Heat notebook

Miami Heat players turn down interviews with Spike Lee

 

bjackson@miamiherald.com

Knicks fan/movie director Spike Lee, of all people, showed up at the Heat’s media availability nine hours before Game 7, but no Heat player agreed to do an interview with him Thursday morning for a video project that he was trying to put together for ABC’s broadcast.

According to ABC, Lee wanted to do a short variation of his 1998 movie, “He Got Game,” which featured Ray Allen playing the role of fictitious character Jesus Shuttlesworth, the nation’s top basketball prospect. Denzel Washington played Allen’s father.

Allen declined Lee’s interview request Thursday morning because he does not speak after shootarounds.

Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier, who do speak after shoot-arounds, also declined Lee’s request, as did Mike Miller.

Heat players might have been more willing to participate if Lee had approached them Wednesday, a practice day.

An ABC spokesman said because of timing issues, Lee’s project did not materialize.

Lee shook Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s hand Thursday morning and wished him luck.

But last August, Lee told MTV News that if the Knicks did not win the championship this season: “I rather the Lakers win it than the Heat. I do not want the Heat to win back to back. Hell, no.”

WADE REFLECTS

Before Game 7, Dwyane Wade said this has been the most difficult postseason of his career.

“It has been challenging,” he said. “The regular season flew by. But the playoffs have been like Groundhog Day.” Wade declined to say whether he would need knee surgery.

SPOELSTRA REFLECTS

Spoelstra, reflecting before Game 7 on his 10 years with Wade and Udonis Haslem:

“I’ve probably aged 50 years. Those guys look the same. It’s been 10 long years. We’ve been through everything in those 10 years, even in different roles. That season [2003] was my first year I moved up to the bench with Stan [ Van Gundy]. Dwyane and U.D. were rookies.

“We’ve been through the championship years and we’ve been through the bust years. That helps you build character, and you get to know each other for real — when you win 15 games and when you climb that mountaintop.”

Haslem played in Game 7 after being kept on the bench in Game6, which Spoelstra called “one of the tougher things I’ve ever done.”

Etc.

• According to TiqIQ, the average ticket price for Game 7 rose to $1,537.79, as of Thursday morning — an increase of $225 over Wednesday morning.

By comparison, ticket seller Vivid Seats said the average ticket price was $2,400 for the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami and $1,600 for January’s BCS title game at Sun Life Stadium.

Among celebrities in attendance for Game 7: Jack Nicklaus, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and the rapper Drake.

• Wade said for those who have asked, it’s simply unrealistic to expect LeBron James to be in attack mode an entire game.

“He’s in unbelievable shape. Unbelievable,” Wade said. “But he can’t do it four quarters that way. A lot of people say, ‘Why can’t he play like that every day?’

“It takes so much out of you, so much energy, to be able to do that. If he doesn’t then he’s not playing any defense on the other end. He’s not making incredible blocks, incredible rebounds. You have to pick your spots when you do that.”

Spoelstra said Heat president Pat Riley reminded him that the first time his Lakers won back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1988, “they had three Game 7s that nobody seems to remember. They almost got beat every time.”

Riley’s recent interaction with the players has been limited, Chris Bosh indicated. “He’s not telling stories to us right now,” Spoelstra said. “He’s done enough of that during the year.”

• James entered averaging 33.8 points in Game 7s — highest in NBA history, with a minimum two games.

• ESPN’s Stats and Information noted Thursday that the Heat entered Game 7 having been outscored by 56 points in this series during the 194 minutes that James and Wade played together. When James was playing without Wade, the Heat has outscored the Spurs by 48.

That trend continued in the first quarter of Game 7, with the Heat minus-5 with James and Wade together but plus-7 with just James.

But this is a big difference from the regular season, when the Heat outscored opponents by 14 points per 48 minutes when James and Wade played together.

• Asked before the game if he ever wonders if he wants to keep coaching, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said: “Vacation is overrated. … You can only grow so many tomatoes and read so many books.”

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