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NBA FINALS: HEAT v SPURS


June 4, 2014


Dwyane Wade


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Practice Day

Q. テつDwyane, I'm guessing the answer to this is yes, but have you stopped to think about how many games you've played in the last four years?テつ Not just this run but, you know, really the last eight for you?テつ You have had Olympics in there and a lot of summers where you were playing ball.テつ Have you thought about exactly how much wear and tear there is on you?
DWYANE WADE:テつ A lot of basketball.テつ But all good things.テつ I played in the Olympics, you know, I mean, that's unbelievable.テつ I've played in a lot of Finals games.テつ I've played in a lot of meaningful games and I think that's how you want your career to go.
It's been a lot of basketball but you wouldn't want it any other way.

Q.テつ You've talked about this before but back in The Finals seems like a good time to revisit it:テつ Can you speak to Pat Riley's ongoing influence and the franchise.
DWYANE WADE:テつ Obviously his fingerprint is on his franchise by the way that it's ran, by the way that its players try to conduct themselves on and off the floor.テつ Since I've been here, his aura is just around the franchise.テつ His voice has lessened from the standpoint of being Coach, you know, but he will always be the Miami Heat, no matter what.

Q.テつ Dwyane, how much better physically do you feel heading into this year's Finals than last year?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I feel better.

Q.テつ Percentage?
DWYANE WADE:テつ No percentages.テつ I feel better.テつ That's my Gregg Popovich moment.

Q.テつ Dwyane, how much has LeBron grown as player and as a person since that first Finals with you against Dallas?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Oh, man, he's grown a lot.テつ That was a tough Finals for him, individually.テつ I think he wanted it too bad.テつ Sometimes when you want something so bad, it works the opposite.テつ He hasn't‑‑ besides getting five fouls in Game 5 of the Indiana series, he hasn't played that way since that Finals.
He's really taken his game to a whole other level.テつ Obviously as an individual he's grown, as a man, both on and off the court from his own experiences.
So I think he's done a phenomenal job, not only as a teammate and friend but someone who is a fan of the game, if I sit back and look from afar, he's done an unbelievable job under the microscope that he's been under since he was 16 years old of doing things his way and been very successful at doing them.

Q.テつ Also, much has been made of how the Spurs feel about Game 6 of last year.テつ Do you guys reflect on it many and what happened and the comeback this season?テつ Do you guys talk about that at all a lot?
DWYANE WADE:テつ No, we don't.テつ Game 6 was‑‑ it was unbelievable to be able to come back and win that game.テつ But that's the game of basketball.テつ You know, the ball bounces funny ways.
Game 1, the shot that Tony Parker hit, I mean, that was unbelievable, to get off the ground and hit that shot and just get it off.テつ The ball bounces in funny ways.テつ And we're thankful for, you know, Ray Allen making that shot but there were so many other things that had to play right for us to win that game.テつ So you need a little luck, both ways, even to be in The Finals.
So, no ‑‑ we was recipient of luck in that moment, but we won the championship.

Q.テつ Dwyane, there is a lot of players in this series that are ultimately going to be on a lot of top‑50 lists when people look at it.テつ Do you ever reflect about the level of competition and playing against another team that's competing to be one of the teams of this era, like you've been in the last couple of years?
DWYANE WADE:テつ No, I really don't reflect, but I mean, I understand it, I know.テつ It's hard to really take that moment to reflect about that, but we have a tremendous amount of respect for this organization, what they have been able to consistently do to be able to compete the way they have in a very tough Western Conference.テつ To have been in The Finals now, what, six times since Tim Duncan has been here?テつ That's unbelievable.テつ It doesn't happen every day, there is only a few franchises that have that success.
So we understand, you know, kind of what this team represents, etcetera, but we also understand what we represent and the opportunity that we have as well.テつ I think it's great that these two franchises, you know, have this opportunity in back‑to‑back years to compete for a championship.テつ Last year was an unbelievable series and like you said, it went down to the very end.テつ We won the series by a total of five points, you know?テつ That's how close it was.テつ But it was a very even series.テつ I think this year it could be another great series as well.
It's just great to be able to be in this same breath, you know, as a franchise that myself and other guys grew up kind of watching and they're still up there with us being in the league now a decade plus.テつ Unbelievable what they have been able to accomplish.

Q.テつ Dwyane, with Tim Grover being here in SanAntonio, can you talk about the respect and trust you have in him and how he's helped you get back to where you say you're healthier than last year, and what kind of role he's had in your game?
DWYANE WADE:テつ That's my guy, man.テつ You know, everyone has someone that they trust outside of kind of the norm, and he's the guy that I trust when it comes to telling me things that I might not want to hear or might not want to do, but also opening my mind to different things.
So I really‑‑ this year I really brought him in a lot, you know, other years it's been here and there.テつ This year he's been with me and really helping me being able to do the things I want to do on my role on this team.テつ At times when I needed to do more, I physically have been able to do more and at times when I needed to take a step back and not do more, I haven't needed to.
But he's been big in that and I thank him for giving up the time, you know, to be with me, to be able to do that.

Q.テつ Two questions for you:テつ You talked about how much LeBron has grown since the Dallas series.テつ He's grown this year.テつ Last year in this series Pop had him in a little bit of a mind game the first few games.テつ If he tries the same thing this time, how do you think LeBron will respond differently?
DWYANE WADE:テつ I don't know.テつ I mean, you know, each game in a series is different.テつ I think obviously you could be prepared coming into a series, you could be prepared for what they did last year, but you can't be prepared for what they are going to do this year.テつ So it may be something different.テつ Just like last year, I'm confident he will figure it out.

Q.テつ Secondly, Tim Duncan was in here a little bit ago and he was scratching his head like, "I don't know what I said that was so bad and why the Heat took it as motivation."テつ Chris Bosh said, "We'll always think about this.テつ If we ever lose our focus in this series, we'll think about what Tim Duncan said."
How much‑‑
DWYANE WADE:テつ He said that?

Q.テつ Yeah.
DWYANE WADE:テつ I don't know.テつ You're asking the wrong guy, I don't use that as motivation.テつ I think when you are in The Finals, you are supposed to think you're going to win.テつ Tim Duncan believes they're going to win.テつ The Miami Heat believe they're going to win or we wouldn't be here.テつ I think we got microphones in our face too much.

Q.テつ Dwyane, Erik is unwilling to talk about the difficulty of winning three in a row, playing four in a row‑‑
DWYANE WADE:テつ That's because he doesn't know.

Q.テつ But Pat does know.テつ What have you heard from Pat over the years about doing that?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Absolutely nothing.テつ He's letting us figure it out.テつ He's letting us go through this process and, you know, write our own story in a sense.
It's not complete but his story is pretty much there, you know, in the sense of what he was able to accomplish, and I think he's letting Coach Spo and he's letting this team write our own book, in a sense.テつ Hopefully when it's all said and done, we can all share notes and see how we did it, but there is a lot of work to be done.

Q.テつ So he's never once said how difficult it is?
DWYANE WADE:テつ Maybe he has.テつ Anybody can talk about how difficult it is to win three, I mean, because it hasn't been done much.テつ It's not something that happens, you know, every third year.テつ This is something that we know because of the history of the game that it's a small group to be a part of.
So whether Pat Riley says it or anyone else on the outside that doesn't play the game of basketball says it, it's hard to win three, no matter who says it, in a row.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks, Dwyane.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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