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InsideHoops NBA [HOME] Dec. 31, 2003

Dwyane Wade Interview




Miami Heat rookie Dwyane Wade has come into the league with a bang. Starting at point guard, this scoring combo guard is putting up 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, and is making a big impression on everybody. editor Jeff Lenchiner met with Wade in Madison Square Garden for an exclusive interview. Talk about being a rookie, how your mindset has changed, expectations you had for yourself, etc.

Dwyane Wade: In the beginning of the year, coming in, playing a new position, it was a big adjustment for me, going to the point guard, and I was trying to be that point guard. But then, I'm a scorer, I'm a play-maker, so, after a while I just said, this is what I have to do. This is what the Miami Heat drafted me for, so that's what I've been doing. Do you feel like a point yet? Or more like a combo guard, still?

Dwyane Wade: Yeah, combo guard. I'm not a natural point guard, and I don't think I'll ever be a natural point guard. I'll always be a point guard with the mentality of a scorer, but a point guard with the mentality most of all to make plays. I think that's a big thing, and times have changed, so it's not a big concern for nobody. With the makeup of this team, you probably expected to get thrown right into the mix pretty quickly.

Dwyane Wade: I expected it, because I knew I was going to come in and work hard, and I knew they wouldn't have drafted me as the fifth pick if they weren't expecting me to come in and play, so I did expect it, and I wanted it, and it happened. Did you know that Miami was going to draft you?

Dwyane Wade: No, I didn't know. I didn't know until like 30 seconds before they picked me. Did you have an idea, at all?

Dwyane Wade: No. Actually, I was wide open. There was a lot of talk at the time that Chicago was going to pick me at seven, and I didn't know. And it's a good thing, I didn't want to know. I wanted it to be a surprise, and it was, it was a big surprise. What have you seen from other rookies? LeBron is going crazy, Carmelo's doing great...

Dwyane Wade: Oh, this rookie class is going to be one of the best. With LeBron and Carmelo, two rookies almost averaging 20 points a game is unbelievable, and not only that but what Carmelo's doing for his team. But you got Chris Bosh playing great, T.J. Ford, you can go down the line. The rookies are playing good, and I think this is one of the best rookie drafts in a while. How much attention do you pay to the other rookies and how they're doing?

Dwyane Wade: I always look. I mean, these guys, I have grown relations with, even though they're opponents, I always look and see what they're doing. Every night. Certain guys I talk to a lot, like Chris Bosh, T.J. Ford, I talk to those guys every time so I have to see how they're playing. Any growing pains in particular that some rookies are going through?

Dwyane Wade: It's just the adjustment that you have to make, going from college - including myself - going from college being the main option, number one scorer, to coming here, and you have to learn what shot to pick, when to pick it. And the game is much faster and guys are much stronger, so it's just that adjustment. Compare the zone in college with the way the zone is used in the NBA.

Dwyane Wade: The only difference is you have guys like (Dikembe) Mutumbo in the back. In college you might have a 6-7 dude in the back. That's the only difference. I like the zone. You know I'm a penetrator, so I do a great job of penetrating and getting my teammates open shots. As for getting hurt, you really throw yourself around out there, which makes you a better and tougher player, but it means you get banged up more.

Dwyane Wade: I think that's going to be my career. Right now my wrist is messed up, but in a couple days I'll be back feeling good, then I'll be back to my regular self, then I'll probably get injured again. As long as it's nothing serious; I'm just hurt right now, I'm not injured, so that's the key thing. Thanks, have a great season. Talk to you later.

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