Dwyane Wade is the biggest free agent in NBA broadcasting, and he could be the top target for a potential ABC/ESPN “NBA Countdown” shakeup. What is already certain is both ESPN and TNT are courting Wade, sources have told The Post. The two networks are preparing pitches for the just-retired Wade to be a studio analyst later in the current playoffs.
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Anthony Chiang: FINAL: Heat 122, 76ers 99. Dwyane Wade finishes with 30 points on 10-of-23 shooting in 35 minutes. But Heat eliminated from playoff contention.
Tim Bontemps: Wade was holding a jersey that said “HANK” with the No. 11 on it — honoring his late agent, Henry Thomas. Then he did a jersey swap with Zaire, who gave him a No. 2 Heat jersey with his name on the back.
Tim Reynolds: Spo knows it’s not worth it to offer Dwyane a coaching job. “He’s too smart for that,” Spo said.
What’s next for Wade? More time with his wife, Gabrielle Union-Wade, more time with his son Zaire during his senior season of high school basketball, more moments with his son Zion and more diaper changes with his months-old daughter Kaavia. And more free time in the city he has become forever linked to. “I think kids that are probably 12 or around that age, they think I’m from Miami,” Wade said with a grin. “When I was young, I thought Michael Jordan was from Chicago. That’s a great thing. I definitely think that when you think about Miami, anyone around the world whether it’s sports or not, I think my name comes up.”
With the Heat facing long playoff odds, it appears that Tuesday night’s regular-season home finale against the 76ers will be Wade’s final game at AmericanAirlines Arena before retirement. As of Monday afternoon, the cheapest 300-level resale ticket on Ticketmaster for Tuesday’s contest was listed at $225, the cheapest 100-level resale ticket was listed at $362, and the cheapest “standing only” resale ticket in the 400 level was listed at $107.
A courtside seat resale ticket on Ticketmaster is selling for as low as $4,750 and as high as $8,186. But according to Ticket of America’s Michael Lipman, those aren’t the highest prices of the season, with courtside seats selling for $11,500 each when LeBron James played against the Heat in Miami on Nov. 18.
Wade will be honored before Tuesday night’s home game against the Philadelphia 76ers, and it will be his final game ever at AA Arena unless the Heat overcomes long odds and makes the postseason. “It’s been incredible, it’s been amazing,” Wade said Sunday of playing home games at the bayside arena. “A lot of people at that arena have watched me grow, have watched me be imperfect, have watched me make a lot of mistakes in life, but have watched me blossom, and watched me do amazing things, great things.
In addition to the change of environment and learning how to make adjustments, Dwyane revealed he’s going to start therapy sessions to help him better adapt to a life without playing basketball all the time. “I’ll be in therapy,” he said. “I already told my wife, we need to do it a little bit. I was always against it, someone who doesn’t know me, telling me how to live my life and giving me instructions. I need somebody to talk to about it because it’s a big change and I have a long life to live and there’s other great things I can accomplish. I have no idea what it is yet that I want to do. But, I want to do a little bit of everything. I want to see what I can be great at. I’m so used to being great at something.”
“We’re moving, well not moving, but we’re going to spend more time in L.A. and there’s a few things that I’ve had to make an adjustment to that she’s not used to,” Dwyane said, referring to Gabrielle, in the interview. “I like new sheets on my bed everyday and fresh towels.” “You don’t need it everyday,” Gabrielle responded. “We’re on the black actress salary in L.A. and now that the athlete salary will be joining me in L.A. in more of a full time basis, some of those things I don’t think are necessary every day.”
Josh Lewenberg: Unless Miami finishes 7th, tomorrow will be Dwyane Wade’s final game in Toronto. Danny Green on Wade, who he faced in back-to-back NBA Finals with the Spurs: “He’s a very special, special player and an even better person. I’m happy for him, that he’s going out on his own terms.”
Dwyane Wade, down to what could be the final four games of his career as the Miami Heat’s playoff status remains in flux, says he will seek professional help to deal with life after basketball. In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that aired Friday on The Jump, Wade said he has overcome a skeptical attitude and embraced the idea of talking to a clinician. “I’ll be in therapy. Seriously,” Wade said. “I meant it, it is going to be a big change. I told my wife, I said, ‘I need to do therapy, and we need to do a little bit.’”
