The arrest of LeBron James' mother, Gloria Marie James, over an early-morning dispute with a valet-parking attendant is just the latest off-court episode that the Miami Heat insist will not derail their focus.
Instead, coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat has grown stronger through such challenges.
"A lot of times there's some topics or storylines that are out there that we have to address," Spoelstra said, "but it has steeled us to the point that we understand we're the voices that matter, the guys in the locker room, we're the family, we're the brotherhood."
The incident with James' mother occurred Thursday. The Heat then defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 112-103 on Friday night.
James asked for his privacy regarding the issue.
"It's a sensitive subject. It's a personal matter and it's being taken care of," he said. "It is my life and there's certain things you have to do deal with.
"The people around me are helping me and are helping her and we'll be fine."
Teammate Dwyane Wade, who has gone through a very public divorce and child-custody case, said such scrutiny is the price of NBA stardom.
"You understand in life things happen, whether you're in the limelight or not, you're always going to have family things that's going to happen and you're going to have to tend to them and you're going to have to deal with them," he said. "Our job in here is just continue to focus on each other, focus on being who we are, doing what we always do, that's come in enjoying basketball, enjoying each other, making each other laugh.
"And if someone needs you, if you see someone needs your support, you be there for them."
Spoelstra said he remains confident of his team's focus.
"A lot of these other things are ancillary distractions if we let them be," he said. "If we don't, then we can focus on what's real."
In fact, Spoelstra said he discussed just such issues prior to the season.
"I met with every single player during the offseason," he said. "As a coaching staff, we talked about it. We knew there would be heightened speculation and interest about our team, both negative and positive.
"We talked about how we keep it about us and what's real and what's not real. And the majority of those things are not real."
The Heat next play the Boston Celtics on Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
HEAT 112, BOBCATS 103: Dwyane Wade returned from a one-game absence with a bruised right thigh to score 27 points, helping the Heat set up Sunday's showdown against the Boston Celtics for the No. 2 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Wade was supported by 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds from LeBron James and 27 points and 10 rebounds from Chris Bosh.
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