Wade will listen to overseas options, just in case
Dwyane Wade is ready to play basketball. Preferably in
And if that’s not an option, he’s preparing himself to start
Wade said Thursday that he has authorized agent Henry Thomas to
listen to any viable offers that may be out there for him to play
internationally this season – with the caveat that, until such time
as all hope for an NBA season is gone, he won’t be signing any deal
with any other club.
”I told my agent to just take a peek,” Wade said in an
interview with The Associated Press. ”It’s time. There’s a
possibility that we’re not going to have a season. We’ve got to see
what’s out there, what the possibilities are. I want to play
competitive basketball this year. I’ve missed a year of basketball
in my life before. I’m not trying to miss another. I don’t have too
many years of basketball left.”
Wade sat out his first season of college basketball at Marquette
while getting academics and eligibility issues in order. This,
obviously, is a different sort of issue.
It’s not like he’s lost all hope for a season – not even close,
actually. Wade said he still has some hope that the season can
begin on Christmas, though he acknowledges that seems less than
”I’m with the majority. When everybody’s ready to go, I’m ready
to go,” Wade said. ”I’m ready to stick with our guns if that’s
what we decide to do. The message to fans doesn’t change from what
I’ve said: It’s hard for players to say that we’re sorry for this,
because people say that we’re not. This is our job and you see what
we have to do. No one wants to be on the court more than the
He was speaking Thursday between shooting takes of a new
Gatorade ad campaign that launches early next year. It was the
140th day of the lockout, and as he spoke, he looked out a
floor-to-ceiling glass window not far from the AmericanAirlines
Arena – the building where the Heat play their home games.
The 2006 NBA finals MVP was back in that arena Tuesday night, as
a guest for a concert featuring Jay-Z and Kanye West. It was his
first time in the building since the Heat wrapped up their
end-of-season business after losing the NBA finals to the Dallas
Mavericks. Once the lockout started when the existing labor deal
expired June 30, teams have not been allowed to contact players,
nor give them access to their facilities.
So when Wade went there Tuesday, he couldn’t venture anywhere
near the Heat locker room.
”I went through an entrance I’d never gone through before,”
Wade said. ”It was weird. Very weird, walking into that arena. It
was different staff, then I saw some people I knew, but it was
weird. It’s just unfortunate that it’s got to be like that. It’s
like you’re a criminal, like you can’t walk into a place because
you’ve done something wrong. I won a championship here. I’d like to
win another one.”
Wade has stayed busy during the lockout, with tons of
work-related travel and continually trying to build his business
brand. He just got back from Australia, flies to Oregon for
meetings Friday, has more work lined up next week and is working
all that around the demands of being a full-time dad to his two
sons, neither of whom seem to mind that the Heat aren’t playing
games right now.
”They like having me around,” Wade said.
So his two biggest fans are taken care of. It’s the other ones
that Wade worries about.
He’s an endorser for several products, Nike’s Jordan Brand
included, which might seem a bit awkward these days given the
brand’s namesake – Michael Jordan – is one of the NBA owners on the
opposite side of the negotiating table from where players are. Wade
said it’s not necessarily awkward for him, but does worry about
what the lockout may do to his business dealings.
”I’ve built a fan base and I’ve built a brand, but obviously
than there’s nothing bigger than the basketball court, that
stage,” Wade said. ”There are things that I’ve got to worry about
that people don’t necessarily understand or probably don’t care
about, but it’s one of the things that I have to care about.”
Foremost, though, he wants to play. In Miami. And soon.
Wade said he didn’t know what the league’s player
representatives were going to say on Monday before the news
conference that revealed talks between them and the NBA had broken
down and the union was beginning to transition into a trade
organization with hopes of finding a deal another way.
He’s anxious and concerned, for certain. He’s planning to spend
Thanksgiving with longtime girlfriend Gabrielle Union and her
family. For Christmas – one of his favorite days to watch NBA games
– he’d like Union’s family to join his family. And if the NBA says
”game on,” he’d be more than happy to re-do his holiday
”Hopefully,” Wade said. ”Hopefully. You never know. They
haven’t said `No games on Christmas’ yet. So I still can say
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