Of late, Wade has been motivated by a retirement tour that has seen him be the toast of the town in Boston and New York. “It’s been surreal,” Wade said. “It’s like you — you have this vision of, you know, how you want things to go, right, with everything in life. And when something, you know, surpasses that vision, it’s kinda like it’s an out-of-body experience.”
Beyond looking forward to a general happiness in life, Wade said he doesn’t hold specific retirement goals. “I have no idea what it is I want to do yet,” Wade said. “But I definitely know I want to do a little bit of everything. Especially in the beginning, I want to see what I can be great at. I’m so used to being great at something or trying to strive to be great at something. That’s what I want to be at whatever else I choose to do. We’ll see.”
“The thing I think I will miss the most is the interaction with my teammates in the locker room, the bus rides, the plane rides, the things outside the court,” Wade said at Target Center on Friday, hours before the Heat played the Minnesota Timberwolves. “[On] the court, 20,000 cheering for you, booing you, is incredible and you’re definitely going to miss that, but it’s the locker-room vibe, the friendships, the brotherhood, the bonds that you build with guys in so many walks of life.”
Wade said he “definitely” wants to be a part of the young Heat players’ lives beyond this season. “The one thing here is we build a close bond with guys,” he said. “I have a close bond with these guys. It is going to be cool to be able to see their careers blossom and grow and always be a sounding board and always be a friend. I look forward to seeing what the next 15 years are like for these guys.”
Barry Jackson: Per source, TNT had strong interest in carrying Heat-76ers instead of Boston-Washington on Tuesday night but couldn’t because Heat game couldn’t be moved up to 7 because of pregame Wade ceremony and TNT couldn’t move later the 930 pm Houston-OKC game.
Barry Jackson: Brad Stevens latest coach to say Wade could “go a few more years”… Wade reiterated this morning that time is right for him to retire (and he will) but can’t predict emotions about it this summer
Chris Forsberg: Brad Stevens on Dwyane Wade’s final visit to Boston: “I would echo what everybody else is saying, he looks like he could go for another couple years. Like everybody else, I’ll be glad that he’s choosing to do something else.”
He turned in a solid performance, scoring 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists while helping to lead the Heat to a 100-92 victory over the Knicks on Saturday. “You love playing here,” Wade said. “You hear about it. When I played here in college, I had the opportunity to play here, the coaches versus cancer classic, it was just immediately that feel. That feel was there. Getting the opportunity to come and play in the NBA has just been special.”
Ira Winderman: Had been told, when LeBron was unable to make it to Bosh’s jersey retirement, that LeBron would be at Wade’s regular-season career finale April 10 in Brooklyn. Lakers; last game is April 9. Now travel should not be an issue (if it ever was).
Ira Winderman: Heat announce there will be a pregame ceremony at Wade’s final regular-season home game on April 9, before the game against the 76ers.
For Wade, this is his final year and farewell tour — his “one last dance” — but even he acknowledges that he has the ability to keep playing. “I know I can play a solid two more years, especially in this role that I’m in now,” Wade told The Athletic. “I can play another two, three years, definitely. “People around me want me to keep playing. But I made the decision to say this was my last season and I wanted to walk away the way I’m walking away now and have no regrets about it.”
Candace Buckner: Jeff Green on his friend Dwyane Wade: “I’ve been telling him since he announced that he’s going to retire that he doesn’t need to retire. He’s playing amazing, man. At his own pace, he’s playing well for them, doing what he does. He’s been doing it his whole career.”
Fred Katz: Scott Brooks on Dwyane Wade: “The NBA needs to fine the Miami Heat for allowing him to retire. … They should not allow him to retire. He’s too good.”
Barry Jackson: Wizards coach Scott Brooks said it’s surprising Wade is retiring because he’s still playing at high level.
