Riley said what will endure are Wade’s accomplishment’s over his 13 seasons with the Heat, including three NBA titles. “Other than actually being in love with Dwyane Wade because of our relationship over 13 years when he was here, and remembering when Jason Terry missed that shot in Dallas and Dwyane collared the rebound, threw it to the heavens and we won the championship and he was MVP of that series,” Riley said of the 2006 NBA Finals, “other than that, if something happens, and I can speak to this because he’s under contract to them, I’m just speaking of my experience with Dwyane.”
December 12, 2017 | 11:06 am EST Update
“The whole thing with Markelle is messed up,” Embiid says. “It should not have happened. Obviously, it has something to do with his shoulder– I saw that they said it wasn’t the shoulder, but I don’t believe it. “With Jahlil, I really appreciate that he didn’t want to cause a scene,” he says. “If it was me, I feel like I would have lost it. I don’t know if I could have handled it.”
Embiid makes headlines and ruffles feathers when he talks like this. Same as he did when he co-opted “The Process” as his nickname. Teammates mostly are amused by it. “He loves to poke the bear– he thrives on it,” Stauskas says. “I’ve never really seen anything like it. It’s different, but it works.” In the end, trusting the process really means trusting Embiid. “We encourage him to explore and be a little bit unfiltered,” Brown says with a smile. “That’s how he lives. And that’s how he plays.”
Embiid says he’s reached out to Bryant on several occasions, drawn to Kobe’s supreme confidence. How do you shoot 30-plus times in a game and never feel even the smallest twinge of guilt about it? “After 15 to 20 shots, I feel like my teammates might be looking at me,” Embiid says. “I don’t want that to be on me. But I feel like sometimes I need to.”
Bryant didn’t take all those shots because he had no conscience. He took them, Embiid says, because he knew he could make them. “He was always working on his shot, so that’s why he felt like he could. “When everyone else was partying, he was working on his shot. I have to get a little of that.”
“He’s out for probably a good couple of games,” said Rivers, who was already without opening night starters power forward Blake Griffin due to a left MCL sprain and point guard Patrick Beverley, who is out for the season after undergoing right knee surgery. “I guess he took a pretty hard fall in the fourth quarter,” Rivers added of Gallinari. “I honestly never saw it, then I got a call after the game about it, and then you go and look, and it was a pretty good fall.”
You created your own clothing line with Honor The Gift. Why the name, and what are you trying to do with it? Russell Westbrook: Obviously fashion is something I love and do and embrace. Going back this past year and half, just trying to figure out the name, and I came up with Honor The Gift. Obviously ‘Why Not?’ is my motto but I believe that it all relates back. Because I believe that everybody’s been given a gift, regardless of what it is. I think everybody in the world has a gift. It’s something that’s not just a regular name, but something to relate to, because I think it’s important.
ESPN: Has becoming a daddy changed you? Russell Westbrook: I think the moment we knew we were having Noah was the moment it changed me. For the good, obviously. You start to think about the things that best benefit him. Everything in life revolves around him. Do you look at your job differently now that you’re a dad? Are some things less important, more important? Russell Westbrook: Yeah, you know what, it’s a balance. I like to get to the gym early. I get here first and work on my game. But Noah wakes up really early, and I might have been gone on the road for six or seven days, and he hasn’t seen me in a while. Then I’m staying at home. Which is OK, because that’s more important to me than anything. That’s just something I’ve had to get used to.