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Category: Dwyane Wade

Which is the best NBA team in the Eastern Conference?

Derrick Rose, LeBron James

Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss which team is the best in the NBA's Eastern Conference. You can join the discussion by leaving a comment of your own.

Baxter Holmes, Los Angeles Times

No longer do LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh play awkward basketball.

They look like teammates.

No longer do the other Miami Heat players look like uniform fillers. They look like teammates.

James is establishing himself as the top scorer (29.5 points a game), but while Wade’s (19.9) and Bosh’s (21.4) numbers are down, Miami’s offense is more potent. That’s partly because someone (Mario Chalmers) aside from those three is averaging double-digit points and another guy (Norris Cole) can hit that number, too.

Also, the off-season acquisition of Shane Battier is a wildly underrated defensive upgrade.

Dallas took the NBA title a season ago when Miami was a talented-enough team but not enough of a team overall. This season, the Heat are, finally, both.

K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

The Miami Heat are the best team in the Eastern Conference and, barring major injuries, they will prove it yet again to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals. The Bulls' strengths are the Heat's weaknesses. Derrick Rose likes to attack the rim and the Heat possess few shot-blockers. The Bulls are strong up front in terms of big-man depth, and the Heat are not. They have upgraded their depth with the additions of Shane Battier and Norris Cole and a return to health for Udonis Haslem.

But simply put, the Heat can have at least two All-Stars on the court at all times and often three in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Bulls have Rose and an almost-All-Star in Luol Deng, who is borderline elite for his versatility, not his ability to create. As good as the Bulls are defensively, stopping three primary scorers four times in seven games is too tough a task. And that will apply to the Western Conference as well when the Heat win the NBA Finals.

Continue reading »

LeBron James has company at Oregon vs. USC football game

Lebron_640

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade -- all on the sideline at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., before the Ducks' game against USC on Saturday.

At least we know now what NBA stars are doing in their spare time.

From the sideline, they'll probably make their way to the comfort of Phil Knight's Nike suite, especially because the temperature is near freezing.

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--Mike Hiserman

Photo: Miami Heat players LeBron James, left, and Dwyane Wade share a laugh and try to stay warm before the USC-Oregon game. Credit: Don Ryan / Associated Press

Rumors: Ron Artest, Dwyane Wade to be on 'Dancing with the Stars'

 

Rick Fox

Former Laker Rick Fox made sure to wait until his NBA career had ended before joining "Dancing with the Stars." After all, he had to gyrate his hips in skin-tight pants in front of a national audience -- a prospect that could give NBA players pause, and their opponents a bit of taunting fuel.

As if Ron Artest's competitors don't have enough ammo -- the Lakers forward recently tried to change his name to Metta World Peace but was rejected because of outstanding traffic warrants -- it is rumored that he will join the upcoming season's cast.

CBS Sports is also reporting that Dwyane Wade may be on the show as well.

Hines Ward, who won the show last season, was asked if he could verify that Wade would be a cast member. Via Sports Radio Interviews, he said: "I don't know, but I did hear rumors and his name did come up."

Other sites are reporting this cast list: Nancy Grace, Kristin Cavalleri, Ricki Lake, Chynna Phillips, Hope Solis, Elizabetta Canalis, David Arquette, Rob Kardashian, Ryan O'Neal, J.R. Martinez, Chaz Bono and Artest.

The official announcement is scheduled to be revealed Monday evening during ABC's "Bachelor Pad."

-- Melissa Rohlin

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Ron Artest on 'Dancing with the Stars'? Maybe, maybe not

Lakers Q&A: Ron Artest on 'Dancing With the Stars,' Malice at the Palace [Video]

Photo: Rick Fox. Credit: Vince Compagnone / Los Angeles Times

Shaquille O'Neal subtracts one from Miami's 'Big 3'

Shaq_640

Everyone knows about the Miami Heat's "Big 3" -- everyone, that is, except Shaquille O'Neal.

Making his debut as a full-fledged NBA analyst on NBA TV's show announcing the 2011-12 season, O'Neal raved about the Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, referring to them as the "Big 2."

He made no mention of Chris Bosh, the player who completes the trio known by many as the "Big 3" ever since James and Bosh joined Wade with the Heat via free agency last summer.

"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the 'Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said, referring to the Heat's series loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year."