Isaiah Thomas: Please don’t retire @DwyaneWade
As part of the jersey exchange that’s become a trademark of Wade’s final NBA season, Wade chose Curry as the Warriors player to swap jerseys with. “It seems like he’s got a lot more in the tank,” Curry said. “That’s what I told him after the game, ‘Are you sure?… I know you got a lot of stuff going on off the court with family and all that. Are you sure you don’t have a couple more years left in there?’”
“He’s done and experienced so much in the league, and he’s been really good as an older guy with all the younger guys in the league, as well,” Durant said. “I think he’s invested so much into basketball, especially physically, that it’s just time to walk away and pursue what’s next in his life. As a hooper from day one, I can appreciate that about D-Wade, especially battling him in the Finals and throughout my whole career. It’s good to see guys go out the way they want to.”
As has been custom during Wade’s farewell tour this season, the Heat guard exchanged jerseys with a player from the opposing team. On Sunday, that player was Curry. “It seems like he’s got a lot more in the tank,” Curry said. “That’s what I told him after the game. ‘Are you sure? I know you got a lot of stuff going on off the court with your family and stuff. Are you sure you don’t have a couple more years left in there?’ Obviously, with him going to every road arena one more time, it’s a different energy for sure.”
“Everything he has done for that organization, it’s been amazing,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “And yet he’s still out there this year playing well. It’s good to see a guy, I think if you looked at D-Wade three years ago, you kind of worried, like, ‘Ahh is it over?’ And he’s battled back from that, and it’s good to see a guy who’s great as D-Wade was close out on a strong note. The way he’s playing this year, it’s great to see him go out like that. You kind of hate to see a guy limp out of the game, and there are some kids that will see some of these older guys and be like, ‘Oh man, he sucked.’ No, if you knew that guy five years ago, like — but that’s just the nature of the business we’re in. However, like I said, I think D-Wade is playing amazing this year. It’s good to see him go out on a high note.”
Warriors star Kevin Durant echoed similar sentiments. “I’m not surprised,” he said of Wade’s upcoming retirement. “I wouldn’t be surprised either way if he would have kept playing or if he would have retired. He’s done and experienced so much in this league, and he’s been really good as an older guy with all the younger guys as well. So I think he’s invested so much into basketball spiritually and physically that it’s just time to walk away and pursue what’s next in his life. As a hooper from day one, I can appreciate that about D-Wade, especially battling him in the Finals and throughout my whole career. It’s good to see guys go out the way they want to.”
Stephen Curry: Respect to the Champ @dwyanewade…16 years of greatness 🙏🏽 #flash #onelastdance
Right. [Wade had said that he can retire now that Winslow is playing so well.] When you hear that, what did it make you think? Justise Winslow: “I don’t want him to retire, man. To be honest, he’s just a great voice for this team in general. And for me, he sees the drive and the desire to be great for me. I’ve just been everywhere he’s been. Whether it’s a family event he’s having, or a sponsor event. I’m just trying to soak it all in. I’d rather him not retire, but One Last Dance, so… It’s surreal. Even to this day. I think it’s because I’ve played with him but I was telling someone that he’s the second or third best shooting guard of all time. Sometimes I just forget that and think, ‘Oh, he’s just old as ****.’ That sort of thing. But he can still take over games. He can still find his rhythm. He’s so personable and we’re close now, it’s almost just a big brother now. It’s not D-Wade giving back, it’s just my older brother looking out for me.”
Christopher Hine: Thibodeau on Dwyane Wade and his final season: “I was always impressed with not only the way he played but what he was doing in the community there. It said a lot about him as a person. … When you think of the Heat, you think of Wade.”
Anthony Chiang: Magic played a tribute video for Dwyane Wade during the last timeout, with Magic players commenting on Wade’s legacy.
After Dwyane Wade scored 35 points — one point less than his age — in Toronto on Sunday, his phone lit up with texts from other NBA players. “It’s a lot of guys; it’s cool,” he said. And they all had a variation of the same question: “You sure you want to retire?” So could Wade’s excellent offensive work so far this season make him rethink his decision to retire? At this point, no.
