Tag:Dwyane Wade
Posted on: September 7, 2010 9:21 am
Edited on: September 7, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Shootaround 9.7.10: Believe!

Reggie believes in Wade, Thomas believes in loyalty, and Butler believes in Burger King.Posted by Matt Moore

Reggie Miller believes the Heat are still DWade's team . Miller's probably on target here, but the fact that this is debatable is an interesting thought exercise. After all, we say we determine the quality of a player not by his performance, but by how many rings he has. Wade is the only one of the Miami Triad to have a ring, and yet LeBron is burdened with leadership of the squad. It's possible that this whole thing could only serve to show us how we've been underrating Dwyane Wade the past few years.

In a summer that put a very large nail in the coffin of loyalty in sports, the Mavs' actions towards Tim Thomas remain a hand propping it open. Art Garcia spoke with both Thomas and the Mavs , and both sides used the Magic word, loyalty, in their joint decision to add Thomas to the Mavericks' roster this season after his wife's illness forced him away from the game. We'll see if both sides remain loyal if Thomas does well enough to earn more money next season, or poorly enough to force the Mavericks' hand at the trade deadline.

Derrick Rose has been obsessing over improving his three-point range shot. The Bulls were one of the worst offenses and one of the worst perimeter shooting teams in the league last season. They were simply without a perimeter threat. They brought in Kyle Korver to fix that problem. But Rose is taking that burden upon himself and working to improve it while he's with Team USA. Giving that kid range makes him essentially unguardable. Yikes.

A list of NBA pairings that should happen, including Greg Oden and the Phoenix training staff .

Caron Butler owns six Burger Kings , mostly due to the fact that he used to work at one. Do what you know, I suppose.

It's time to put childish things away and start acknowledging the potential that lies in Miami.

Larry Drew says the Hawks are going to switch less , which is a terrific idea. The switching killed the Hawks against the top teams in the league. Surprisingly, it worked against the Celtics, because they weren't fast enough to make the Hawks pay. But against Orlando, the Magic shredded them off switches by forcing penetration in the interim and creating space, the building block of their offense.

Kobe's ready to go at it again . Raise your hand if you're surprised.

An interesting look at who the Magic's rival is now. The Heat-Magic rivalry has several factors boosting it. It's an in-state rivalry, Dwyane Wade has killed the Magic (on a performance, not win-based level) over the years, and the teams play four times a year. The fans say the Celtics, but we'll see what they say by the end of the year.

In case you've been missing them, check out our Pop Quiz series .

Follow us on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA

Posted on: September 2, 2010 2:52 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2010 2:59 pm
 

Lisa Leslie on positionality, playoffs and more

Posted by Royce Young

Lisa Leslie is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, a two-time WNBA champion with the Los Angeles Sparks, a three-time MVP and an eight-time WNBA All-Star. She's also the first WNBA player to ever dunk in a game. So yeah, she had a nice career. She's not only one of the most accomplished female athletes ever, but one of the most accomplished professional athletes period. She's part of a group promoting a new college award and had a chance to talk yesterday a little about where the WNBA is today, the positional revolution and yes, about the Miami Heat too.

CBS Sports: You're one of the most accomplished international basketball players in the world with four gold medals. What's been your take on the World Championships this year and the growth of international ball in general?

Lisa Leslie: I think it's phenomenal. Especially for the USA, our guys are only together for a couple of weeks and then they go out there and compete against other national teams who train together year around. Those teams have more time and more chemistry together and then our USA team comes out trying to stop these guys. 

CBS Sports:
I think by law I have to ask you this: You're one of the all-time greats and with what happened this summer in Miami, what's your perspective as a former superstar player? Would you want to join them or beat them?

Leslie: I think for me, it's a tough call because I think LeBron did what he he thought was best for his career. When you're chasing a championship and you really want to be a legend, you have to win championships in order to have that label. I don't think he thought he could get it done. Me personally, would I have moved? No. I played for L.A. all 13 years and got a chance to win some championships and had the chance to lose some to, but I stayed loyal to where I was.

