Dwyane Wade has some advice for NFL quarterback Tua Tagovailoa

Advice on being a pro athlete from retired NBA star Dwyane Wade is worth listening to. Even if it’s for a guy who plays football. Here’s the Miami Herald reporting:

The three-time champion wasn’t drafted to “save the franchise,” but expectations certainly changed after the Heat’s first title in 2006. Throw in the two that he won in the early 2010s and there’s an argument that Tua Tagovailoa should strive to emulate Wade rather than Dan Marino.

But greatness can easily be hindered if you get caught up in the glitz and glamour of Miami. In a recent conversation with ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Wade advised 22-year-old quarterback to focus on winning first rather than what the city has to offer.

“Put your head down and go to work. The city of Miami is going to be there, the nightlife is going to be there, the endorsements and all of those things — get your money but don’t let those things take away from your main goal and purpose,” Wade told ESPN. “… Football right now for you in that city is the most important thing. Everything else will come as you win”

Famed Miami nightlife is both a gift and a curse. Depending on how much you take advantage of it, and when you have to wake up for work the next day.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra discusses his career

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting what Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had to say to Ernie Johnson via the NBA’s Twitter feed:

Spoelstra addressed other topics in a wide-ranging interview with Johnson:

▪ He said this week marks his 25th anniversary with the Heat after joining the team as an intern to help with the 1995 draft.

Pat Riley was hired as Heat coach and president that summer and Spoelstra said “the only reason I survived that turnover was it was September, and they just needed somebody to cut tape” and didn’t want to train someone from the outside.

“I had a one-year leeway to prove myself,” he said. “Twenty-five years later, they haven’t found a way to get rid of me.”

▪ How did Riley tell him he was being promoted to head coach in 2008?

“It would be like you imagined, a Godfather scene,” Spoelstra said. “He brought me in on a Saturday, after we won 15 games. … The lights were down. I sat on the other side of the desk. I could barely make out his face; he could see me.

“He said, ‘I’m done. You’re ready for it. This will be like you’re in a bird’s nest and I’m going to push you off the branch and you are going to have to figure out how to fly. You have enough experience, you’ve worked for great people. This is happening. Take a couple days to get your S-H-I-T together and Monday is the press conference.’”

Spoelstra’s story is pretty fantastic. His rise up the Heat ranks would make a great documentary.

Checking in with Heat guard Tyler Herro

Here’s ESPN.com checking in on young Heat guard Tyler Herro:

For the season, Herro ranks eighth among rookies in scoring (12.9 points), seventh in 20-point games (9) and tied for first with 2.1 3-pointers per game.

His seven made 3-pointers on Jan. 22 against the Washington Wizards were the most in a game by a Heat rookie in franchise history and tied for the most by any rookie this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. However, Herro is still not satisfied.

“I just hope that they open as soon as possible,” Herro said of practice facilities possibly reopening soon. “Obviously, hoping everybody stays safe … but we would all love to get back into the facilities and start working out and stuff like that again on a normal routine.”

The NBA season is on hold, but there’s still hope that either it will resume — likely in condensed form — or some sort of playoffs can take place.

Some Miami Heat player notes from the season

Had the global coronavirus pandemic not put a stop to things, today was to be the final day of the 2019-20 NBA regular season.

The Miami Heat were having an excellent season, and while Jimmy Butler is their most well-known player, plenty of other guys share the credit, including do-it-all first-time All-Star forward Bam Adebayo, and talented young guards Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro. Here’s the Miami Herald with some notes:

Adebayo: If this is the end of the regular season, Adebayo will join Oscar Robertson as the only players to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists before turning 23.

Robinson: No player other than Steph Curry has ever hit as many three-pointers in a season at such a high rate of accuracy. Let that marinate for a minute.

Nunn: With 972 points, Nunn scored more in his first 62 games than any other undrafted player during the common draft era (post-1966) except Connie Hawkins (1,494).

Herro: Among players with at least eight clutch three-pointers this season, only Joe Harris shot better than Herro on threes in clutch time, among all NBA guards this season.

With games on hold, if the regular season was declared over but the playoffs to begin, the Eastern conference No. 4 Heat would be playing the No. 5 Pacers in the first round.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra speaks on being home during shutdown

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel on how Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is managing these days:

Had the NBA not been shut down after the Heat’s March 11 loss to the Charlotte Hornets at AmericanAirlines Arena, the Heat would be in the midst of a four-game, eight-day trip. Instead, Spoelstra is home with [wife] Nikki, [two-year-old child Santiago Ray] and four-month-old Dante.

“It’s been an incredible blessing to be around our family much more often,” Spoelstra, 49, said. “We’re able to spend our meals together. I wake up every single morning and not be in a rush to do anything. I can be at breakfast. I’m barbecuing every single night. I’ve never been a barbecue guy. I’ve always been a takeout, order-out guy, but now I’m cooking meals for this family. I’ve had a lot of peace of mind doing that every afternoon…

“Look, my kids are young kids under the age of two. They have no idea what’s going on. They just think this is a big party in the backyard every single day. So, it is unique, and we do want our team to be thinking of others and to feel the real empathy and giving nature during this time. That also can help deal with some potential anxiety or stress that somebody may be going through with this, to focus on helping other people.”

