Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 2nd 2013 Contents PARADISE ISLAND---If Miami
guard Dwyane Wade does any-
thing other than basketball-related
work during this Heat training
camp trip to the Bahamas, it ll like-
ly be a little bit of card-playing.
After all, that doesn t take any
Insisting that this is no vaca-
tion---even though a steelband met
them at the airport and shimmer-
ing blue ocean water is beckoning
a stone s throw from their hotel
rooms---the two-time defending
NBA champions got to work yes-
terday. Miami held its first practice
of camp for about two hours inside
a cavernous ballroom that had
temporary lights strung from the
ceiling and two newly installed
"It was good," Wade said. "This
is our element, right here. This is
where all our guys are really com-
fortable and we can get into gear,
be around each other. First practice
of the first day is good."
The Heat held a team meeting
Monday night, where coach Erik
Spoelstra laid out the short-term
plans for the week and the long-
term plans for the season. He
didn t reveal much in the way of
details about that meeting, and
didn t have to, either.
The short-term plan, work hard
The long-term plan, win anoth-
er NBA title. And Spoelstra is sure
that being in the Bahamas for a
few days won t distract his group.
"We ve been planning this for
a while," Spoelstra said. "And so
we think it s a good environment
for us to get to work, get away and
get back to building some habits
that we ll need. It was a good first
When the practice was over,
LeBron James was loudly announc-
ing that he wanted to do more
work and pleaded for someone to
throw him a basketball so he could
shoot free throws while tired. Ray
Allen, as always, stayed late to get
up tons of additional jumpers.
Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem
took seats as a couple icebags
awaited them, and Greg Oden---
who practiced for about 30 min-
utes as the Heat work him in slow-
ly---iced both his knees as well.
"They had to pull me off today.
I wanted to go out there and do
it, but you know, I ve got to take
steps," said Oden, the former No
1 overall pick who has appeared in
only 82 regular-season games
because of continual knee prob-
Despite the vista that surrounds
the resort they ll call home until
Friday, there was no talk of beach
time. Forward Chris Andersen,
pumping the pedals on an exercise
bike 15 minutes after Spoelstra
declared practice complete, asked
no one in particular what time the
team s second workout of the day
would be taking place.
"We re a veteran ballclub," James
said. "We don t need to be told
what to do. We show up to work.
When we re not working, we enjoy
ourselves. We don t need to police
ourselves. We don t need to look
after each other. Guys know what
to do, no matter where we are."
Predictably, the first Heat prac-
tice of the year was lacking one
Everything in the Heat system,
from the day Pat Riley arrived
nearly two decades sago, has been
built around defence, and this
camp will be no exception. Spoel-
stra said he wouldn t even think
about installing a single offensive
set until the afternoon practice,
with the first one entirely about
defensive drills and schemes.
Players knew it was coming, too.
"I could run the practice," Wade
said. "I kind of know what to
Added Heat forward Chris Bosh:
"We know it s always going to be
the same. Defensive-first philos-
ophy around here. ... If you can t
stop anybody, you can t win a
Wade got his vacationing fill of
the tropics this summer, taking a
little time in Turks and Caicos. He
swam and relaxed and lounged
around on that trip, something
that regular people are spending
upward of $500 a night to do this
week in the Bahamas.
Wade knows there s probably
some people who think the Heat
are making a mistake by coming
to paradise. He simply disagrees.
"We re coming from Miami, not
too far," Wade said. "We re just
getting away from everything a
little bit, being around each other
as a group and just kind of having
us time because we don t have
that as much as we would like. So
this is great, from the standpoint
of just coming down here for a
few days and getting back to the
basics a little bit before we go back
to the real world." (AP)
Heat open camp
believes he could beat LeBron James
in a one-on-one basketball game when
he was in his prime.
He s not sure about Kobe Bryant.
In a video promoting the NBA 2K14
video game being released yesterday,
Jordan said there s a long list of players
he would ve liked to have played one-
on-one---Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius
Erving, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane
Wade, Bryant and James, who dons the
cover of this year s game.