For him, if that's the best decision for him, he did it and I can respect that because at the same time it's a business and we've seen a lot of organizations move players around and they find out the next day that they're on another team. But at the end of the day, are they going to win this year? No. But I think overall they have a really special team. Dwyane Wade is a phenomenal player and plays really hard. Chris Bosh he is very much underrated and I think people will get a chance to what his skills are. So they're definitely going to be tough to beat.

CBS Sports: Reports have come out that WNBA revenues and corporate sponsorship are up while attendance is down. Is this a glass half full or empty situation here?

Leslie: I definitely think it's half full because we've got great sponsorship this year and good television ratings, but what we could use is a little help from the media, meaning the local media. Maybe showing the WNBA on a daily basis, showing highlights and giving people the option to go out and check out the WNBA teams in their local cities and we don't really have that support right now.

CBS Sports: I don't know if you're familiar with Free Darko, but they had a post up about WNBA, with the example being Lauren Jackson - someone I know you have some history with - about players and appearance on and off the court. They used the examples of Cappie Pondexter and Jackson about how Pondexter has tried to look more ladylike on the court with her style, and Jackson doesn't care about on-court appearance but goes to serious lengths off it with style and even pushing towards sex appeal. What's your take on that sort of thing in women's basketball and women's sports in general? Does trying to look "lady-like" matter?

Leslie: It depends on what type of sex appeal you're talking about. I think it's great for the women to show that they are women and be feminine. And that's something that I've always promoted. I played basketball and had ribbons in my hair and my nails were polished. I started out with what I could control and that's myself and my looks but now in the game, I couldn't really control that. But I'm a huge advocate for looking good while playing good when you step on the court. But in regards to sexuality, that's a whole other topic.

CBS Sports: An interesting topic in the NBA recently has been that of positionality and I think one could make the argument that in 13 years, the WNBA has evolved pretty significantly, especially in terms of talent and versatility. Players like Jackson, Candace Parker, Cappie Pondexter, Tamika Catchings and even yourself all play all over the place and I don't think they really limit themselves to their defined "position". What are you thoughts on positions, especially in terms of the WNBA and how it's evolved there?

Leslie: In actuality, I believe Europe has even been more of a trendsetter than the WNBA. But because most of the WNBA players played overseas, we just learned that a lot earlier. You just don't want to get pigeon-holed into one position. That's why even though I start out at center, I may play small forward, if I get a rebound and you're not there I can bring the ball up. That's because maybe we've had more international experience, I'm pretty sure more than the guys. So with that, I think we learned to be a bit more versatile earlier.

CBS Sports: So what's your take on the WNBA playoffs so far? The Storm are the favorite, but who do have winning?

Leslie: I would have to go with the Storm. They've looked great this year. They remind me a lot of our 2001-02 championship teams with the Sparks. They went undefeated at home which is great. That really helps when you have home court advantage you're more likely to win.

But overall I see Seattle pulling it out. But it's going to be tough to get by Phoenix because they are the defending champs and when Diana [Taurasi] is one, she's on. And then you have to look at New York with Cappie Pondexter who's had the experience of winning as well. It's just exciting basketball. I wish that the American public had more of an opportunity to see it on more of a daily basis throughout the summer so that they could really get behind these teams and these young ladies that are playing exciting and passionate basketball.

CBS Sports: Now you're part of a group promoting a new college award for top performing programs. Talk a little about that.

Leslie: The Capital One Cup is a prestigious new honor that's rewarding NCAA Division I athletic programs for their cumulative on-field performance across multiple men's and women's sports. But what's exciting about this program will also help raise awareness for those sports that don't usually get as much attention.

But it really comes down to the ultimate prize of bragging rights. You want to walk away with this Capital One Cup. And obviously I'm from USC so I'm really pulling for SC or the Pac-10. We're always going against the Bruins, so we want to make sure we get that trophy.

