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NBA players react to Dwyane Wade’s ‘last dance’

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Dwyane Wade is coming back for one more season.

After deliberating on it all summer, Wade will return to the Heat for one final tour, a farewell season where he will try to help push the Heat into the postseason, and at least a few times will jump in the hot tub time machine and remind us why he is one of the greatest two guards the game has ever seen.

Other players around the NBA — from teammates such as Hassan Whiteside to All-Stars such as Jimmy Butler — were excited about the move.

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this is gonna be one helluva dance @dwyanewade

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It should be added that once again Wade is saving Miami money. He’s taken discounts before, most notably to form a super team with LeBron James and Chris Bosh while keeping Udonis Haslem and others around. While he could have pushed hard for the midlevel exception, he took the veteran minimum, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, which means the Heat can get under the tax like this season with a move or two.

 

 

Dwyane Wade announces he will return to Heat for ‘one last dance’

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Dwyane Wade — the future Hall of Famer, the three-time champion, the greatest player in Miami Heat history and one of the best two guards to ever play the game — isn’t done yet.

He announced Sunday in an emotional video he will return for one more season with the Miami Heat.

(You can see the full video of his announcement above.)

“Whether they’ve been good or whether they’ve been bad, I got here because I’ve done things the way I feel is right for me and right for my family… I feel it’s right to ask you guys to join me for one last dance, for one last season.”

“This is it. I’ve given this game everything that I have, and I’m happy about that, and I’m going to give it for one last season.”

“Let’s enjoy it. Let’s have some joy in this last season. Let’s push this young team.”

Wade returns to a 44-win team that is essentially running it back with the same roster, just with more Wade (and they hope more health overall).

Wade had weighed this decision all summer, but through it all was working out to get his body ready (a sign that he was going to give it one more run).

This will be Wade’s 16th NBA season, and more than 14 of those will have been with the Heat. Last season he played the final 21 games with Miami coming off the bench, scoring 12 points a game in the regular season, then in the playoffs averaged 16.5 points per game and had a turn-back-the-clock Game 4 against Philadelphia to force a Game 5. His role has shrunk, and his knees need rest during the grind of the season, but Wade can still play the game at a high level and take over for stretches.

Wade will get huge ovations and tribute videos in every city he visits, and Miami fans will pack the building to say goodbye to a legend. Things will feel different in Miami without him.

But not for another year.

Dwyane Wade on playing next season: ‘I wish I had an answer for you’

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Dwyane Wade sure is working out a lot and playing a lot of hoops — sometimes just in random pickup games — for a guy who says he may just retire.

While the perception around the league is Wade will play for the Heat one more season — a farewell tour where he would see tributes in every city — he has not made a formal announcement. Wade, speaking at an opening of his new restaurant he co-owns with Udonis Haslem, said that’s because he hasn’t yet made up his mind. From Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

“I wish I had an answer for you. I don’t have it today,” Wade, 36, said, as he stood alongside Haslem…

Asked if his deliberations could go until the team’s Sept. 24 media day at AmericanAirlines Arena or even beyond, Wade said, “Whichever day the decision comes, it comes. And that’s the right day, whatever date that is.”

Wade wouldn’t be doing this for the money, the most the Heat can offer is $5.3 million, the taxpayer midlevel exception. More likely, they’d prefer he play for the $2.4 million veteran minimum.

Wade has earned the right to take as much time as he wants with this decision. It’s hard to make the call when you’re torn between a love of the game you have played your entire life, and your family which is growing fast (and that’s time you can’t get back). It’s not an easy call. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Wade gets to have input on his role should he come back. He’s earned that right, too.

Heat training camp opens in 10 days, and Wade technically doesn’t have to but probably should make his call by then. He probably plays, but as Bill Parcells used to say, if you’re thinking about retirement then you’re retired.

How much playing time would Dwyane Wade demand if he returns to Heat?

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Dwyane Wade is working out — and, as become the NBA tradition, posting video of said workouts — in a way that makes you think he’s coming back for one more season in Miami. The man is playing a lot of basketball for someone who is might walk away from the game.

Yet, he has not officially made a decision about whether to return to the Heat or retire.

His role with the team is a part of that — he wants to start, reports Greg Cote of the Miami Herald.

I am also told by representatives of the club and of the player that Wade being comfortable with his role is critical. He returned last midseason in a bench role, a reserve in all 21 games. He also came off the bench in all five playoffs games….

I have not been told Wade would demand to start. But does he see himself good for more than 25 minutes a game? He mentioned recently that he embraces a mentor’s role for the club’s many young guys still developing, “but you also want to play,” he added. 

Wade came off the bench in Cleveland last season as well, starting just three of the 46 games he played there until he came to Miami. He averaged 22.2 minutes per night for the Heat.

Wade’s body — meaning, his knees — are not going to take much more than that. He’s going to be rested at least 10 games and not play heavy minutes often, at least during the regular season (he jumped to 25.4 minutes per game in the playoffs, and had a dominant Game 4 against the Sixers that kept the Heat’s season alive one more game).

That said, if he wants to start, he should start. If he wants to play, he should play. He has earned that right with the Heat, he is the greatest player in franchise history and the key to those banners hanging in AmericanAirlines Arena. Fans will fill the arena — home and road, because there will be tributes in other cities — to see Wade one last time. He is arguably the greatest shooting guard the game has ever seen, and a player respected and loved outside of South Florida. Him starting would fit with that.

I don’t know how much of this is what’s holding Wade back from a formal announcement. He may just like the drama of all this. The Heat will be fine either way, they can wait up to training camp starting to know.

But it would be fun to see Wade lace them up for one more season, whether he starts or comes off the bench.

Lonzo Ball says knee surgery was “last option,” had partial meniscus removal not repair

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Lonzo Ball wanted to work on his game this summer — he has undoubtedly tweaked his shot — and no player wants to spend their summer recovering from surgery.

Ball ultimately didn’t have a choice, as he said during a recent episode of “Ball In the Family,” the Facebook reality series about the Ball family. (Hat tip to the Lonzo Wire, who watches Ball in the Family so we don’t have to.)

“I got hurt a couple of times during the season and then after the season I decided to get a shot and try to take care of it that way, That didn’t work, so the last option is surgery,” Ball said.

That shot was a PRP injection Ball got not long after the season ended. Ball described the surgery as a partial removal, speaking to his father, LaVar, on the show.

“They’ve got to take it out,” Lonzo told LaVar. “They said they could repair it but it would take me six months to get back. But, if they just take it out it will only be six weeks.”

That removal was reported to be partial, not total (the total is what Dwyane Wade had and is a contributing factor to his knee issues now). Lonzo, just 20 years old, should be able to fully recover from this and not have significant knee issues due to it during his playing career. (Nothing is certain ever with surgery, and the human body wasn’t meant to run a couple of marathons a year up-and-down a hardwood floor, so there may be future issues.) Someday, like your grandfather, this knee may be able to tell Ball when it’s going to rain (arthritis is a possibility), he should be able to play on it.

Ball has a lot to prove this season. The Lakers with LeBron James are a win-now team and the entire young Lakers core needs to prove they can take a step forward and contribute to that. Ball has skills that can fit with the new reality — his ability to push the pace and get others involved are at the heart of that — but he needs to prove he can play well off the ball, and that he has become more of a scoring threat, both with his jumper and finishing around the rim. While I expect he will be better at this than his critics do (Ball played off the ball at UCLA a lot and was a good cutter who hit his spot up chances at a fair rate) he’s got to prove it now at an NBA level.

If not, Rajon Rondo and Josh Hart are right there in the mix, ready to go.