron (James) who are similar in a lot of ways which is a little harder and a little different to make that work. And then Chris (Bosh) who has a personality that’s a little more laid back. We need him to be a little more aggressive for us to try to figure it out and try to understand it. So there’s just a lot going on but I think we eventually figured it out. …

Yeah, it was a little more difficult than we anticipated. Putting it all together, making it all work. Making sure that when we have a team, everyone has to be involved and everyone has to be happy.

What also helped the Heat was getting Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller — even with his thumbs — back for the playoffs, giving them better role players. The Heat’s big three need to figure out their chemistry, but how to blend with the new role players brought in will be key to a title run.

Well, first we need to have a season, then we can talk Heat adjustments.

For the record, Wade also said he would not be playing overseas this season.

Report: Rockets will try to sign Alessandro Gentile next summer

Alessandro Gentile, Paulius Jankunas
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The Rockets tried signing Sergio Llull this summer, but he opted for a long-term extension with Real Madrid.

So, they’ll just turn to another player in their large chest of stashed draft picks – Alessandro Gentile.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Gentile, who was selected No. 53 in the 2014, is a 22-year-old wing for Armani Milano. He’s a good scorer, but he primarily works from mid-range – an area the Rockets eschew. He can get to the rim in Europe, but his subpar athleticism might hinder him in the NBA.

If Gentile comes stateside, he’ll face a steep learning curve. But he’s young enough and talented enough that he could develop into a rotation player.

Report: Hawks co-owner made more money by exposing Danny Ferry’s Luol Deng comments

Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson
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A terribly kept secret: Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wanted to get rid of general manager Danny Ferry.

Many believe that’s why Gearon made such a big deal about Ferry’s pejorative “African” comment about Luol Deng – that Gearon was more concerned about ousting Ferry than showing real concern over racism.

Gearon had another, no less sinister, reason to raise concern over Ferry’s remarks.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout.

In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources.

“We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”

Approximately five weeks later — just a little more than a week before the fateful conference call — Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Clippers, a record-smashing price that completely changed the assessed value of NBA franchises. Gearon firmly maintains he was acting out of the sincerity of his convictions to safeguard the franchise from the Sterling stench, but such a spectacle also allowed him to wiggle out of selling his shares at far below market value.

Gearon and his legal team later challenged the notion that the sell-down was bound by any sort of contractual obligation and that any papers were signed. Once the organization became involved in the investigation, the sale of the shares was postponed.

Arnovitz and Windhorst did an incredible amount of reporting here. I suggest you read the full piece, which includes much more background on the Gearon-Ferry rift.

Considering the Hawks sold for $850 million, Gearon definitely made more money than if he’d sold his shares at a $450 million valuation.

Did that motivate him? Probably, though it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Most likely, his actions were derived from at least three desires – making more money, ousting Ferry and combating racism. Parsing how much each contributed is much more difficult.

What Ferry said was racist, whether or not he was looking at more racism on the sheet of paper in front of him. His comments deserved punishment.

But if Gearon didn’t have incentive to use them for his own benefit, would we even know about them? How many other teams, with more functional front offices, would have kept similar remarks under wraps or just ignored them?