But also, other than just the trophy, they win $200,000 worth of graduate level scholarships for the student athletes. We're excited about that also because we know that not everyone is going pro after college so to have the opportunity to get that money towards scholarships is an awesome idea.

Be sure to visit www.capitalonecup.com to check out the new program that is rewarding college athletes and their respective programs.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 4:10 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 5:32 pm
 

Dwight Howard on movies, the Heat, and tennis

Dwight Howard will be a guest coach at Gatorade's Replay event in Chicago on September 10th, and we'll be bringing you some interviews from their experience. Beforehand, though, CBSSports.com's NFL Facts and Rumors blogger Will Brinson talked to Dwight Howard on the phone about the event, dealing with the Heat hype, and being a movie star in China. Best of all, Will was able to get Howard to do a Stan Van Gundy impression so well, we've embedded the audio below the interview. Enjoy.




CBS: You got Replay 3 coming up -- I'm actually a two-time veteran, gonna try and make it up there -- are you excited to see how Gatorade got these guys trained and ready to taste redemption [laughing] … or something like that?

DH: Aw, man, I'm ready for those guys to get on the court and play the game. They've been training the last five weeks and the Gatorade Sports Science team has really put them on a good diet -- they've been training the right way, eating the right way, doing everything the right way. My guys are ready: they're in shape. We ran them yesterday and they got a little upset because I made them run, but you know.

CBS: Do you think you have any tactical advantage over the other side -- I mean, Dwyane Wade is the other honorary coach so do you think you're the better tactician?

DH: I think we're gonna win. I think we're gonna win the game, because we have the big fell on our team. He's about 6'5" which is big in high school -- he's about 6'5", 6'6" and he's a big strong guy and he plays overseas now. He's actually Quentin Richardson's first cousin.

CBS: Nice, nice … what about you, if you could pick any game from your illustrious career so far, what game would it be?

DH: High school. One game against Sebatian Telfair -- we lost the game supposedly by the buzzer, but he hit the shot with like 5 seconds left, and I ran up to the ref and I was calling timeout but the ref was so hyped that he hit the shot that he was jumping up and down and yelling and he didn't call timeout and we lost the game, so yeah, I'd love to play that game again.

CBS: The Magic didn't have any major roster changes over the summer like you guys did last year -- do you think that's a good thing?

DH: Yeah, I think it's a good thing. The more and more we build as a team the better we'll be. The team that went to the [NBA] Finals, I think that's why we were so effective -- we had great chemistry and everyone knew their roles and what they needed to do and that's just gonna make our team better this year.

CBS: Are you guys motivated by people constantly discussing a certain other team in Florida who shall remain unnamed because it's so early in the morning?

DH: [Laughing] We understand that it's gonna be there all year -- they hype surrounding the Miami Heat. You know, the team that they have, they should have a lot of hype. But I've been on teams where we had a lot of great players and we didn't win when it counted -- so it's not about who you have on a team in terms of stars and big names, it's about how that team plays together and what they can accomplish as a team.

CBS: Stan Van Gundy's one of my favorite … I'd put him in front of a microphone all day if I could. What's your favorite Stan Van Gundy quote?

DH: Stan Van Gundy quote …

CBS: Or your favorite line, whatever.

DH: Well before every practice, he goes "GET THIS IN YOUR MIND" [Ed Note: This impersonation is nearly as amazing as Brinson's cackling is awkward, which is why we've embedded it below.] And he's acting like he's cranking his mind up: "I WANT YOU GUYS TO GET THIS IN YOUR MIND!"

CBS: [Still laughing] That's a pretty good SVG impersonation, man. Wanna ask about your summer -- you're not doing Team USA, but you've still got a lot going on. You're in this movie -- a Chinese movie called "Amazing" with Carmelo Anthony -- how'd that come about?

