In the lane
Three to one: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made a point this past week of noting how Dwyane Wade‘s work ethic from the start of his career has set an example for the franchise going forward. “I used to call Dwyane, ‘Three-to-one,’ ” Spoelstra said. “He would put in three hours to every hour he would play on the basketball court. So if it’s a two-hour game, there were times when he was dealing with injuries and trying to get his body right that he would spend five to six hours in this facility just getting right.” The result, Spoelstra said, is a 37-year-old leader still able to contribute, with this latest elbow ailment the exception in a mostly healthy season.
“The fountain of youth a lot of times is work, sweat and doing things that most people aren’t willing to do,” Spoelstra said. “But, yeah, he’s been drinking from the fountain of youth. He plays back-to-backs and all this stuff. It’s not an accident. He spent a lot of time taking care of his body.”
Familiar faces: Joe Johnson and Shannon Brown are among the latest former Heat players to sign to play in the half-court summer Big3 tour. In addition, former Heat guard Mario Chalmers is among the latest to put his name into the Big3 draft pool, as have former Heat players Eddie House, Carlos Arroyo, Lamar Odom, Eddy Curry, Shawne Williams and Greg Oden. Among other former NBA players who have recently signed to play on the circuit are Kendrick Perkins, Gilbert Arenas, Al Jefferson and Josh Smith, with South Florida product Steve Blake among others to put his name in the draft pool.
New era: New York Knicks owner James Dolan, in a radio interview with ESPN New York, said his team’s inability to land LeBron James in 2010 has nothing to do with the impending free-agent class. Dolan said James seemed intent on signing with Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami during that session. “I don’t know why LeBron didn’t come, but he was obviously never interested in coming to New York for whatever reason,” Dolan said. “When we did the presentation to him during the Donnie Walsh years, he was not engaged at all. I guess what was going on was he was already going to Miami. He was going through the motions. Not everybody wants to come here, but we’re going to do well. Time will tell.” The Knicks instead wound up with eventual Heat center Amar’e Stoudemire in that free-agency class. This time, they possibly have enough cap space to sign two top free agents.
New passport: Stoudemire, who has been playing in Israel since leaving the NBA and the Heat in 2016, was granted Israeli citizenship last week, two months after being granted residency rights. The move allows his Israeli League team, Hapoel Jerusalem, the right to sign an additional foreigner, with Stoudemire, 36, no longer having to count as such. Stoudemire, who had sought an NBA comeback last season, said at his citizenship ceremony, according to the Jerusalem Post: “I have been aware since my youth that I am a Hebrew through my mother, and that is something that has played a subtle but important role in my development.”