Wade, James stay side by side in 1st Heat season
On the court, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade typically are no more
than a few feet apart.
Off the court, that apparently doesn’t change much.
They were close long before this season, but their first year
together with the Miami Heat seems to have further strengthened
that bond, as evidenced by them often dining together, texting
constantly while watching out-of-town games and almost always doing
their interviews after practices and games side by side.
”We’re in it together,” James said Tuesday, hours before the
Heat hosted the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference
semifinal series. ”It’s not just me and D-Wade. It’s all the guys
in the locker room, all 15, the coaching staff included. No matter
what goes on throughout a game, and we had our ups and downs
throughout the season, we always stayed together.”
It wasn’t accidental that James and Wade were among the biggest
stars of last summer’s NBA free-agent bonanza. Their previous
contracts had identical structures, giving each the option of
choosing a new team in 2010 – which opened the window for them to
team up in the right situation.
Once they did that, they knew some things would get easier,
”People forget that me and Bron were the best of friends before
we played together,” Wade said. ”We got criticized before (this
season) for being friends and hanging out before games with each
other. … Back in the day, the Lakers didn’t do that, Boston
didn’t do that. Well, today, obviously that worked because we’re
here together. We have that bond.”
It’s not always smooth sailing. Both are intense competitors,
who aren’t afraid to tell their teammates about things they don’t
like – and they don’t exclude each other from those harsh
No one is immune, and no one seems offended by that, either.
”There’s a point in the season where feelings go out the
window,” James said. ”We’re trying to win a championship. We
can’t worry about anybody’s feelings, friend or no friend, at this
point. If D-Wade makes a mistake or I make a mistake, I expect to
hear from him and he expects to hear from me.”
Doing interviews together just makes sense, they quickly
learned. After the vast majority of Heat practices this season,
Wade and James have walked toward the crowd of reporters together,
saying that simply saves time.
”Do things smarter, not harder,” Wade said.
Most of their postgame news conferences at home have come with
them side-by-side as well, while Chris Bosh typically does his
before Wade and James.
There’s a reason for that, too: Bosh gets dressed more
Even with Bosh and Wade alongside him and getting their share of
spotlight time, James says he has probably gotten more attention
this year – on a team with stars of similar status – than during
any of his seasons in Cleveland.
Going forward, that may change. But having the bonds this season
with his new team clearly helped.
”I think this year in particular has been a little bit more
because of the circumstance of me changing cities, the situation of
the whole summer of joining here and coming here with D-Wade and
C.B.,” James said. ”I think it’s been a little bit more.”