O'Neal, who recently retired after 19 NBA seasons and landed a gig as an NBA analyst on TNT, later laughed off the suggestion that his "Big 2" comment would start some controversy. Once again, he made no mention of Bosh.

"Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, you know, they're great players, they're probably the greatest backcourt ever assembled," O'Neal said. "And you know, they're going to get back. They're going to get back. They play well, they went through a lot, they put a lot of pressure on themselves. That's how they like it. And they will be back."

Maybe O'Neal just likes being the one who hands out nicknames with the word "big" in them (although he usually gives those nicknames to himself).

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-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal announces his retirement from the NBA in June. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press

Dwyane Wade and LeBron James goof around during Heat practice [Video]

The pressure of trying to win an NBA title doesn't appear to be too severe for Miami Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who had some fun in practice Thursday before Game 5 of their Eastern Conference finals series against the Chicago Bulls.

   

--Houston Mitchell

Kobe, LeBron, Lakers, Heat, Celtics? This means high ratings

Tnt_400 This is one of the best sports television-watching weeks ever. The World Series starts tonight. USC plays top-ranked Oregon Saturday. Defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans plays Super Bowl favorite Pittsburgh on Sunday.

And the NBA has begun.

It's not a surprise that TNT set a bunch of records for its season-opening double header Tuesday night, first with the Celtics beating the ballyhooed Miami Heat with LeBron James debuting with his new team and new sidekick Dwyane Wade, then the showing of the emotional ring ceremony before the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers-Rockets game plus the game broadcast itself.

The Heat and Celtics became the most-watched regular season game ever on cable and the doubleheader was the most-watched opening doubleheader in Turner's 27 years of broadcasting the NBA.

The night's games averaged 5.4 million viewers according to the Nielsen ratings with the Heat and the Celtics averaging 7.43 million. The previously most-watched regular season game was the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 2, 1996.

And, OK, maybe some people tuned in to check out the "Inside the NBA" studio show and get a peak of the sleeker but not meeker Charles Barkley.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: A fan holds up a sign before the start of the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game Tuesday. Credit: David Butler II / U.S. Presswire

Not a great PR week for Miami Heat's new super trio

Is it just me, or does it seem that the Miami Heat's three superstars aren't too worried about their public images, particularly in the last week?

On Tuesday, LeBron James tweeted: "Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!"

In a story that ran Wednesday, Chris Bosh informed the New York Daily News that he decided to "play with people's emotions" just for fun during free agency.

And then there are these warm and fuzzy moments between Dwyane Wade and some children Friday at the Nike World Basketball Festival in New York City:



OK, I'm guessing these clips were selected over numerous others where Wade was actually cool toward the kids (after all, the video was posted on RedsArmy.com, a Boston Celtics fan site). And I suppose it was nice of Wade to take the time to play with children. But for at least 30 seconds that day, he didn't come off looking so good.

-- Chuck Schilken



With nothing left to sell, Miami Heat season ticket sales staffers lose jobs

Heat_400 With the signing of LeBron James and Chris Bosh and the re-signing of Dwyane Wade, you'd think business would be booming for the Miami Heat's season ticket sales staff.

And it was. Even back when the free agency moves were pure speculation, season ticket sales staffers were cold-calling potential customers, taking deposits and adding names to a waiting list that now exceeds 6,000 names.

But now there is nothing left to sell. The team said in a statement Friday its season-ticket inventory has been "exhausted." 

As a result, the statement said, "we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets.''
About 30 ticket sales employees were told Friday morning they were losing their jobs, and some were being moved to other positions. "They let us go because there was really nothing left to do anymore,'' a fired staffer told the Miami Herald.
The team's statement added that if any season tickets become available, they will be handled through the Heat's season ticket deposit program.
There is kind of a silver lining for the newly unemployed sales people. Because they earned a base salary and commission, there were some pretty sizable checks made during the sales rush, according to a source cited in the Orlando Sentinel.
The source also said some staffers might be hired back to oversee season ticket holder accounts.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: LeBron James, left, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hold keys to the city on July 9. Credit: Hans Deryk / Reuters

Dwyane Wade apologizes for "World Trade" reference in comments to reporters

Wade_300 Miami guard Dwyane Wade has had plenty to say during the past couple of weeks.

For the most part, he seems to be saying the right things, sticking up for new teammate LeBron James and saying that the Lakers are still the team to beat in the NBA even with the Heat's high-profile acquisitions.

