The Spurs, Heat and Hawks, famously, have basically abandoned the idea of offensive rebounding in recent years in order to play faster, and more efficiently, on offense — and in order to get back on defense. For his part, Wittman is concerned about bad floor balance so far during camp and the preseason when the Wizards are consistently pushing the ball. He also wants his players to understand how complete a commitment they have to make mentally as well as physically to playing this way. One 12-1 run in the second quarter isn’t good enough. “The beginning of the day tomorrow, and the end of the day tomorrow, will be about defense, as it is every day,” Wittman said. “We’ve just got to continue to keep that a focus of ours.”
The variable with players like this is dedication, and Green is eager to prove his commitment. As he nears 30, being a mere showman is no longer enough for him. The opportunity to expand his game and play a substantive role on a contender was so enticing that he came to Miami on a minimum contract. “It’s a new challenge, new team, new look for me,” said Green, a 6-foot-8 veteran, who can play shooting guard or small forward. “I know I can do it. I’m confident that I can be a better defender and I like what I’m seeing so far in myself.
Since he only signed a one-year deal, next summer we’ll be watching, waiting, and commenting on social media about his choices once again. “Hopefully I can sign a deal that I’m looking to sign and we can move on pretty fast,” he says. “It’s the part of it that fans and nobody really likes. Not everybody understands either. The business side of the sport comes into play every now and again for an athlete, so that’s just where I was at this summer and I’m glad everything worked itself out with the organization.” Wade might leave. It happens. It will be Wade’s choice and he will move forward with that decision no matter what it is, because that’s what he does.
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This project has actually been four years in the making, and like most of his endeavors, Wade has been heavily involved. “I’m not out there stomping the grapes, but I got together with Jayson Pahlmeyer, who makes unbelievable wine, and that was the first thing: get with a winemaker that’s had great success,” he said at an event to promote his appearance on the cover of Ocean Drive Magazine. “I was able to go out to Napa Valley and learn more about wine, taste a lot of different wines, and understand about different types of grapes and go see the vineyard and everything.”
Wade finds a way to do it all, which is why as soon as you ask about his post-basketball life he responds with: “I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t want to be tied down to one thing.” That’s already the case in partnerships across the board with Li-Ning, Gatorade, Pepperidge Farm, Hublot, Mission Athletecare, Stance, The Tie Bar, Pahlmeyer Wine, and Get It Hoops. Plus his stint on ESPN had people wondering if more television work was in his future. “I do it because it’s something that I wanted to try and I had fun with it,” he says of his brief stint in broadcasting. “I’m a pro at my experience. I know how to talk about basketball in the way that I see it and I do it. If that’s something that someone likes and wants, then that’s a different conversation.”