“I continue to say, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of trying to adjust my game to my body or my age or the way the game has changed,” Dwyane Wade said. “But also, I tell people, I’m retiring because I want to, not because I physically can’t play the game no more. I think I’ve actually found a pretty good role that if I wanted to stay in it for a while, I think I could do a good job in it in my minutes of coming off the bench and being a spark at different times. But for me, it’s something I want to do. It’s time for me to walk away from the game. It’s not because of a talent standpoint, it’s just that I’ve given it enough. I want to give something else what I’ve given to the game of basketball.”
Stefan Bondy: David Fizdale on Dwyane Wade returning to Miami: “This is his home. This is his house. He’ll have a statue out front when it’s all said and done. He really earned Wade County.”
Tim Reynolds: Dwyane Wade does plan to play in Friday’s preseason finale. The final preseason game of his career.
Envy rarely is an emotion associated with Shaquille O’Neal. Thursday was an exception. “I’m jealous,” the former Miami Heat All-Star said as Carnival Cruise Line welcomed the Horizon to Miami. “I’m jealous right now. I wanted the whole farewell tour.”
Hassan Whiteside: One last dance with my bro @dwyanewade!
Retirement can wait at least one more year for Dwyane Wade. Wade is coming back to the Miami Heat, announcing Sunday that he’s returning for a 16th and final NBA season. He basically spent the entirety of the last four months weighing his options, and retirement was an extremely real possibility in his mind. Instead, he’ll be back in Miami, as the Heat desperately hoped. He’s expected to sign a $2.4 million, one-year deal later this week.
“I’ve always did things my way,” Wade said in an emotional social-media video that he taped Sunday afternoon and released in the evening. “Whether they’ve good or whether they’ve been bad, I got here because I’ve done things the way I feel is right for me and right for my family. And what I feel is right … I feel it’s right to ask you guys to join me for one last dance, for one last season. “This is it. I’ve given this game everything that I have, and I’m happy about that, and I’m going to give it for one last season.”
It was hardly a guarantee that Wade, a 22.5-point scorer for his career, would return. His decision took months longer than some expected, partly because he was deciding what he wanted to do, partly because he was dealing with some personal business and some family business, and partly because it took him and the Heat some time to figure out what made sense for both sides. A person familiar with Wade’s thinking told The Associated Press that the guard was strongly considering retirement until late last week, when Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and others made a late push to help him decide.
Dwyane Wade: One Last Dance.
Wade reiterated that the decision has always come down to Heat or retirement. “It’s not a Part B to it,” he said. “I think I’ve been very open and honest to my loved ones and to everybody when I spoke about some of the process. I always said that when I got traded back to Miami, that was it for me. I said it in the first interview and I don’t want to pack my bags to go nowhere. My family’s here, my kid are growing, so definitely if I’m not wearing a Miami Heat jersey next year, I’ll be wearing it under one of my sweaters or jackets.”
The Heat, because of their salary-cap situation, are limited to an offer of either the $2.4 million veteran-minimum salary for 2018-19 or their $5.3 million taxpayer mid-level exception. The Heat are limited beyond that with Wade lacking Bird Rights, having been reacquired at last season’s trading deadline from the Cleveland Cavaliers, after first leaving the Heat for his hometown Chicago Bulls in 2016 free agency following contentious negotiations with the Heat. “You’ve got to call my agent and ask him,” Wade said, when asked if the Heat had extended the maximum possible offer. “I haven’t dealt with the money part of it.”
Asked if his deliberations could go until the team’s Sept. 24 media day at AmericanAirlines Arena or even beyond, Wade said, “Whichever day the decision comes, it comes. And that’s the right day, whatever date that is.”
Chris Mannix: Less than two weeks before the start of training camp, and Dwyane Wade tells Miami media that he has not made any decision on a return. Reiterates it’s Miami or retirement.
There is a Heat roster spot waiting for Wade, along with a one-year, $5.3 million contract, the luxury-tax exception. Miami has made clear it wants him back. Wade has made clear it will be Heat-or-retire — no golden parachute in China, no flight west to join LeBron in L.A. “Heat only,” he said recently. I believe quite strongly Wade will return for another season. Why the delay then? Wade enjoys the suspense, the growing attention on his decision.