"I don t think I would lose," Jordan
said in the video, before smiling and
adding, "other than to Kobe Bryant
because he steals all of my moves."
Jordan was listed as 6-foot-6 and
213 pounds (1.98 metres and 97 kilo-
grammes) during his prime. He averaged
30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists
per game during his 15 seasons in the
James, 6-8, 250 pounds (2.03 metres,
114 kilos), has averaged 25.1 points, 6.6
rebounds and 6 assists during his first
ten seasons in the league.
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion
and considered by many the greatest
basketball player ever, has had a spon-
sorship deal with 2K Sports since 2011.
The 50-year-old Jordan, a five-time
league MVP, is the majority owner of
the Charlotte Bobcats.
James, a four-time league MVP, has
led the Miami Heat to back-to-back
NBA championships. (AP)
Jordan: In my prime, I could
beat LeBron, others
DALLAS---Dirk Nowitzki is a new
dad with a couple of new guards join-
ing him in the starting lineup for the
The seven-foot (2.13-metre) German
star hopes his knee acts like new as
Nowitzki, whose daughter was born
during the summer, thinks the Mav-
ericks can make Plan B work after say-
ing during the offseason that the fran-
chise had to have one in case Dwight
Howard chose to play elsewhere.
When Howard, the former Orlando
and Los Angeles Lakers centre, picked
Houston, Dallas made long-term com-
mitments for the first time since Now-
itzki re-signed before the franchise s
first NBA championship season in 2010-
11, adding guards Monta Ellis and Jose
Calderon to a roster with nine new-
The idea was to make life a little eas-
ier for the 35-year-old Nowitzki after
knee surgery kept him out of the first
27 games last season and the Mavericks
missed the playoffs for the first time
since his second year in 2000.
"I think as much pressure as we ll
take off Dirk, I think he ll take more
pressure off us," said Ellis, who expects
to shoulder some of the scoring load.
"How defences play him, it will really
open up a lot to drive, kick, find players.
My ability to create for myself and oth-
ers I think is going to be great."
Center Samuel Dalembert is Now-
itzki s new partner in the starting front-
court, and three veterans were added
to the bench in guards Devin Harris
and Wayne Ellington, and forward
Harris started his career in Dallas as
the No 5 overall pick nine years ago,
and Blair was with the rival San Antonio
Spurs in his first four seasons.
Defensive stalwart Shawn Marion
and Vince Carter, whose career was
rejuvenated at the 3-point line, are the
other two key veterans coming back
"We ve got some drivers, we ve got
some shooters, we ve got some play-
makers, we ve got some defenders,"
Nowitzki said on Monday, the eve of
training camp. "Hopefully we can all
make it work and mesh."
Nowitzki is getting used to a pair of
new guards for the second straight year.
He didn t get much of a chance to work
with Darren Collison and OJ Mayo in
camp last year because his right knee
acted up and eventually required arthro-
The 11-time All-Star and 2006 MVP
hesitates to declare himself healthy
because the knee problem arose sud-
denly after camp started. But he does
say he feels better than he has in a year.
"He s had a phenomenally consci-
entious summer with his workouts,"
coach Rick Carlisle said. "There are
never any guarantees with health, but
he s done everything that you can do
to put yourself in position to have a
good year that way."
If he stays healthy, Nowitzki expects
finding a comfort level with Calderon,
his point guard, and Ellis will be easy.
"I d say it s pretty easy to get used
to me," Nowitzki said. "You know what
I m going to do. I m going to pick and
pop. I m going to face up on the post,
shoot. And that s really it. And I need
some help defensively. Everybody knows
All those pieces were in Plan B for
Nowitzki thinks Mavs can
do something with Plan B
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Miami Heat point guard Dwayne
Wade stretches during a training
camp session at the Atlantis Resort
in Paradise Island, Bahamas,
yesterday. The two-time defending
NBA champions opened training
camp yesterday at the resort, with
two practices scheduled for
opening day. AP PHOTO
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