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June 8, 2011

Dwyane Wade

DALLAS, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. Dwyane, the word "defer" has been used so often with you guys in the big three. Specifically in this series. LeBron just said it's probably time for him to assert himself more offensively early in games. Is it on you to allow him to do that? Chris was very aggressive early in Game 4, but is it on you to get those two guys going early?
DWYANE WADE: I don't have to allow anyone to do it. I mean, he's going to do it, it sounds good to me. Obviously when you have players playing well, playing aggressively, like I've been playing and Chris played, you kind of get passive. That's what LeBron kind of got yesterday. That's kind of how I got in the Chicago series. You kind of get passive. And that's what we've been dealing with all year. Trying to play with three guys that can get it going and that can take over games, et cetera.
So obviously we're going to try to do a better job of opening our package up a little bit for LeBron. But we still have to stay aggressive as well and take advantage of all the opportunities that we have. And when he has it, we want him to take advantage of his opportunities. No question about it.

Q. Dwyane, in Game 3, you visibly tried to get LeBron going. You had a conversation with him on the court. Did you not do it in Game 4? Did you sort of hold back in Game 4?
DWYANE WADE: No, I mean, I wouldn't -- I just go as I feel. I pat guys on the butt, I pat guys on the back. Say things on the huddle, sometimes I don't say nothing. It's about the feel. I never really look at LeBron's offensive game. I don't say much about him offensively. I always just want him to dominate the game overall, because he has that ability.
That's more so than anything, if I say something to him, it's about that, just putting his mark on the series and obviously he's had a lot of time to think. A lot of things said. So obviously he wants to do it. But at the same time don't want to put too much pressure on himself. That's what we're here for. We're his teammates. We have his back. If we have a guy that's not going, i.e. me in the Chicago series, you got other guys that can hold it up until you eventually get in. Like I was able to do late.
We have another game, and I think he's going to respond very well. That don't mean he's going to score 50. But I think his mentality will be a little different.

Q. Secondly, you guys probably expected Dirk to have a certain impact on this series. How much of an impact has Tyson Chandler had and sort of being disruptive to what you guys are doing?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, obviously Tyson Chandler has had a similar impact to Dirk in the sense of the importance he means to the team. He gives them extra possessions. We have to make an adjustment on what we're doing on him. And that's something that we have to do.
He's been big. Nine offensive rebounds last night, I mean, especially in the fourth quarter, that's tough on our defense to overcome when we're doing a good job or making him miss shots. Sometimes they are just missing shots, but we're doing a good job of running him off shots and having him thinking we're not shooting. But he's keeping it alive.
Someone has to take the challenge in our locker room on trying to limit that as much as possible if we're going to win a championship.

Q. Dwyane, you guys have talked from the 9-8 start until now about how much you embrace the tension, these situations and what not. Has there been a fatigue factor at all in that sense, just having to feel like your back is to the wall so many times? Or is that just what this team runs on for whatever reason?
DWYANE WADE: I mean, I guess for whatever reason that's what we run on. I think we've understood that from day one. Our goal was to play this late in the year. So I think we can make it to at least June 14th, right? And after that we can run out of all the fuel we have or had.
We understand. We understand that it's not going to be an easy Finals. We knew it. It wouldn't feel right if it was. All the things we went through all the year, if we would have came and won all four games it would have been really, all that for that? This is part of the process. This is what this team is used to. I always look forward to see how we're going to respond. We have another game, you know, tomorrow to right the ship right.

Q. Just as a follow-up to that, if you could have scripted your way to the NBA championship, would it have been 4 and out or do you like the punch, counter-punch?
DWYANE WADE: Obviously, if you can win four, you win the championship. But I mean, the days -- when you lose, the days in between, the suffering, all that is a part of the journey. All that is the reason why when you finally get it, your emotions are shown, because of everything that you went through, not only throughout the year, but in that series, how hard it was. It hurts to lose in The Finals, whatever game you lose. And it feels great to win when you do.
But it's a part of it. It's a part of the reason why when someone wins the championship, they show more emotion. Some guys cry. And it's the things that you remember when you can sit back and think about the championship run, you can remember how hard it was, how tough it was to get to that point, to get to the top of the mountain.

Q. Dwyane, you talked about how LeBron is right across the hall from you in the hotel and how you talk all the time. What over last night and this afternoon, what specifically has he said to you that makes you confident that tomorrow is going to be a different version of him than you saw yesterday?
DWYANE WADE: I mean, we talked last night a little. Obviously he feels like -- he know he didn't play well. Obviously he feels like he let me down. I had similar conversation with him in the Chicago series. Obviously, I understand he's going to respond. So we just talked about the moment more than anything. We don't lose games because one player is not scoring. We lost this game for many other reasons.
So we just talked not about his performance. We just talked about the situation and the opportunity that we have, you know? We're tied 2-2. We had two out of three games on our home floor. We have a great opportunity in Game 5 to come out here and try to win another one. I'll take two out of three in Dallas on the road. It's going to be very tough, but more so than anything we talked about the opportunity we have, what we have to do, how hard it's going to be.
I understand. I'm not worried about him. I don't worry about him. Just like I know he's not worried about me. Eventually he's going to do something amazing and it's going to put us over the top.

Q. Dwyane, Erik talked about the idea of LeBron not overthinking things too much. "We don't want him to overthink." When you were going through your struggles in the Chicago series, was that sometimes easier said than done when you got away from the game a little bit, not to think too much? And then when you get on the court not to translate that too much on the court and just react?
DWYANE WADE: Yeah. Obviously it's easier said than done. You're going to think a lot about the way you're playing. The game of basketball is so weird. One moment you can be on the high, you can be playing unbelievable. The next second you could be feeling like you haven't played basketball in years. You can't do much right. You just got to stay with it. You just got to stay confident as much as possible. But your teammates are big in that. My teammates were big in me staying confident in the Chicago series. It enabled me to be able to score ten points in the fourth quarter of that game when I didn't have nothing going.
That's the way we've all been all year. We've got each other's back. We believe in each other. Like I said, eventually LeBron is going to do something so great, you know, that I believe what he did in Game 4 won't even be a topic of conversation.

Q. Dwyane, Coach Spo mentioned yesterday how big of a factor you were to him adjusting to becoming the head coach and eventually this year with the big three. Tell us about your history with Coach Spo. You spent a lot of years with him as an assistant coach, how he's helped you to become the player you are today.
DWYANE WADE: I just had an opportunity when I came in -- Coach Spo was the kind of guy who kind of worked with me on my game, whatever we seen I needed to work on, he was the one that was assigned to me to be the one to stay after practice for many years to get me in there to watch film, to make me more educated on the game. So obviously we had a relationship from there. As well as he's seen me grow as a player, I've seen him grow into the coach that he is now. From last year to this year, from the beginning of the year to now, he continues to grow. So we've both had an impact obviously on each other's career.

Q. Dwyane, I know you've had great respect for Dirk as a player and a scorer long before this series going back years and years. How impressed are you with what he's done this year with the finger injury and the sickness last night just as a player?
DWYANE WADE: Really. He's a great player. I have respect for him as a great player. I'm not going to get into the injuries. Everyone is injured at this time. I'm not going to get into the fun-loving story of him being sick either. Once you show up on the court, you show up on the court. Everyone is equal. He's a great player without all the dramatics of the stories that's been going on. That won't change anything that goes on in his career. I'm not getting into that.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Dwyane.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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