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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami Heat is back. Head coach Erik Spoelstra and players met with the media Monday ahead of Tuesday’s training camp start.
The hot topic at media day, Dwyane Wade’s final season of course.
Coach Spoelstra addressed the media first and when asked about Wade’s last year, replied, “I want him to know that I’m going to give it everything I have, for it to go the way he wants it to.”
Wade also spoke about his final year and heading into his final training camp.
“This is when it gets real. I’m trying to enjoy this, the first of the lasts, the last of the firsts, whatever it is, the last of the lasts.”
So will Wade get to start?
“That’s like asking if you want breakfast in the morning. Of course but I go into camp and I compete. I don’t go into camp worried about starting.”
Wade made his decision September 16 and announced he is returning for a 16th and final NBA season. He basically spent the entirety of the last four months weighing his options, and retirement, which was always a real possibility. He told the media Monday, he was “about 90-10 leaning toward retirement at times this summer.”
He agreed to a minimum contract worth $2.4 million, or roughly about $200,000 less than he made in his rookie season after the Heat took the Marquette guard with the No. 5 pick in the 2003 draft.
Wade is Miami’s career leader in points, assists, steals and games played.
“I was just a kid with a dream. I’ve laid it out on the line and given everything I have to the game. And I can walk away from this game OK with that,” he said.
As for his future? Wade says he’d like to be part of ownership one day, but says now is not the time to think of that. “I want to be around the game.”
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters won’t be ready for the start of training camp. Waiters has not recovered sufficiently enough from left ankle surgery.
Spoelstra touched on Waiters during media day. “He’s able to do stuff. He won’t be able to participate in the type of training camp that we’ll be starting with but he’ll be with us.”
Udonis Haslem is also entering his 16th NBA season, all with the Heat, and that means the Miami native will be with his hometown franchise for more than half of its 31-year history.
“He’s Heat culture. He’s Heat life. Who else do you want?” said Spoelstra.