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NBA FINALS: HEAT v THUNDER


June 21, 2012


Dwyane Wade


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Five

Oklahoma City Thunder - 106
Miami Heat - 121


Q. ¬†What did you guys do defensively in this game against Russell?¬† It seemed like he could not penetrate the way he did in that previous game, and he went 4‑for‑20.
DWYANE WADE:  First of all, my mama would tell me I've got to thank my Lord and Savior for this opportunity to be up here, with this trophy next to me.
What we did with Russell, we went back and looked at the film of Game 4 and we seen that he had an amazing game, but he had an amazing game, as well, because we didn't do our job, and that's to make sure that he didn't see too many open gaps.  So what we tried to do is we tried to get in the gaps and just tried to make it as tough as possible.  Like I said in the beginning of the series, he's one of the most, if not the most athletic guys to guard in the league.  So we just closed in a little bit and we made him kick it and we made him get to something else.

Q. ¬†Can you just talk about since the Big Three all signed in the summer of 2010, people said it wouldn't work, what have you‑‑ does this show people that it would?¬† And how much harder has the process been than you thought it would be?¬† Just talk about getting to this point?
DWYANE WADE:  Man, this process is unbelievably hard, and I don't care who you put on a team.  To be a champion would be the hardest thing you do in sports.
You know, two years ago, putting this team together, obviously we all expected it to be a little easier than it was.  But we had to go through what we had to go through last year.  We needed to.  And as much as it hurt, we had to go through that pain and that suffering.  To get to this point of this season and the rest of our careers together, we'll take nothing for granted.  Like I said, that series versus Dallas hurt, but it was their time.  I went back last night and I watched Game 6 of The Finals, and it was their time.  The shots they was hitting was unbelievable.  I just seen and I looked at it and I said, it wasn't our time.  And tonight it was our time.

Q.  Six years ago you were 24 and infallible and everything was perfect, and there's been a lot of not perfect since.  The team was the worst in the league, your personal life everyone knows a lot of the deal there.  How much more do you think you're going to appreciate this one?
DWYANE WADE:¬† So much more.¬† You know, I've been through a lot.¬† That 15‑win season professionally hurt.¬† Laughingstock of the league coming off a championship.¬† But what I dealt with personally was indescribable in a sense.
But I believe, and I have an unbelievable family, I have an unbelievable core, unbelievable support of friends and loved ones.  And to be back here with this trophy sitting next to me six years later, I'm blessed, I'm lucky to be put in the position I am.  I'm going to enjoy this one a lot more than I enjoyed 2006.  When you get there early, you say, oh, man, we're going to do this again next year.  This is not guaranteed right here, man.  You have to enjoy this, and we will do that.

Q.  Knowing what you went through and to get a championship and what it felt like, for LeBron, to live with him the last two years, to hear everything from outside, how rewarding is it to you to see your good friend get it, and can you just take us a little bit inside?  How difficult was it for him, and at the darkest hours what was it like what you saw?
DWYANE WADE:  Man, you know what, I think until this season, when we had a group, a team meeting, and for the first time I heard LeBron James open up, and he kind of let us in on what it's like to be LeBron James.  None of us really know.  I said as one of his close friends, I said, wow, I don't deal with that, and I deal with a lot.
So to be here, man, and see him get his first championship, I'm so happy for him.  I don't know if I could be happy for another guy, another man to succeed in life as I am for him.  I know what he's went through to get to this point, and I know when we got together a lot of people didn't agree with it, but me and him did.  Me and him wanted it.  We wanted to play together because we knew we could help each other get what we want, and that's to become a champion once again.
I'm proud of him.  He really took being the best player in the league to another level, and he did it all season long, man.  Thanks to him, we're all able to celebrate once again.

Q.  Can you explain, you played a different role in winning a championship this year than you did last time as basically the lead guy on your own, and then after that if you could just go through the moments you had with your sons before and after the game, and then what you and Pat Riley talked about out there on the stage.
DWYANE WADE:  Well, yeah, I played a different role, man.  It's been well documented.  I had to.  Last season I felt that it was too much questions in our mind, in our head, and guys looking at each other and not wanting to step on each other's toes.  This year I know I'm playing with the best player in the world, and that doesn't take anything away from me at all.  Like I said, I've played with a guy who is a Hall of Famer, so I know how to be first and I know how to be second and whatever else.  It was hard for me to do it, and no one will understand, but it was easy for me to do it for this team.
And the moments I shared with my sons, man, just‑‑ what we share all the time.¬† Every time I leave the house, I love them guys so much, if it wasn't for them, I don't know if I would be able to do what I do, continue to keep striving and pushing.¬† They're the reason that I can wake up every morning, look myself in the mirror is because of them.¬† I'm glad they can experience this, and I'm glad they can be a part of this.
And Coach Riley, we did it again.  So special being here nine years, been to The Finals three times in those nine years.  And to be back here on the mountaintop is very special, man.  So I'm glad that we can continue to add to his unbelievable legacy as a coach, as a president.  So we just shared those moments.

Q.  When you cut through what your coach always refers to as the noise, what is it about this team's relationship with Erik Spoelstra that makes that dynamic work and gets you guys to this point?
DWYANE WADE:  Coach Spoelstra, he's an unbelievable hard worker.  One thing he never let us do this year, we always said, he never let us feel like we was better than what we was, even last season, and he never made us feel like we was badder than what we was.  He never gave us an excuse.  We came in, he never said, well, we lost the game because you guys didn't get calls, or we lost the game because of this and that.  He came in and said, own up to this, we lost the game because we didn't do enough.
We took that mentality on.  We took the mentality of our leader on, and we was able to get through anything, fight through anything to get to this point.
This was hard.  This wasn't easy, man.  This was hard.  And thanks to him, we was able to stick with it, continue to believe in each other and get it done.

Q.  If you could, since you were there last year, now the Thunder has been in The Finals once.  What do you expect from them next year to have gained from this experience?
DWYANE WADE:  Well, they're going to gain a lot.  You know, it's scary to see those young guys, man, and to be in this position.  They're so talented.  They have an unbelievably bright future here.  But one thing I've learned, nothing is promised.  You have to seize every moment.  When I seen them guys, KD and Russell walking off the stage, I said, man, hopefully we'll see y'all next year again.
This is one of the best Finals, when you talk about matchups, when you talk about everyone tuning in and wanting to see, because these are two teams that in the summer everyone said they should be in The Finals.  We lived up to the billing.
They're going to be around for a while, and we would love to be around just as long and just as much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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