I am also told by representatives of the club and of the player that Wade being comfortable with his role is critical. He returned last midseason in a bench role, a reserve in all 21 games. He also came off the bench in all five playoffs games. (It would have been four playoff games, but Wade scored 28 points in 26 minutes to give Miami its only postseason win, reminding us what he still is capable of at least in bursts). I have not been told Wade would demand to start. But does he see himself good for more than 25 minutes a game? He mentioned recently that he embraces a mentor’s role for the club’s many young guys still developing, “but you also want to play,” he added. A significant addendum, I thought.
One person who has spoken to Dwyane Wade – as well as a Heat person – have the impression that Wade seems inclined to play this season, but neither believes it’s definite and nobody outside his inner circle definitively knows his intentions. The Heat opens camp a month from Tuesday.
Dwyane Wade: Fake News
Dwyane Wade said a decision on whether he will play a 16th season and where he would play is still pending. “In due time,” Wade said when asked if he has an update on whether he will continue playing in the NBA or overseas or retire. “Time will tell.”
Dwyane Wade again has declined to offer clarity or finality when it comes to his decision about returning to the NBA or Miami Heat. In an interview with the Associated Press that focused on his Wednesday lifetime deal with China-based sporting-apparel manufacturer Li Ning, the Heat’s all-time leading scorer put aside the matter of his NBA future. “When I get back from China, I’ll focus on that,” Wade told the Associated Press. “Right now, I’m focused on the game after basketball. Whatever happens in basketball, it happens. I’ve done everything that I can to this point to put myself that I’m in this position I am today, where I can do something that hasn’t been done globally yet.
“To be here, to be back, to be a part of that, to be a part of leading not only by voice but leading by example, laying it all out on the line with these guys, I felt good about that. I felt good about the Miami Heat whole organization and its future and the kind of players and the kind of people that are in that locker room and in the organization. I was thankful that I could come back and be a part of that.” Asked about retirement, Wade then said, “I’ve given it thought.”
Dwyane Wade: I have fun every summer. You must not know about me.
As for Wade, he’s still unsure if he will play this upcoming season. But he’s sure that if he does decide to continue his career, he wants it to be with the Heat. “If I decide to come back and play the game of basketball, I would love for it, obviously, to be in Miami,” Wade said to Mannix and Butler. “It’s just crazy because in this league you never know what will happen. I never thought I would leave Miami. Caron [Butler] knows that I thought I would be here forever, but things happen.”
Union said she believes her husband can still “play two or three more years” during an appearance on The Ringer’s podcast hosted by Larry Wilmore. Along with answering some basketball questions, she also discussed her new film “Breaking In,” her memoir “We’re Going to Need More Wine” and the #MeToo movement. “If it was from what I can see and the way he’s playing — absolutely,” Union said when asked if she believes Wade can still play. “He can play two or three more years with the way he’s playing because his mid-range jumper is nice and he can still get to the basket. “He can absolutely keep playing, but I don’t know if he’s over it.”
The Heat acquired Wade from the Cavaliers in a Feb. 8 trade. He averaged 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists in a bench role in 21 regular-season games with Miami this past season. If Wade does decide to continue his playing career, he said it will be with the Heat. What can Miami offer Wade as it hovers around the luxury tax? Likely just a minimum contract or the exception it gets — either the $5.4 million taxpayer mid-level exception or the $8.8 million mid-level exception.
Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem have an important decision to make this summer. Will they continue their playing careers or retire? That decision won’t be made days after the Heat’s season-ending loss in Philadelphia. With a long offseason ahead, the 36-year-old Wade and 37-year-old Haslem will take their time. “We haven’t really thought about it,” Haslem said Friday on exit interview day. “We’re both in situations where we have a lot of different opportunities ahead of us.
Udonis Haslem: “The most important thing for both of us right now is our family. We’ve sacrificed so much family time being a part of this. We’ve reaped the benefits. We’ve had so much success. We’ve broken records. We’ve enjoyed it. But family is the thing our minds are geared toward right now.”
