It wasn’t all fantasy Friday morning, as Dwyane Wade moved about AmericanAirlines Arena on a reunion tour with Miami Heat coaches and players and a roomful of South Florida media members who see in him a bloom of beautiful headlines past and present and hopefully future.
There were a few sprinkles of reality, too, of truths that were not emphasized when the franchise’s favorite son, newly acquired in a trade deadline shocker, took the court later Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
First there were the glasses on Wade’s face during his opening interview. They’re not just a fashion statement anymore, as it was in Miami’s Big Three run of NBA Finals appearances, when players often met the press postgame wearing eyeglasses without lenses in them because it was ironic and just plain fun.
“It’s a product of being 36,” Wade said with a laugh. “I had to get glasses, so I decided to pick some nice frames so all my glasses now have prescriptions in them. I’ve been fighting it for a while. One thing it does is help with my headaches, so I’m not always squinting.”
OK, so perfect vision isn’t forever. What about perfect pitch when it comes to hitting just the right note in late-game situations? Drawing fouls with fearless drives. Leaning back to hit an 18-footer at the buzzer. Closing the show, as only a certain Hall of Famer can do.
Wade said Friday “I’m not afraid of any moment,” knowing full well that a sellout crowd was waiting to shout out its faith in his unwavering fearlessness.
Then, however, he added that when it comes to all the old fourth-quarter instincts and expectations, “You go out there and play your game, and you use your teammates and you go from there. If I’m in that position on this team, I’ll try to deliver as I have before and if I don’t, sorry.”
Even heroes have doubts, and that’s good. It makes them more human. It makes it possible for some fans to accept that Wade won’t always save the day for this hardscrabble Heat team, and that on his first night back, coach Erik Spoelstra decided that the Heat’s all-time leader in every important offensive category needed to ease his way back into the lineup rather than starting right away.
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