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Dwyane Wade embraces another change

Dwyane Wade embraces another change
dwyane-wade-embraces-another-change


MIAMI -- First, Dwyane Wade’s body basically gave out on him in the NBA Finals. Then, his buddy and four-time league MVP essentially http://www.nbashoponline.us.com/nba-jerseys/miami-heat/dwyane-wade-jersey_c-684.html gave up on him to return to Cleveland as a free agent. And soon after that, Wade balked after opting out of the remaining $42 million on his previous contract to sign a deal for nearly $10 million less. No doubt, the losses certainly piled up on Wade during the most humbling and tumultuous offseason of his career. But now, Wade tends to focus more on what he’s regained as the Heat enter their first season in five years without LeBron James as the franchise anchor. It starts with a newfound perspective. And it was discovered, in part, during a random visit to the Heat’s practice facility earlier this month during what was otherwise a day off for the team. Wade came in for a workout, but soon found himself standing off to the side in a gym buzzing with activity on the main basketball courts. It happened to be the day the Heat were holding workouts for their NBA Development League team prospects, a group ranging from local rec league ringers to former Division 1 college rotation players. Wade didn’t really know any of those battling just to get invited back the next day for the remote chance to start a career somewhere. But it was a reminder of Wade’s own identity. “I sneak up here every now and then to let people know I’m Blake Griffin White Jersey still around,” said Wade, 32. “That’s just it. I’m motivated by the game of basketball, being able to come out here and still play it. This is a lot of people’s dream. All you have to do is come in and see these guys trying out for the D-League team and look around and say, ‘OK. I’m in a special place.’” Sobering moments like those have motivated Wade and the Heat, who open the season Wednesday night at home against the Washington Wizards. There’s no longer the luxury of LeBron’s greatness to carry the largest share of the load. The path that led Miami to two championships and the last four NBA Finals is now paved with potential potholes throughout a reloaded Eastern Conference. And the combination of high roster turnover and far lower expectations has rendered the Heat as anonymous as many of the players pushing through drills during that D-League workout. At one point during the height of LeBron’s four seasons with the Heat, there were as many as 90 media members who crammed into a gym just to watch Miami’s training camp workouts. By contrast, at one point during this preseason, the horde consisted of two local newspaper reporters. Although change has been difficult throughout this process for the Heat, Wade refuses to allow this team to focus on what they were the past four years or to look too far ahead into this season. “It’s going to be like that [all season],” Wade said. “We don’t have the team right now where we can look forward. We have to focus on every day. It’s the only way we’re going to be successful, whether we win six or seven in a row or lose six in a row. Come in and focus on getting better. We don’t have the team where we have that confidence where we can look forward. We have to build that in ourselves.” Change -- sprinkled with a three championship runs -- has been the only constant in Wade’s career. After riding a four-year wave of success and stability on several fronts, Wade has had to adjust to another shakeup. The same offseason highlighted by his marriage to actress Gabrielle Union also featured a costly and dramatic low point: his breakup as teammates with LeBron. Diving into a new challenge has served as a coping mechanism. “I don’t really know if it’s a http://www.nbashoponline.us.com/nba-jerseys_c-267.html secret to it. That’s life,” Wade said. “Life never stays the same. If it does, it gets too boring. You would call it Groundhog Day. You have to make the adjustment or you’ll get left behind. That’s all I’ve been able to do when change comes, whether it’s on the court or off the court. I’m not saying that I always do it right. But you just try to make it the best way you know how.”

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