We’re all just trying to make the best of this global coronavirus situation. Which for most of us will involve just staying home for the time being.

Kelly Olynyk faces opt-out decision next NBA offseason

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Heat big-man reserve Kelly Olynyk:

When life was normal, less than a month ago, it seemed no Heat player faced a tougher offseason decision than Kelly Olynyk, who has the option of bypassing $13.6 million in the final year of his contract and instead entering free agency this summer.

Now, with pro sports facing unprecedented uncertainty in the coming months amid the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the possibility of a lower NBA salary cap because of lost revenue, the choice could essentially be made for Olynyk and many others with 2020-21 player options: The security of opting in suddenly seems pretty appealing.

Even before coronavirus affected everything, Olynyk faced a landscape in which only six other teams, besides Miami, would have cap space above $10 million this offseason, per capologist Jeff Siegel: Atlanta at $49.1 million, New York at $44.3 million, Detroit at $31.9 million, Charlotte at $25.2 million, Memphis at $16 million and Phoenix at $13.9 million.

The big takeaway here goes way beyond Olynyk. League-wide, it makes sense, as of a few weeks ago, to assume that lots of players with contract options who may have tested free agent waters during the next offseason to play it safer and opt for short-term security.

Will the Heat and Jae Crowder stick together?

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on the Heat (41-24) and forward Jae Crowder, who has been playing for the Grizzlies before being traded to Miami:

Considering the uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s coronavirus shutdown, it’s possible that forward Jae Crowder has played his final game in a Miami Heat uniform.

The league is still hopeful it will be able to resume the season at some point, but there’s the fear that this season could be completely lost. With Crowder set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, that leaves his future with the organization in question.

However, this is certain: Crowder hopes the Heat keeps him past this season.

“I’m just very happy to be a part of this organization because I’ve always envisioned that, but I never knew if it could come true,” said Crowder, who has averaged 11.9 points while shooting 39.3 percent on threes, 5.8 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals in 13 games since he was traded to the Heat in February. “But I always wanted to play for this city.”

Crowder brings defense and energy, and there’s every reason the team would want to bring him back.

Hopefully we get more basketball, whether regular season or playoffs, in the 2019-20 season. But for now, everything is on hold.

LeBron James shares insight on pivotal time with the Miami Heat

LeBron James chatted on social media yesterday and revealed some interesting insight on his days with the Miami Heat. Here’s ESPN.com‘s summary:

However, James did speak about his 2012 Game 6 performance for the Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, which stands as one of his greatest games. Facing elimination on the road and a second consecutive season with no title for the heralded “Big 3” in Miami, James scored 45 points with 15 rebounds to turn the tide and begin a streak that led him to his first title.

James said if he’d lost the game, he believed the Heat could have traded him or teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“My mentality was if we lose, [Heat president] Pat Riley may break us all up. And I [didn’t] want that,” James said. “It might be the quickest breakup in basketball history.”

Fortunately for LeBron and the Heat, things worked out.

Gabe Vincent rejoins the Heat after time in G League

As part of his two-way contract, Gabe Vincent has re-joined the Miami Heat.

Vincent, who was signed by Miami to a two-way contract on January 8, has appeared in 10 games with the HEAT’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, this season helping them to an 8-2 record over that span while averaging 16.7 points, 1.9 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.00 steals in 24.3 minutes of action. He has shot 40 percent from the field and a perfect 11-of-11 from the foul line. Earlier this season he appeared in 20 games (three starts) with the Stockton Kings and averaged 23.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.30 steals and 31.8 minutes while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 42.1 percent from three-point range and 89.7 percent from the foul line. Additionally, Vincent has appeared in five games with the HEAT this season, totaling 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 41:04 minutes of action.

Heat took some unexpected losses recently

The Heat are having an outstanding season. But some of their recent losses are on the unexpected side of things. Here’s the Miami Herald reporting:

When asked to explain Monday’s ugly overtime loss to the Cavaliers, Heat guard Goran Dragic attempted to simplify a confusing result.

“They shut us down on offense, and we just didn’t play defense,” Dragic said.

Both things are true, with the Cavaliers rallying from a 22-point third-quarter deficit. But there’s only one side of the court that Heat coaches and players were pointing to as the reason for another road loss — defense.

“It looks and it sounds like a broken record,” coach Erik Spoelstra said, with the Heat returning to Miami to face the Timberwolves on Wednesday to begin a five-game homestand. “Either myself or Bam [Adebayo] or [Udonis Haslem] or whoever, Jimmy [Butler], you want to bring anybody in here and talk after one of these road games, we all sound the same. We have an idea every game on the road what it tends to be: When the shots go dry, do we have the ability to sustain defensively and get enough stops to change the momentum.” …

With Monday’s loss, the Heat fell to 13-18 on the road for the season. In its past 15 road games, Miami is 4-11 with losses to these sub-.500 teams: Wizards, Knicks, Kings, Hawks, and Cavaliers.

The Heat were without Jimmy Butler and some other key players, so it’s not a total surprise that they took a loss. Chalk it up to some minor bumps in the road over the course of a very successful season that should only get better once the team is fully healthy again and also learns to make the most of some impressive recent additions to the their bench.