DH: Well, I love acting and the NBA asked me to come to China and film a movie and I was there for four or five days. I had a lot of speaking parts in the movie and it was very fun -- I enjoyed it a lot and actually the director wants to write a script so I can come back and do another movie.

CBS: Almost seems like the "Summer of Dwight" really -- you've got India, Israel and China on the books for travel, right?

DH: Yup, I've been all over the place -- it's been great. Basketball's opened up a lot of doors for me …

CBS: What's the coolest thing you saw this summer?

DH: That's a good question. I've been to China like nine times, so just going there is always fun for me. I guess the last time I went they had an expo there and it was all the countries and built this one big brand building to represent their country and it was just an amazing site to see. And there were like 500,000 people there a day so it was just crazy.

CBS: Have you spent any more time since June working with Hakeem Olaujuwon?

DH: Well, all I really needed was that one session. We wanted to get back together, but it's very tough -- he stays in Jordan during the summer. But he sent me the tape of my workout and I've been doing some of the things on the tape, but the biggest thing was the footwork, just learning the footwork and the small little things to add to my game.

CBS:   Brandon Marshall and Donovan McNabb recently made some jokes about playing in the NBA -- my buddy Matt Moore and I had a big discussion about this and didn't think either could make the team. If you had to play another sport, what would it be?

DH: Ummmmm .

CBS: Golfer? Tennis? Football?

DH: Tennis is the first thing that came to my mind. I think I'd be pretty good at it -- being a good server, but also slams -- I played tennis growing up. And I played football so I'd probably do one of those things. Or I'd do track

CBS: Alright, good deal … get you out on this one -- you're known as Superman no matter what Shaquille O'Neal says, so if you had to pick one super power to have, what would it be?

DH: Sort of like the Midas touch but it would be where -- I like changing people's lives, so the ability to change people's lives … sort of like the Midas touch.

CBS: Wait, so you'd use your powers for good?

DH: Yeah.

CBS:
Hah, you're a better man than me.

Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:46 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 3:47 pm
 

LeBron's elbow looks better, which is nice

King James works out at Heat facilities without elbow sleeve.
Posted by Matt Moore


Celtics-Cavaliers Game 5 is going to haunt LeBron James for the rest of his career. There are millions of people who believe that he simply quit, which is pretty preposterous given everything else we know of James' career, egotist or not. The guy doesn't exactly have a history of shrinking from the moment. Many also questioned his health, and while he never admitted it until after the playoffs were over, it was clear whatever elbow injury he suffered all the way back as far as possibly late March had an effect on his play. He mentioned in the famous GQ article that his elbow was still not right when that interview took place.

Well, the Heat have posted video of an early workout with James, Chris Bosh, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. And that elbow? Looks pretty good.



So no sleve on the elbow, dribbling with both hands and looking authoritative at that. It's a light workout, so maybe it's still bothering him when things get heavy, but right now, he looks like the James we know, or at least the one everyone described before last spring: the best all-around player in the league (yes, Kobe has more rings, everyone is aware. "Count them rings", right,  thanks.).

It's also good to see him working with teammates even in August, a full month before training camp. That's the kind of effort you want to see for a guy expected to win his first title. The Celtics and Lakers are taking the month off (no doubt working on their own, though), and they've earned that right. It's good to see that the Heat are aware that the hard part's just beginning, and are already working to get where they need to go. Because everyone will be aiming for them, and their elbows, from here on out.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:58 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 12:03 pm
 

Pop Quiz: Who will be the Heat's Robert Horry?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

What player on the Heat will be much more important than we expect?

People remember Michael Jordan first. Then Scottie Pippen . After that, the rest of the six championship Bulls teams featured a number of different players, pretty much remembered by being the other guys.

But Chicago wouldn't have won the 1993 title without John Paxson . Wouldn't have won the 1997 title without Steve Kerr. Wouldn't have won 72 games without Toni Kukoc and Ron Harper. It's easiest to look at the stars on a roster and forget about the role players that sometimes mean as much or in certain circumstances, more than the featured studs.