Udonis Haslem: “When you are young, basketball is number one above all. Toward the middle of your career, basketball may take a little dip and get second. Doesn’t mean it’s not important or not your focus. When you get to this age, basketball is like third or fourth. So many things that are just more important in life than the game of basketball.”
Barry Jackson: Spoelstra said he was basically “in tears” with Wade after Game 5. Spoelstra said he’s not emotionally ready to have “normal conversation with him” about his plans. Will have lunch with him in few weeks.
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James declined to wax poetic about Dwyane Wade’s career before the three-time champion guard announces whether he indeed is retiring this summer after 15 years in the NBA. James did say, however, that he and his former teammate spoke about the possibility of Wade retiring when the Cavs played against Miami late in the season. “Right after the game it was like, ‘If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more,’” James shared. “But I’ll give you guys a more in-depth analysis of his career (later on) if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
About an hour after the final game of his 15th NBA season, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade acknowledged that he has thought about retiring but said he won’t make a final decision until later in the offseason. “That’s not my focus,” Wade said after the Heat’s season-ending loss to the 76ers on Tuesday. “Fresh off this NBA season, my 15th year, I sit back and think about that. Then I dive and throw myself into my family. They’re next on my bucket list, making sure I’m there for them. And when it comes to the basketball side of it, which is a long time away from now, then I’ll think about that.”
Gabrielle Union: I hope this isnt the end, but my God… @DwyaneWade has a career most people dream of. He is a damn legend. An icon. And hes cute 🤗 #HeatNation
Molly French: Dwayne Wade when asked if this could have been his final home game in South Beach: “I don’t want to answer that right now. I’ve got another game to play.”
Wade said he will take time after the season to decide whether to retire or return to the Heat for one more season. “Just taking time to think, that’s all I’m doing,” Wade said. “Taking time to think and looking at every angle and what’s the best situation for me to be in. That’s all. It’s a lot of different, it’s a lot of different things that come into play.”
If he returns for another season, he said it will only be as a member of the Heat. “Someone like Vince [Carter] can go anywhere and play. Every year, he can go to do a different location,” Wade said. “I can’t hop to here and there. So it makes it a little tougher.”
Wade delivered a throwback 28-point performance in 26 minutes off the bench to propel the Heat to a 113-103 win and snap the Sixers’ 17-game win streak. “A lot of people think that if you do decide to go out it’s because you weren’t supposed to be able to play no more. It’s not always supposed to be that,” Wade told ESPN after the game.
Wade, at 36, hasn’t committed to playing beyond this season, but also hasn’t ruled it out, stressing that such a decision is best left for the offseason. “At the end of the game, we just kind of had that moment like 15 years strong — as brothers, as teammates, as competitors, as teammates again, as competitors again,” James, 33, said, having entered the NBA together as lottery picks in 2003. But our brotherhood is beyond this game of basketball. You just don’t take for granted. You just don’t know. We’ll see what happens in the summer.”
James said he was covering all bases, with Tuesday the third and final meeting between the teams during the regular season. “Absolutely, absolutely,” James said. “Just kind of hearing the narrative since he came here, he’s not quite sure what he’s going to do next year. He’s going to assess everything.”
Wade thinks he’s changed teams for the final time. Whether he plays past this season or not, this is his role until the end. It is the final reinvention. “I want to be my best self,” Wade said. “If I’m on the bench to start games, if I’m on the bench to end games, as long as we’re winning. That’s all I care about.”
Wade, 36, told me in recent days that for the first time in his career, he is genuinely undecided whether he wants to play beyond this season. Wade has said that he will only play for the Heat, if he continues his career beyond this season. “I don’t know,” Wade said. “I have told everybody around me that I am taking it after this season and go from there. It’s the first year I’ve ever went into the summer with that mind-set. I always went into it as a free agent or opting out of a deal to get another deal. This is the first summer I can say I’m just going into the summer and see how I feel and see the position this organization is in and go from there. I’m not really concerned with it, honestly. I’m cool with whatever I decide to do. It will be my decision.”
