In the lane

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports -

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.”

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