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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 16, 2012


Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q.テつ Looking back to the 2006 Finals when Dallas switched hotels after a night of fun or whatever, looking back, was that comical to you and funny?テつ And do you see this as a place that's a trap for visiting teams?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I forgot all about that.テつ That was funny back then.テつ I remember that story.テつ But I think maybe during the regular season a team comes here once and will enjoy it, but not during The Finals.テつ You look at the season and say, man, there's only 10 days left in the season at best.テつ I don't think it's a trap.テつ I don't think the urge to want to go out and enjoy Miami is that important right now, especially when in 10 days you can enjoy it as much as you want.

Q.テつ Were you pretty surprised that Dallas had did that?
DWYANE WADE:テつ There was a lot of things in that series that was kind of weird.テつ But it's all story lines.テつ Some funny stuff.テつ But whatever helps, you know, whatever helps your team.テつ I think it was more so just trying to get them a change of scenery after we came back here and won, I think it was after Game 4 was it, that they switched, after we won two or something like that?テつ So it was just getting them a change of scenery, and then it just picked up into a different kind of story line, I think.

Q.テつ There is so much attention on LeBron and you and just the idea of this Big Three and everything, you guys like to talk about team.テつ Explain how those guys like a Shane Battier, what he's been doing, how that is necessary and you guys aren't going to win without him?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I mean, we've said it all year.テつ Obviously for our team to be our best, LeBron, Chris and myself need to be playing well at the same time.テつ But even if we were playing well at the same time we need other guys to step up at certain moments, at key moments, make big plays, big shots.テつ Shane has been phenomenal.テつ Even in the series before when he wasn't making shots, he was still making an impact on the game, and now the ball has been going in, he's been shooting the ball with confidence.
Not only Shane, UD, he's came in in certain games and gave us double‑figure rebounds, Mario is hitting big shots.テつ We need that.テつ It's our job to make sure we do what we came here to do, and that's play well together, but also guys come in, step up, make big shots, big plays and be confident doing it.

Q.テつ You guys have had success, particularly at home the last two years.テつ How important has it been for this team with championship goals to have that kind of home‑court advantage?テつ And also based on what you know the Thunder get on their home court, you said it's one of the loudest buildings you've been in, how important is it for the fans here to sort of provide the same thing for the next three games here?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Well, obviously to be a championship team, you have to be able to take care of home court.テつ Now, you need to win on the road to win a championship, but you have to be able to take care of home court or you're fighting uphill battles.
I think that's been our focus, is to make sure this place in here is a place that we feel comfortable playing, it's a place that it's tough to play.テつ Our fans have been great.テつ A lot of stuff has been said about our fans, and it will always be said about our fans, but they're our fans.テつ We love them.テつ We appreciate them.テつ And Game 7 last time we played here was the loudest I've heard it here in a very, very long time.
Yeah, OKC had an unbelievable fanbase.テつ It got very loud.テつ At one point I was shooting a free throw and it was the loudest I've ever heard it.テつ But we love our fans, too, and I think they're excited about this game tomorrow, and I think they're going to be as loud as they can possibly be.

Q.テつ When you guys lost Game 2 last year, you used a lot of words like "desperate" and that sort of thing to get back on track in Game 3.テつ The fact that you know that the Thunder has to be thinking the exact same thing, can that almost help you a little bit, that you know exactly what their mindset is, and what it takes to get a series maybe back on track after one gets away?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Yeah, I think what helps this team is that we went through this exact same thing last year after losing Game 2 at home, and really putting an emphasis on going in there and winning Game 3, and really getting home court back in a sense.
So I think that's great that we're coming fresh off there from last season, and we can come out and say, listen, we've grown from that, and they're going to play well.テつ Each game is going to come down to, as Coach continues to tell us, come down to four or five plays.テつ No matter what the score is, you've got the two best teams in the league right now going against each other.
So it's going to be a very tough game, but we have to find a way to win it.テつ And it's about taking, like I said, one possession at a time, one second, one minute at a time to make sure we reach our goal, and that's to win the game tomorrow.