“[Udonis Haslem] always talked about, as you get older, you take it year by year. But this is the first summer that I will go into the summer and say I ain’t got much hair left, but I’m going to let my hair down and look at everything as a whole, my family and basketball. Being back here helps that situation for me, makes the decision even easier since now that I’m back already. And sit down with Pat [Riley] and Micky [Arison] and everybody and see what’s best for me and go from there.” If Wade agrees to play for the minimum $2.4 million season, only $1.5 million would count against the salary cap. It’s possible, though less likely, that Miami would give Wade a chunk of its salary cap exception — either a $5.5 million taxpayer midlevel exception next summer or a full $8.8 million midlevel exception depending on whether Miami is a tax team.
Since Wade is a legend, it’s fair to wonder if the franchise will do anything to celebrate him during his final game. While it may, Wade made it clear in a conversation with ESPN that the one thing he does not want is a massive retirement tour, a la the one Kobe Bryant (who Wade has talked to about such an event) had during his final season with the Lakers. “I talked to Kobe about that,” Wade said. “He was like ‘It was exhausting. As flattering as it was, it was very exhausting as well.’ I’m not a narcissist like that, I don’t think I need … not calling Kobe a narcissist, he earned that and he needed that. I can’t set out and say ‘I want a farewell tour like Kobe Bryant.’ That’s not who I am. When the time come, and I don’t really talk about it because it’s not here yet, but when the time comes, I’ll announce it in my own D-Wade fashion, the way that I do.”
At 35, Wade said it is only logical to take his career at this stage year by year. “That’s the way I approach it, even if I’m on a contract for two years, that’s how I approached it,” he said. “As me and [Heat captain and close friend] Udonis [Haslem] both talked about for many years and I think we got it from Ray Allen, about knowing that time is going to come for you. Don’t have a perceived notion that I’m retiring at this age, ‘I’m retiring at this year.’ Play the game year after year, see how you feel, and see what you want to do the following year.”
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May 26, 2019 | 6:44 pm EDT Update
Dennis Robertson, referred predominantly in NBA circles as “Uncle Dennis,” is the uncle of Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard. Robertson is Leonard’s primary career and business strategist who generally avoids speaking publicly, similar to the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
As reported at the time, Leonard originally wasn’t keen on relocating to Toronto, but Robertson explained Leonard’s thought process at the time. “When you are initially traded somewhere you didn’t asked to be, you don’t want to accept it,” Robertson told Yahoo Sports. “But once you get through that period, the focus then turns to giving your all and performing at a high level. It never had anything to do with the city of Toronto. It wasn’t. Toronto is a beautiful city. Kawhi has often spoke highly of Toronto. It’s a beautiful place. That was just an initial reaction, which is normal. But we’re enjoying this run and looking forward to the Finals.”
Much of the NBA Finals chatter will be about what takes place after the series because the matchup features three of the top pending free agents in Leonard, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. “I can’t get into other free agents and other teams, but for Kawhi, he’s going to take it one day and one game at a time,” Robertson told Yahoo Sports. “We have a championship opportunity in front of us. We’re not thinking about free agency; it’s the Warriors [right now]. Once we get through the season, we’ll turn our attention to free agency. But we’re just having fun right now. This has been a great year.”
Ryan Wolstat: Marc Gasol on being a Laker, briefly: “Yeah for a few, couple of months I was, I guess. They sent me oversized sweaters and stuff. You could say I was a Laker (laughs). I was not on the payroll though.” Said he visited Pau at Finals to soak it all in once back in the day.
Jon Rothstein: Sources: Nik Popovic is expected to return to Boston College next season. Was an early entrant to the 2019 NBA Draft.
Jeff Goodman: Troy Baxter Jr will remove his name from the NBA draft before the May 29th deadline but will continue to pursue professional opportunities, Florida Gulf Coast coach Michael Fly told @Stadium.
Josh Newman: Jackson Memorial graduate Eric Carter will work out for the Sixers on June 5, I’m told. 16 points and 10 boards as a senior at Delaware. Carter is going to make a little money next winter, nice to see him get a look from one of the local teams.