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June 20, 2006

Dwyane Wade


Q. Congratulations. You're going to hear it, you've been hearing it now, you're going to hear it the rest of your career, the comparisons to Michael Jordan. Did you get in a zone these last four games, you just feel it and you know it's going in?
DWYANE WADE: Hold on, will let me drink my Gatorade.

Q. It's okay, take your time, we're here all night. Feel free to pass it around, too, by the way.
DWYANE WADE: No comparison. My greatest role model as an athlete. Besides my father at home, he was kind of like my second father because he's the guy that I watched and felt like I was a part of Michael Jordan. The comparisons is flattering, but at the same time, I always stay away from them because there will never be another Jordan.
All I can do is continue to go out there and play the way I know how and hopefully there will be someone sitting up here that y'all can mention my name with theirs. That would be good.

Q. Can you talk about the will to win that you put forward and especially these four games; you put this team on your back and you carried them.
DWYANE WADE: I don't want to say I put this team on my back. You know, we did it together. Like Coach said, like we all been saying, it's been 15 strong. Now they gave me the opportunity about putting the ball in my hand, and my will, man, to prove people wrong, to not worry about what people say about me; when I came in the series, it was I can't shoot. I don't know where they got that from. So I proved to them I can shoot and then after that, I proved to them I can play and that's all I tried to do was prove the people wrong all the time.

Q. To kind of go along with what you just said about proving people wrong, this team heard all year, a 30-loss team, there's no way you were going to beat Detroit. You get down 0-2, there's no way you're going to win this series. Winning the Championship is obviously the pinnacle, but how much sweeter is that you guys did overcome so much doubt, with Pat coming back and Stan stepping aside and all of the things that went on all year, how much sweeter does that make this?
DWYANE WADE: First of all, we're a team that never complained about nothing that happened. We lost 30 games, we lost Shaq for 18 games early in the season and everybody forgets that. We were a team that didn't have an identity and then we had a coaching change so we had to switch then.
We knew inside this team was built for -- this team was built for the playoffs and we understood that. That's what makes it sweet, because not at one moment did one of us not believe in each other, no matter if you see me in the Chicago series, go after each other for 15 seconds or see Posey get thrown out in the first rounds. No matter what in the locker room it was always 15 strong.

Q. About three and a half minutes left you got to the ball in the right wing, three Mavericks are within three feet of you, the other two watching you, when did you become aware that Pose was open in the corner?
DWYANE WADE: Well, I knew he was open. Just about me seeing the defense. When they came out in the second half, I knew they was going to try to get me off the ball. They had to try to do something different, so I told Pose to be ready to shoot and shoot it every time. I told him and J-Will the same thing. I told him and J-Will the same thing. Pose is a great shooter, the best shooter we have on this team. He made a big shot to put us up 81-87-81, I believe.
Give Dallas a lot of credit, this is a good team, they will be back, no question about it. We wanted it and we took it.

Q. After you guys fell down 2-0 and there was so much, so many people wrote you guys off and even here in Dallas, they printed parade routes for a victory parade. Was that any kind of motivating factor? Did you guys talk about that?
DWYANE WADE: No question. It was very motivating. I think in Game 2, coach before the game showed us an article that was written, I won't say who it was written by, but it just said "Unworthy Opponents." We were unworthy to be playing against this team after one game, blew my mind, blew our teams's mind. I kept that in mind. Still got that article.
This team played great the first two games but we took it back home, and when we came back down 13, that really showed that we deserved this and deserved to be here. We took it from there, making history, winning four games in a row, it's not easy, but we did it. So it's just sweet.

Q. Dwyane, growing up outside Chicago, watching Jordan, how often after he would put on performances would you go out and copy those moves and can you take us back to dreaming of becoming that guy?
DWYANE WADE: I'm a big dreamer. I think you've got to dream in life to know what you want. I remember when the Bulls won their first championship, sitting at home on my floor watching the games. And then Jordan did his shot, famous shot, I went right in the backyard, turned the lights on and couldn't do it myself. I had no athletic ability, I was young. Every time I seen Jordan or Pippen, my favorite players, do anything, I always go in the backyard and act like I was part of the team or two, playing against them guys.
Like I said I've been a big dreamer all my life and I'm going to continue to be a big dreamer. The Bulls was a special team and I'm just happy that I can sit up here and talk about them now.

Q. Do you think kids will do the same thing with you now?
DWYANE WADE: I don't think I had any moves like that. (Laughter) I don't think I did anything special like that in the series.
You know, to me, it's still crazy when I walk around and I see people wearing my jersey, people wearing my shoes, people out there, the demand for "Wade" stuff, it's truly a blessing and still weird to me. I'm sure some kids will go in the backyard and try to be like me, and that's great. But it's one kid that really does it, and that's my son at home. I see him do it every day. He want to be Dwyane Wade, and, you know, it's just great, man.

Q. What did you think the first time Coach Riley introduced the ball with the cards in it, and what did it come to mean to you during the series?
DWYANE WADE: Well, it started off very small, something he just threw in the middle of the floor early on, and we didn't understand at first until he explained it. He said that's what it's all about. He walked around and gave everyone a card, that says, we're 15 strong, there's a lot of doubters out there, and the only way you can do this is stick together. Every game he put more and more and more. It just got bigger and our belief just got stronger and stronger in each other. So, you know, Coach Riley, everyone knows, is one of the best motivational speakers to ever live, and he motivated this team many a times to help us go out there and bring the National Championship, world championship, to Miami. So, I can't wait to get to Miami, man. Man.
This team always believe, you don't get a Gary Payton to come down here, you don't get an Alonzo Mourning to come back, you don't get an Antoine Walker to come down here. After we had a good team last year, if it wasn't a belief, if guys didn't want to take their roles, everyone has a role, Shaq has a role, Antoine has a role and everyone accepted their roles. That's the reason we're sitting here today, smiling, feeling good with champagne all over.
Thank you, guys.

End of FastScripts...

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