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June 14, 2006

Dwyane Wade

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q. Can you talk among your many ailments, where this knee problem ranks, what it's limiting you to do and what course of treatment you're going to need because of it?
DWYANE WADE: Well, I think last night, probably early in the third when it first happened, it led me to push off of it. But as I got it loose, my adrenaline kept going, I didn't have my explosiveness but I was able to make plays off of it.
But going to bed at night and waking up, it's very stiff and very sore. So only thing I can continue to do is do what I'm ordered to do and that's a lot of icing and stim all day. I'm confident in my training staff that we have here that they will get me as closes I can be to 100% by tomorrow night.
So, you know, I'm hoping.

Q. Considering your world of injections and pain pills, is this something that's at that stage that you might have to sit with the medical staff tomorrow night and consider, or is it less than that, that you might be able to avoid those this time?
DWYANE WADE: I don't know. You know, I just know it's very sore right now. Like I said, I'm confident that, you know, the therapy that I do and the massages that I get and everything, by tomorrow that I'll feel a lot better. So I don't think we've reached the injection stage. I hope not, anyway. I'm scared of needles.

Q. Let me ask you, can you talk a little bit more and take us through what you and Shaq worked on with his free throws?
DWYANE WADE: I didn't work on nothing. (Laughter).

Q. Can you tell me what he worked on and what you talked about?
DWYANE WADE: Just shooting, man, just getting his confidence back more than anything. Of course as a great player, you don't want to say he lost confidence, but every athlete goes through a point where they start questioning themselves at times. You know, him being in the gym, shooting at night, just talking about things to get his mind off of it. That's all I was there for was to try to get his mind off of the free throws that he was missing and try to get him to think about something else. That's the main thing with Shaq, man. He's a professional. He knows what to do. I just let him be.
But that's only the first time I ever said something to him.

Q. How did you do that, try to get his mind off it?
DWYANE WADE: Just talking about old times, talking about anything besides what's going on in the series and anything that's going on in all the reports about, you know, Shaq, because most of them is about him. So just talking about when he was young, like I was talking about in high school when I seen some of his film that he showed me when he hit a pull-up jumper, just telling all that kind of stuff. Just being guys, being silly.

Q. As he's shooting, as you're on the court?
DWYANE WADE: As he's shooting, yeah.

Q. Each game you have it seems like the MJ comparisons come more and more; is that something you're uncomfortable with?
DWYANE WADE: Very much so. Like I always say, no one should be compared to MJ, man, and there will only ever be one MJ. That's it. I'm not him. Only thing I can do is try to be the best player that I am and hopefully it's good enough.

Q. You were just talking about how you tried to help Shaq out. It's a different dynamic with him because he's an older player now than when he was especially dominant. Are there things that you see that you have to kind of keep him involved in mentally, whether it's keeping his spirits up or making sure that he still feels he's a major part of this team?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, I think so, man. I mean, you know, everyone knows that he's 34 years old and he's not the young Shaq-be-nimble-Shaq-be quick no more. But we know we wouldn't be at this point and the Finals without him. You just have to let him know, in the game I've got your back, you've got my back, we're going to help lead our troops, because they depend on us a lot. They put a lot into both of us, giving us the ball, and saying, y'all do it and get us the ball.
So, you know, you just have to keep him involved and keep him happy. Of course everybody wants to be a part of it and he's the biggest part of what we have here in Miami - --
Q. When you go into a stretch that you did in those last six minutes, do you draw on your past performances like what you did against Detroit earlier this season, do you think, "I did it then, I can do it now," and just as another aside, did MJ text you or e-mail you or call you after your performance?
DWYANE WADE: No, no texts. I think when you're struggling, or anything like that, you always go back to a time where you did it before. That's all I tried to do especially in the fourth quarter is go back to a time where personally I have done it before and tried to think about what I did and knowing that you can do it. But as a team, we came back many times in the fourth quarter, so we went back to the time that said, look, we've done it, we haven't done it in The Finals but we have done it before, and we can still do it.
As long as we do it together, it can happen.

Q. When Pat was talking earlier about how before the Detroit series, he was telling you in context of LeBron, look, you can do something he hasn't done and he was talking about the whole Bird-Magic thing back then, do you two play off of each other and do you think it helps both of you kind of put things into focus and context of where you will rank historically of what you do --
DWYANE WADE: Me and LeBron?

Q. Yeah.
DWYANE WADE: The one thing that Coach Riley did say, he didn't say just LeBron. He said, you know, be the first of the 2003 Draft Class. And of course Josh Howard is in that draft class. He just told me to be the first to do it, to win a championship.
With me and LeBron, I think we both understand and hopefully you know that we are two of the guys that's the future of the NBA, with many other guys. We're two of the front-running guys that a lot of people talk about, myself and him and Carmelo and the other young guys in the 2003 draft. You know, just being positive role models with the spotlight and being as good as we can be on the court. So just that. And we're two young guys, I mean, he's younger than me -- well, that's what they say -- (laughter) -- they say younger than me. No, just two young guys, man, understanding that we have unbelievable opportunity at hand and just want to take advantage of it. (Laughing).

Q. Question for the old man whose body is breaking down: To what degree does it go through your mind, not another injury again?
DWYANE WADE: I can't even explain it. You know, it's just -- it happens to me, man. Wrong place, wrong time. I don't know. I'm on a team that keeps saying, everything that happens for a reason and there's always good reasons, but everything happens for a reason. So I don't dwell on it anymore. I don't sit down and try to question why I just try to find a way to make him better, and if I can be as good as I can be for my team, because, you know -- I'm losing my voice here -- but that's the guys that's there for me, and I'm there for me.
You know, just try to get healthy for them guys and just want them to know that hurt or not, I'm going to give it my all, and hopefully that's enough.

Q. How do you think it might affect you tomorrow?
DWYANE WADE: I don't know. I can't tell with this kind of injury. Like I said, a freak accident with Shaq taking a charge and falling back on my knee. With a lot of therapy, with a lot of icing all day today, hopefully, you know, some of that soreness and that stiffness goes away by tomorrow night, and I'll be smiling again.

End of FastScripts...

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