So with the triad of stars in Miami with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, most are forgetting there are 12 other players on the roster. I'm not sure many realize that the Heat intend on starting the traditional five players instead of three. And some of the extrras aren't bad players either. Between the rest of the Heat roster there are four combined All-Star appearances and two championships. Pat Riley did a masterful job assembling a power team based around three players, but he also did a pretty remarkable job of putting quality players around them.

And as the 2010-11 season gets going, we're going to start to get a sense about which of those guys will be the one that steps up in big situations. For the most part, one of the big three will handle things. But there will be nights Bosh is in foul trouble, LeBron is off and Dwyane Wade is sick. Or a night where the Heat run into another premier team and LeBron , Wade and Bosh aren't enough to carry the team. You'll certainly see that situation in the postseason. So who could be that hidden MVP for the Heat? Who could be the captain of the Robert Horry All-Stars, the role player that does his job and while it may not seem like a lot, means darn near as much as the primetime players?

The obvious candidates are probably Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem . Miller was signed to be a sharpshooter from outside and relieve pressure off of Wade and LeBron . With him hovering around the perimeter, lanes should stay open for Wade and LeBron to drive, and if the defense collapses, he'll be ready for an open 3.

Haslem is the classic role-playing big man. He rebounds, plays physical defense and has a feathery jumpshot that can be deadly. He understands his strengths and weaknesses and with Bosh with him inside, Haslem will be there just to spell Bosh and provide some interior assistance.

Eddie House is another player that will likely play a key role in a few victories. He was instant offense off the bench for Boston and his contributions were a large part in the Celtics winning the 2008 NBA title. When he comes in the game, he's ready to shoot from the hip. That might be a problem at times seeing as there are a lot of guys that need shots in Miami, but House understood his job in Boston playing with Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, so I'm sure he'll get it with the Heat.

Those three are all prime candidates to play that big spot. But we expect those three to all play significant roles. The question is, who do we not expect to play a big role that will? My guess is third-year point guard Mario Chalmers.

The thing is, Chalmers is a starter. But he couldn't be more of a role playing starter. His job is to defend, get his team into an offensive set and then get out of the way. But there will be times opponents bracket the Heat's stars leaving Chalmers with the ball in his hands. He's going to have to make some shots. He's going to have to create some scoring opportunities. Wade and LeBron can't do this all on their own. They need their starting point guard to help.

Chalmers has already hit one big shot in his life. He's proven he can handle pressure. And he better. He'll have a ton of it on him in Miami and if he doesn't play well early on, fans and media will be calling for his head. In one respect, he'll have a ton of focus on him. In another, everyone has forgot that he's even on the team, much less a starter. But he's going to have a chance to prove his worth. And I'm guessing he will.
Posted on: August 26, 2010 8:41 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 9:19 am
 

Shootaround 8.26.10: Heat defense and Boom fat

More on Heisley's train wreck, Chinese investor deal falls through for the Cavs, the Heat defense, and Baron Davis' fat.
Posted by Matt Moore


Earlier in the week we told you about Michael Heisley's train wreck on Memphis radio . Now, Chris Herrington writing for the Memphis Flyer has gone through the interview quote by quote to outline just how off Heisley is in his logic and assertions. It's so bad that Herrington had to break it into two parts . That's a fairly impressive crash and burn for the owner of a major sports league franchise.

How good are the Heat going to be on defense? That's the question John Krolik walks us through on Pro Basketball Talk. Krolik asserts that Wade and James are not only terrific perimeter defenders, but their weaknesses should be covered by the other's strengths (ex. Wade's weak post-defense can be managed by James' strength there). The big questions, predictably, surround their low-post defense and it's likely going to be up to Bosh to step up for the Heat to be dominant defensively. Bosh is going to have to be the player he was treated as and paid to be in free agency, with a complete game to go alongside those pretty jumpers and rebounds.

