Wade, Shaq Interviews
The Miami Heat just got eliminted by the Detroit Pistons in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals. Had the Heat advanced, it would have been the team's first time ever in the NBA Finals. Here's what Dwyane Wade had to say right after the Game 7 loss. Plus, a few separate comments from Shaquille O'Neal:
Q. Can you just take us through the game and how the injury felt. Did it get better, did it get worse, how you felt throughout the game?
Dwyane Wade: You know, first of all, I just want to say thank you to the City of Miami for supporting us all season. And being great fans, we appreciate it.
You know, the game, it was what this matchup should have been. It went seven games. It went down to the last couple seconds. They made plays at the end, you know, that we didn't make. That was the main thing.
My injury, you know, anybody in my position would have done the same thing and came out and tried to gut it out and that's what I tried to do.
Q. Stan said that you took an injection, can you tell us when you did that and how you felt trying to get going at the start of the game?
Dwyane Wade: I mean, tried to do whatever I can to be out there with a great group of guys. If I can keep guys' confidence, you know, even if I wasn't going to be playing at a high level, I just want to give guys confidence that I'm going to be there with them every step of the way, and I think I did it for the most part. Like I said, anybody would have done it, it was taking a shot or whatever it is, anybody in my position would have done it.
Q. That third quarter, how do you explain coming in with so much difference and the fourth?
Dwyane Wade: Well, you know, we was down in the third and I felt it slipping away, so I thought I'd pick up my hands a little bit and do what I can do. My teammates knew I only had a certain amount of energy to put out for it and I did in the third.
In the fourth, I didn't have to try to do that. We was up. Offense was going good, like I said. It just came down to the end and them making plays and we did.
Q. It obviously was painful, but at any point in the game did, it hurt as much as it did Game 5?
Dwyane Wade: It did. It wasn't any indication or any reason why we lost. We had our whole starting five was injured, so, so what.
Q. Can you describe what it did to your game. Did it limit your mobility in the mid section or did it affect your shot at all?
Dwyane Wade: Yeah, I couldn't be as athletic as I wanted to be. You can see I probably didn't have no rebounds tonight. I couldn't get down there too much.
I did what I can do and like I said, the main thing I want to do tonight was to come out here and help get my guys' confidence, and whether that was scoring zero points or whatever I could do to help my team win, that's what I always try to do. Of course it didn't happen, but we've got a courageous bunch of guys in that locker room, you know, from Shaq to Wang Zhizhi, everybody was courageous in the locker room. We had a great season and we wanted to share this season with no other team and no other individuals than the team we had.
Q. Talk about your decision in the final minute to pull up for that shot when you were going into Shaq on a couple different possessions.
Dwyane Wade: I thought, I have room, I had a good shot and it just came up short. You know, I had that play in my mind I'm sure a million times, but you can't second guess yourself, never, as a player. Unfortunately it just came up short.
Q. You had a pained expression on your face for a lot of the game. What was it feeling like? Was it like a stabbing pain or what were you experiencing?
Dwyane Wade: You know, just feeling restricted, restricted to my right side when I couldn't move as much, couldn't battle. You know, this is Game 7 and you want to be at your best and you want to be able to battle and take hits and be able to give hits, and I really could not do that as much. Maybe that was the pained look on my face. I couldn't give my all out effort that my teammates deserved and that Miami deserved, but I gave it as much as I could.
Q. It seemed like all five of your starters were playing hurt.
Shaquille O'Neal: Yeah, we still had an opportunity to win. Just maybe they had more experience than we did and the guys have to realize that before you succeed, you must first I don't think anybody expected us to get this far, but, you know, we had a lot of opportunities to get it done, but we're not going to make it. We just had a phenomenal season. Everybody fought. Guys played well. We almost had it.
Q. How do you look back on the season?
Shaquille O'Neal: If you don't win the whole thing, nobody is going to remember us winning and sweeping. We had a lot of opportunities to win this thing, but we just made too many mistakes. I just think they had a little bit more experience, but guys played well and we almost had it.
We just have to go out and play. We had a lot of opportunities to get it done and we just fell short.
Q. How hurt was Dwyane?
Shaquille O'Neal: He was very hurt but he came out and he played and he gave us all he got. He gave us all he had. We're the type of players and we're the type of team that we're not going to make up excuses. We're going to dwell on this and then move on to next year.
Q. You had the lead in the final quarter...
Shaquille O'Neal: We had the lead in the fourth, but they had more defense and hustle and got to the ball.