Q.テつ I want to ask you just about how Erik Spoelstra has evolved just as a head coach.テつ I know you guys have had a real close relationship, but how has he evolved and how has your relationship grown over the past couple years?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Well, I mean, yeah, something was made of that blow‑up in Indiana, but that shows how our relationship has grown.テつ We've been together a long time.テつ You don't have those kind of moments if you haven't been together.テつ It's just like family members, just like a brother.テつ We have moments, but we love each other and we move on from it, we grow from it.
That's the way we are.テつ That's the way our team is.テつ Me and Coach, since I've been here, came in years ago, he was a guy that was in the gym with me late, making sure that my game was where I wanted it to be, and there wasn't a lot of great moments at that time because he had to push me sometimes where I was tired or I didn't want to be pushed.
So we've had a lot of moments.テつ I've enjoyed seeing him grow.テつ I think the biggest growth in him this season has been his openness to be able to ask other guys what they think, and at the end of the day he makes the final decision.テつ But we all feel that we get to put our own stamp on stuff, even during games, tough moments, big moments, he's open to what you guys think, what you guys want to do.テつ And that's key for players to feel that they have that openness with their coach, that he's going to listen to what they have to say, and sometimes use it, sometimes not, but as your leader making the best decision.

Q.テつ Game 1 you didn't have a lot of help other than the sixth man off the bench and just didn't play a lot.テつ Talk about how important it was the way Spoelstra used Norris and James and those guys, and how big that was for you guys?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I think that was huge giving those guys‑‑ those guys can play this game and can play big minutes on many teams in this league.テつ For them to take the sacrifice that they've all taken all year to be in and out of the lineup, not knowing when they're going to play, but always staying ready, we appreciate it so much.テつ They came in and gave us great minutes.テつ J.J. came in for a minute and hit a tough shot when we needed it.テつ Norris has been doing a good job of just coming in, giving different looks defensively, and his youth and athletic ability has been helping us.
Guys have been big, man, and I think Coach seeing whether it's getting Bron an extra two minutes of rest in a game or whether it's getting me an extra two minutes, etcetera, helps us throughout the game.テつ So our bench is going to be huge for us throughout the rest of the series.

Q.テつ I've got a question related to you being a father:テつ Tomorrow is Father's Day and we know that being a father is really important to you.テつ Can you talk about the challenges of being such an important player on this team and raising your kids.
DWYANE WADE:テつ I mean, it's a great thing, man.テつ Obviously anyone who's a father, it's one of the most special things in life, and one of the most purest relationships and purest things that you have in life.
You know, I enjoy being one of the guys with my boys, but I also enjoy being a leader and being able to lead them, and help mold the way that they think, and hopefully some of the things that they're going to do.テつ Tomorrow being Father's Day is special when you get to look at your kids' faces and see yourself in them, but just to see kind of what you guys have, and that's love.
That's all it is about.テつ Obviously we're in The Finals, we don't have an opportunity to really do too much, but I think just seeing our loved ones around us, seeing our kids around is special enough for us.
The book that I'm writing, that I just finished writing, that comes out in September, you know, it speaks on fatherhood, speaks on the challenges.テつ It also speaks on my childhood, kind of what I dealt with growing up, as well.テつ I kind of wanted to show some of my personal experiences with people who have dealt with some of the same things I've dealt with in life, or people that might one day deal with the same sort of things.テつ Fatherhood is a culture thing, and it's something that everyone can share in.テつ I thought I would share my experiences and hopefully help others.

Q.テつ In Game 1 and 2 you guys jumped ahead early in the game, and to have both big leads, but then throughout the game you guys kind of lost that lead.テつ Is it something you've got to work mentally, or is it physically?テつ Is it tough to maintain the same kind of level with the Oklahoma City Thunder running all around?
DWYANE WADE:テつ You know what, our goal is to come out, obviously play well from the beginning of the game.テつ But our goal is to win the ballgame.テつ We take whatever challenges we go through throughout the game.テつ There's going to be moments that will be high, moments where it's going to be low.テつ It's a very good team, just like we're a very good team.テつ There's going to be runs made.テつ When then runs are made you have to settle yourself down, you've got to make a play.テつ Something has got to happen.テつ I thought they made many runs, and I thought every time they made a run, we was able enough and eventually we made a play from one of us making a shot, whether it's a rebound, defensive play.テつ There was many plays that was made.
At the end of the day, it's about winning.テつ It doesn't matter if you win by 20 or win by one point.テつ It's about winning a ballgame, and that's what we was able to do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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