Former NBA player Jay Vincent has been indicted in an internet scam fraud.

The deal to bring in Chinese investors to the Cavaliers fell apart months ago , via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The investment was partially targeted by Cavs ownership to help woo LeBron James. It represents just another in a long series of events that likely did not help the Cavs in retaining James, despite a feeling from most people that his relocation was planned out months or maybe even years ago. If there was any chance of him changing his mind, front-office moves and things like this deal falling apart likely didn't help instill confidence from him in the franchise or its future.

Danny Ferry has rejoined the Spurs and will oversee their D-League affiliate among other duties. The Spurs take the operation of their affiliate very seriously and Ferry is a prime candidate for this kind of job. It's likely a welcome relief to be working with players that want a job again after his recent experiences.

Long story short: fouling or not fouling when up three will pretty much net you the same win percentage. Go figure. No, seriously, go figure, because the math behind this stuff is fairly complicated.

Baron Davis refutes a report that he's gone tubbo. No word on if he's also going to refute the assertion that he's lazy, injury-prone and inefficient.

Scottie Pippen's getting his own statue , which is pretty neat for him. Of course the best pose of him won't make it: him standing over Patrick Ewing.

A Stern Warning reports that Patty Mills will remain a Blazer this season .

Some really great news for Mikhail Torrance, who suffered a heart attack in a work-out, collapsed, and slipped into a coma. He's breathing on his own again .





Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:00 pm
 

Chris Bosh doesn't mind the hate

Heat Triad forward says the team expects negativity, heightened pressure.
Posted by Matt Moore


In the ongoing saga of the Heat v. Public Opinion, there have been salvos aplenty the last few days. LeBron's GQ article , Dwyane Wade's charity stop , and now, Chris Bosh's interview with SI 's Chris Mannix at his "Get Milk" campaign event. Mannix spoke with Bosh about a number of topics, including who's going to take the last shot for the Heat (whoever's hot that night), how much he considered Cleveland (he didn't), and, the big sound byte, how he feels about all the hate being heaped upon him and the other two members of the Miami Triad. From Mannix's HTML to your eyes:

"It's a healthy hate," he said. "When the Lakers came to town, I hated the Lakers. It's what you need as motivation to beat these guys. We know we're going to get a team's best every single night. We know we're going to get the crowds best every single night. We have a big 'X' on our back. People are saying our team is not good for basketball. We're going to hear everything. It's OK. It's going to happen. We just have to win and keep on moving."
A healthy hate, huh? Well, that's certainly making lemon-scented cleaner out of rancid, poisoned lemons. It's also a continuing part of the orchestrated effort by the Heat in anti-hate maneuvering. The same kind of lines are being injected into all three of their statements. Things like "no one is 100% LeBron/DWade/Bosh" and "the hate should be fun." It's nothing but big smiles and happy words about enjoying all the villainy they've been accused of.

The real question? Do any of these guys have a vengeful bone in their body? Bosh has never really come across as a killer, more of the "friendly next door neighbor who can pull down stuff from the top shelf." James has his own long history of doubts regarding his killer instinct (despite his game being best-fit for all-around dynamics and not the dagger in the heart). Wade is really the question mark. He has a history of clutch theatrics, and definitely plays with a chip on his shoulder. But he doesn't own a move like Kobe's jaw-jut or Jordan's sneer. Those are theatrics, of course, but they belie a bigger theme of righteous (or unrighteous) vengeance.

The Triad does seem to be slowly embracing this idea, though, that they will have to fuel themselves from the negative energy thrown at them. They have to learn from their past failures and rally around a single cause: shutting the mouths of the millions of people who have doubted and cast aspersions towards them. Of course, contrary to what Wade said after the free agency coup was completed, the hard part isn't over. Winning the games. That's the hard part, and it hasn't even begun.

