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Butler scored 30 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and also spent time guarding Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas in a Game 1 win. “I had the luxury of playing with a guy named LeBron.” Wade said before Monday’s practice. “And we did the same thing when we played — to Derrick Rose.”
Dwyane Wade: “ You’re not going to slow down Isaiah Thomas from getting the looks and getting opportunities. The guy can score as good as anybody in this game. But just to give them a different look, if you get their offense out a little further, if it takes a little bit more time off the clock, all those things help. It’s good to be able to have a guy like that to say, ‘get us 30, and then go guard the guy that’s got 30.'”
Vincent Goodwill: Butler on Wade returning Saturday: “I’m stoked to have my guy back, let him get out there, get in a rhythm, and do what he’s done for years”
Jimmy Butler: Everybody knows the type of career that D-Wade has had. Obviously he’s gonna be a Hall of Famer, but the person he is off the floor, the things that he’s passionate about, the brand that he’s built, that’s something that I think every player can model after, and the fact that he’s doing everything the right way, he’s probably the nicest guy in the league by far, everybody loves him, that’s a legacy that you wanna leave. On the court, off the floor, he’s the man.
“You just never know how it’s going to shake out,” Wade said Tuesday of the upcoming offseason. “Obviously I’m not happy being [23-23] or whatever the case may be or will be, but there are things I’m happy with. I’m happy with Jimmy [Butler’s] growth and our relationship. I’m happy with the organization and how they’ve approached things, but I’m not happy with our record. But no one on this team is. But it’s months away before I concern myself with that, so I’ll figure it out later.’’
“At the end of the year, you sit back and see what the team is, what direction they’re going in,” Wade told ESPN on Wednesday night. “I would be a liar to say that I want to play on a team with all 21-year-olds. You know what I mean? And be a part of the future building. I would be a fool to say that. But you also want to be in the best position for what you think is for you at that time, too.
“… One of the main reasons I’m here is Jimmy. He’s the one who called me and got me to come here. So that’s a big part of my decision and everything else, is what Jimmy’s doing, what his future looks like and all that. And I’ve made it very clear. So I have no idea from that standpoint. You just have to wait and see and then see what works out.”
“He’s playing as good as anybody in the league right now,” Wade told ESPN.com on Saturday after the Bulls’ 123-118 win over the Toronto Raptors. “What he’s doing in the fourth quarter is even more impressive than the stat line at the end of the day. That stat line is amazing, but everybody knows we’re going to Jimmy. And to still be able to make those plays, make those things, it’s incredible. And then to still guard one or two of the other best players on the other end of the floor in the fourth, that’s impressive, man. He’s playing out of this world right now. His confidence is out the roof, and that goes a long way.”
“So many guys in this league have talent,” Wade said. “Everyone in this league has talent. There’s a lot of things that separate guys and that’s one of them — the mentality. The mentality that it takes to — even if you’re having a bad game like in Cleveland he wasn’t shooting well, to still be able to do that in the clutch, that’s big time. Those players, those are special players right there. And he’s putting himself in the category of just special.”
KC Johnson: Butler: “I can’t let DWade down. DWade has been doing that for years. The fourth quarter is always go time. I want to show I belong here.”
It’s tough to make hard and fast judgments from preseason games, but there is some serious doubt around the NBA regarding Chicago’s constellation of All-Stars. Adding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to Jimmy Butler looks good on paper, but they will have to tweak their games to make the band sing in tune. “Rondo, Wade and Butler are all ball-stoppers,” an opposing executive said. “None of them are great cutters or guys that move without the ball. They’re all isolation-type players. They’re all very good players, but it doesn’t seem to be a good fit.”
KC Johnson: Jimmy Butler: “But I’m not going to take a step backward because I have new players on my team. I’m going to still be aggressive. I’ll still guard. I’ll have a voice in the locker room. I’ll say what needs to be said. What I want them guys to do whenever I’m on some bulls**t, I want them to tell me. I want you to say my name, man to man.”
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March 20, 2018 | 5:14 am EDT Update
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is targeting a return to action on Friday against the Atlanta Hawks, the team’s next opponent, league sources told ESPN. The two-time MVP will have his right ankle re-evaluated on Tuesday. If the evaluation reveals enough progress and there are no unforeseen setbacks from this point to Friday, the sharpshooter intends to play after missing the past five games, sources said.
Marc Gasol said he will have questions about the direction of the team after the offseason. How will you reassure him that Memphis remains the best fit for him at this stage of his career? Chris Wallace: Marc is having a terrific career here, both individually – being a multiple All-Star, being defensive player of the year, the All-NBA recognition. And he’s had tremendous team success. So, I don’t think one off year from the team success side tarnishes what he’s achieved or necessarily is going to be the norm going forward for the Grizzlies. This happens to all sorts of teams, where you have not as good a year as where you expect to be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t jump right back in and be successful again next year and that’s what our goal is. And he’s a big part of that.
Shumpert is almost certain to opt in for next season. Having dealt with foot and knee injuries, this is not the time for Shumpert to test free agency when he has $11 million guaranteed for next season, even if he’s not a part of the Kings’ long-term plans. I’m intrigued by what Shumpert might add. He’s only 27 and has shown he can play in pressure situations, having been a part of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship team. Shumpert will be motivated to show the rest of the league he is healthy and that he can play a key role on a team.
Donatas Urbonas: Gudaitis confirmed he met with Cavaliers representatives in Milano. They invited Gudaitis to work out in Cleveland upcoming summer. Gudaitis told his priority is National Team and FIBA 19 qualifiers. But if everything is ok with the schedule, he’ll come to Cleveland
Now that you’re in New York, this is a totally different market. How have you felt about the way the city has embraced you? Michael Beasley: Honestly, I couldn’t ask for anything better. For the city and fans to embrace not only the way I play but who I am as much as they did – it feels great to be able to be yourself and be accepted. I thank the city forever for that. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t win as much as we wanted to this year.
Players like DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love have talked about that anxiety. Do you think that has helped others be more open with their own struggles? Michael Beasley: Hats off to those guys, man. More people than you think go through that. I go through it. It took me awhile to realize it because we’re raised to believe that it’s an embarrassing thing. It’s definitely inspiring for them to be honest about what they are experiencing. They opened up the floodgates, they opened up the doors, for the next great NBA player or even the next great scientist. The next shy kid with anxiety can break out of their shell because of this.
I watched your interview with Taylor Rooks on SNY where you talked about parenting your daughter, painting your nails. I thought that was super cool. Michael Beasley: [Laughs] Listen, man. I lost my hood card because I’ve got paint on my nails, bro. So that’s good to hear. My four-year-old will be five in April. Not much will change in those years. I think it’s cool. People should be themselves no matter what anyone says and how it feels. Just be comfortable with being yourself.