But Wade is now apologizing for his choice of words during comments he made to the press Sunday before the annual charity basketball game he co-hosts with Alonzo Mourning.

Wade made a reference to the 9/11 tragedy in describing how the press might react to a Heat losing streak this season.

"There's going to be times when we might lose one, two games in a row, maybe two games, three games in a row, you never know," Wade said to a group of reporters in front of his locker Sunday. "It's going to seem like the world is crashed down. You all are going to make it seem like the World Trade has just went down again. But it's not going to be nothing but a couple basketball games lost and we'll have to get back on track."

Wade issued a statement Monday apologizing to those who may have been offended by his use of the phrase "World Trade":

"In an interview yesterday, I attempted to explain how some people may view the Miami Heat losing a few basketball games in a row during the upcoming season. It appears that my reference to the World Trade Center has been either inaccurately reported or taken completely out of context. I was simply trying to say that losing a few basketball games should not be compared to a real catastrophe.

"While it was certainly not my intention, I sincerely apologize to anyone who found my reference to the World Trade Center to be insensitive or offensive."

AOL Fanhouse initially reported Wade saying: "If we lose a couple in a row this season, it will be like the World Trade (Center) is coming down again." Hours later, the site published a different version of the quote, citing a transcription error and an editor's note saying, "we deeply regret the error."

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Dwyane Wade controls the ball during his charity event Sunday in Miami. Credit: Andrew Uloza / Associated Press / Miami Herald

NBA: Chris Bosh likely to join Dwyane Wade in Miami; LeBron James to make announcement Thursday

 Free-agents_630
A little more than 12 hours before NBA teams can start signing free agents, it looks like we finally have some answers concerning the destinations of a couple of the biggest names out there.

But the biggest free agent of all is going to make us all wait just a little bit longer before revealing his answer.

A person with knowledge of the decision confirmed with the Associated Press on Wednesday that Toronto Raptors star Chris Bosh had decided to join Dwyane Wade, another All-Star free agent, on the Miami Heat.

According to the source, Bosh told Wade his decision, which was first reported by ESPN, was "definite."

An announcement was made Tuesday night concerning the future of mega free agent LeBron James -- kind of. ESPN revealed that the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar will announce which team he will play for next during an hourlong special on the network Thursday at 6 p.m. PDT.

James has been courted by the Cavaliers, Heat, Clippers, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets and Chicago Bulls.

Bosh and Wade could formally become teammates as soon as 9:01 PDT Wednesday, when the NBA moratorium on signing contracts expires. NBA teams cannot confirm contracts until that time, although players are allowed to agree to deals before then.

It is still unclear whether Miami will acquire Bosh through a simple free-agent signing or a sign-and-trade deal with the Raptors.

James was the No. 1 draft pick in 2003. Bosh went fourth and Wade fifth in the same draft.

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Dwyane Wade. Credit: Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press.

Photo: Chris Bosh. Credit: Nathan Denette / Associated Press.

Photo: LeBron James. Credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh reportedly discuss finances involved in joining forces in Miami

Miami_300 A source close to Dwyane Wade says the Miami Heat guard has not only discussed the possibility of playing alongside Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh in Miami but has also addressed the financial machinations of such a deal with the other two players, the South Florida Sun Sentinel is reporting.

The three stars, who are free agents this off-season, reportedly acknowledged that it might not be possible for the Heat to start each of the three at the $16.6-million maximum salary that they would be eligible for in the first year of new contracts.

But according to the source, the three have agreed to consider to "split the money up," if need be.

Agent Henry Thomas, who represents Wade and Bosh, said a meeting between the three superstars in South Florida last weekend -- reported by ESPN -- did not happen.

"I said when it first broke about that, that the guys would undoubtedly talk with each other, which they have. That's not a surprise to anyone," Thomas said. "But this meeting this weekend in Miami just did not take place. Dwyane was not in Miami this weekend."

When free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. EDT Thursday, the Heat will have a league-high $43.3 million available in salary-cap space -- if my math is correct, that's $14.4 million each if the three superstars split it evenly.

So if this dream-team scenario takes place, it might cost each of them $2 million or more in potential pay. Sounds like a lot, but it may be worth it especially for James and Bosh, who are still seeking their first NBA championship rings.

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: LeBron James, left, and Dwyane Wade in November 2009. Credit: Lynne Sladky / Associated Press.

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