Here's more of Mannix with Bosh:

Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:28 am
Edited on: August 18, 2010 12:22 pm
 

Wade: 'I don't do these things for recognition.'

The Heat star talks about coming home, being portrayed as a villain, and handling the ball among the Miami Triad.

Posted by Matt Moore


Dwyane Wade isn't Public Enemy No.1 in the NBA, but he may be No. 3. As the inciting member of the new Miami Triad, he's taken a lot of hea... I mean, flak for how "The Decision" and formation of the new Heat came together. And that was before the response to his Twin Towers comment . But the negative attention hasn't slowed him down at all... either in terms of personal engagements or from his multiple charity commitments.

In fact, Wade has become quite the force when it comes to NBA charity work. He now has the Summer Groove event he does in cooperation with Alonzo Mourning, and the event he will host this weekend; The Wade's World Charity Weekend in Chicago. The event features benefit dinners, a bowling party and basketball workshops, but the focus is on communicating with underprivileged kids in Chicago about the importance of education.

Not exactly the nefarious work of the villain Wade's been made out to be, along with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. I spoke with Wade by phone today about the weekend, being portrayed as a villain, and oh yeah, who's handling the ball in Miami?

Matt Moore - CBSSports.com: So you're heavily involved with this charity as well as Zo's Summer Groove. Why is this one so important to you, is it just the element of being home?

Dwyane Wade: Yeah, just being home, you know? I'm honored to be involved with Summer Groove in Miami with Zo and the work we do there, but this is where I'm from. I know what these kids go through, because I went through some of the same things. I see myself in some of the youth here, and that's why it's so important.

Moore: We live in an era where athletes of all types and sports do very real, very explicitly illegal acts, and little is made of it. On the other hand, your business decisions of the past three months have led people to vilify you and your teammates to a degree. Is it frustrating to see the kind of negative attention you receive, despite being a great player, a good teammate, and a positive force in the community?

Wade: Yeah, I don't think the world focuses on the positive things enough. I understand being the villain is what people like. People play to that. They want to know about the villain. They don't want to know about the good. They say they do, but statistics show that they don't. The thing is, I don't do these things for recognition, being a good teammate, being a positive member of the community. I do them because those things make me whole and complete. A lot of that negativity? It's just speculation. You've gotta deal with it and move on. I've learned that not everyone's going to be 100% DWade. Hopefully the ones that do get to know me more and the things that I do and that's what they make their opinions from, from who I am. Everything else is just speculation.

Moore: What event specifically is the best part of this weekend?

Wade: The Saturday where we focus on the kids. That's when we have the Youth Summit, dealing with major issues. Specifically, violence and education in Chicago. And that's when I get to hear their stories and what they've been through. The talent show that night, giving them a platform, letting the community know these kids are out there and giving them a voice. That's a really big part of this weekend, giving the community to really check these kids out. We need more support from the community for these kids.

Moore: Doing these events, seeing these kids first hand, all the work that you've done, does it make you want to be involved at a higher level? Does being so involved make you think about being involved in a political or more advanced level when your playing days are over?

Wade: Yeah, actually. My focus is on right now, my goal is to start now and do things now. Then, to build a platform when I'm done playing basketball. I try and do these things, not just in Miami or Chicago. I do things in every city we go to, like during All-Star Weekend. I just want to make a difference as much as possible. At the end of the day when there's no more DWade, I want to have made a difference.

Moore: With the new Heat coming together, you've got more weapons, obviously, but there are going to be questions about how it's all going to work on the court. Do you see yourself handling the ball more coming up the floor more, less or the same as in years before? Are you going to be playing more of a point-type position, or will it be business as usual in Miami?

Wade: The same pretty much. You know, I handled the ball a lot last season in Miami. I also played off the ball a lot. I don't think that changes a lot. I'm a playmaker, and I'm going to score. At the end of the day, my job is to put the ball in the basket. I'm also going to create opportunities for my teammates, and that won't change.



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com