OKLAHOMA CITY -- Alex Rodriguez feels badly for LeBron James.
The New York Yankees slugger said Wednesday that he can relate to the national vitriol James has had to endure since joining the Heat. Rodriguez, who has dealt with plenty of bad publicity through the years, said on ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show that it’s “not fun being the villain.”
“Sometimes I feel so bad for him,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like I feel his pain more than anybody.”
Rodriguez said winning the World Series in 2009 helped his image, and he is hoping the same will happen for James. A friend of Heat owner Micky Arison and a Miami native, Rodriguez is pulling for the Heat to defeat the Thunder in the NBA Finals.
“LeBron is definitely under the microscope,” Rodriguez said. “He is going to be judged on whether he wins a championship. So, yeah, I’m really hoping he gets this one behind him, and I’m cheering for the Heat, but ’09 was a career changer for me.”
Heat guard Dwyane Wade awoke from his dream sleep Wednesday to watch NBA TV’s documentary on the Dream Team.
Like every other lover of basketball, Wade grew up a fan of the original Dream Team. He made a point to set his alarm clock Wednesday to watch the first airing of the documentary. Few things are important enough to awaken a player from a nap during the NBA Finals, but Wade has his priorities in order.
“I wanted to see some of the behind-the-scenes of those guys together,” Wade said. “I enjoyed it as a fan.”
For Wade, the most interesting part of the documentary was the relationship between Michael Jordan and Olympic Team coach Chuck Daly. Jordan and Daly played golf together in Monte Carlo while the team trained for the Olympics. Daly, who passed away in 2009, was the coach of the Detroit Pistons in 1992 and the playoff battles between the Pistons and Bulls sometimes boiled over with emotion.
“I didn’t know the relationships that those guys had or didn’t have,” Wade said. “I think the biggest thing that surprised me was probably Michael Jordan and Chuck Daly. I know the rivalry between Chicago and Detroit, and for those guys to go out and golf and have the relationship they had, I found that very shocking.
“But you understand it, especially playing on the Olympic [team], with all these great players and different personalities, and knowing how our team came together.”
As for the assertion in the documentary from current Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski (an assistant at the time) that Daly “threw” the practice game against the Chris Webber, Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway-led Olympic Select Team, Wade didn’t exactly agree. Based on footage of the game, Wade thought the Dream Team simply didn’t look very engaged.
Wade’s history of migraines is well-documented, but few people knew until Tuesday that James Jones sometimes suffers from the same condition. Jones had a migraine a few hours before Game 1 and couldn’t get it under control until just before tipoff.
“I couldn’t see straight,” Jones said.
Jones was scratched from the rotation, which limited Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s options. Spoelstra mainly used a six-man rotation in Game 1, and by the fourth quarter the Heat couldn’t keep pace with the Thunder.
Jones, who was available for Game 2, said he usually gets about three or four migraines a year but didn’t know what triggered his episode Tuesday.