Dwyane Wade interview
Dwyane Wade interview
Nagging shoulder and knee injuries sidelined Dwyane Wade last season as the Miami Heat plummeted to 15 wins. But a healthy Wade proved what he could do in the Beijing Olympics this summer, leading the team of stars in scoring en route to the gold medal. The All-Star playmaker returns from injury this season with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, no Shaq OíNeal in the middle and a new running mate in rookie phenom, No. 2 overall pick, Michael Beasley.
Insidehoops.com caught up with D-Wade on opening night October 29 in Madison Square Garden and along with a few other reporters interviewed him.
Question: The starting lineup features two of the most talked about rookies in No. 2 pick, Michael Beasley and NCAA Champ hero Mario Chalmers. What were your impressions of the rookies tonight?
Dwyane Wade: ďMichael didnít have his best game. He still has a lot of growing to do. I thought Chalmers played excellent. Heís getting better every game. He had a well-rounded game overall, finishing with seven rebounds. Thatís what you want every game, a well-rounded performance. The main thing with Michael is heís so talented and you have a lot of different people saying a lot of different things about him. Heís game is so much more than just his offense. Heís going to be a big part of the Miami Heat. We just have to give him some time.Ē
Question: The Heat managed only 15 wins last season without you. How tough is it to start the 2008-09 campaign 0-1 with some high expectations now that youíre back in the lineup?
Dwyane Wade: ďThe best way to cure anything is to go out and play. We saw some good things in the second half. The way we played late is how we have to play all the time. We have to play hectic basketball on both ends of the floor. Itís not traditional Miami Heat basketball, but if we want to win, thatís how we are going to have to play this year. Once everyone understands that, weíll be fine.Ē
Question: Dwyane, you finished with a team-high 26 points, but fouled out in the closing minutes Wednesday night in the season opener. The Heat came roaring back against the Knicks, but couldnít pull it out in a 120-115 loss. Put tonightís game in perspective?
Dwyane Wade: ďI felt we didnít play as a team tonight, but weíre a young team and weíre still learning. When things donít start to go smooth, thatís when you start getting into yourself on both ends of the floor. Defensively youíre not talking and offensively, the ball isnít moving. Thatís what happened to us in the first half and thatís how we got behind the eight ball. You start forcing shots and lose your rhythm. Losing is always disappointing. I got frustrated tonight, but Iíve already moved on and thatís what I told the guys tonight.Ē
Question: Dwyane youíre only 26, but youíre a veteran on this rookie laced team. How do you define a leader? How important is it to you to be the guy that the team looks up to?
Dwyane Wade: ďThere are different kinds of leaders. I think theyíre two ways to show leadership. One is by being a vocal leader. The second is by the way you play. Iíll be the first guy to be positive vocally, but I also try to lead with my play on the floor. If I play 41 minutes a night, Iím going to play all 41 hard. Iím going to make mistakes just like everyone else mistakes, Iím human, but you have to play hard. Iíve been on a rebuilding team like this before and I know how it is. I know how it could be when a team gets down, but I realize it could be good here, if we get something going.Ē
Question: Fresh off the Olympics right into the pre-season, you didnít have much time to rest. How are you feeling, are you completely healthy? Are you tired?
Dwyane Wade: ďNo, Iím not tired, Iím 26-years-old. Iím fully healthy. Iíve been preparing for the season for a while now. The Olympics helped, actually. I play 41 minutes a night. I felt good tonight. But I know Iím going to get better as the season goes along, thatís just how it is.Ē
Question: How much has last yearís losing season and all of your injuries motivated you?
Dwyane Wade: ďItís motivated a lot. In fact, it motivated me through the Olympics. No one wants to go through a losing season, plus myself being injured really motivated me to get back healthy. I just want to stay motivated. Itís a long season.Ē