After four years of playing deep into June, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade arrive at the doorstop of this Heat offseason with more free time than they ever expected this time of year, but with the belief that the extended rest will benefit their bodies and psyches.
“I’ll be fine; I won’t miss it that much,” Bosh said Friday, speaking about the grueling pressure cooker of a playoff run. “It’s OK to have a break. My mind frame is different because I have no choice. You will miss it, but you have to give so much of yourself to it. … That’s a part of the game we love and hate at the same time.”
Wade, meanwhile, admitted that playing into mid-June the past four years has “been a lot mentally, physically, with all the injuries and everything. It will be good for me to get away for a while and come back better next year.”
Wade reminded reporters that he played in an Olympics following the 2007-08 season, the only other season he missed the playoffs during his 12-year career.
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But neither wants to sit idly this summer, letting rust seep into their games.
Bosh, who hasn’t shot a basketball since he was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs after the All-Star Game, intends to resume basketball activities in late June or July.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m going to actually get to work on my game. I feel like a young fellow again out there. …
“I look at it as a blessing that I have the time to work on my body. … This year I have the opportunity to correct some things I need to correct and come back next year in the best shape of my life.”
Wade, 33, has no idea how he will spend the coming weeks, but there will be time in the gym at some point.
“I will keep myself plenty busy, make sure I’m focusing on what I need to,” he said. “For me, it’s always about working on my game. This year, I became a better post player. I always figure out a way to keep myself being as efficient as I can be.
“It’s going to be easy to work on trying to score. That’s what I love doing. … I feel like I’ve got a few good years left.”
Wade admitted he was “kind of uncomfortable” when he started having the ball in his hands late in games more often this past season, something he did regularly before LeBron James’ Heat tenure.
Wade said “it was very necessary at certain times for me to prove” that he could still do that effectively “because I kind of went away from it for a while. It’s crazy because my whole life felt like I played with the ball in my hands, and then it went away for three seasons and it became foreign when it came back to me. … I’ll be better in those situations next time.”
Bosh, meanwhile, says he’s “in a nice rhythm,” feeling rested and refreshed after being hospitalized for more than a week in late February. “I’m going to watch the playoffs and really get motivated.”
Bosh, 31, said doctors still aren’t sure how the blood clots developed, though they suspect it resulted from an inadvertent kick in the shin.
He is still taking blood thinners, but he can “lift, run, exercise.” Bosh said he is “cleared” medically and not concerned about his long-term health.
He’s excited about the potential of playing with impending free agent Goran Dragic, who was acquired by the Heat on the same day Bosh was diagnosed with the clots.
“I hate I didn’t get to play with him this year,” Bosh said. “He fits perfect. He can pass. He’s an attacker. With me being a shooting threat, we should be able to work off of each other quite a bit. That’s a big [man’s] dream, to have a guard like that. It’s going to be great.”
Both Bosh and Wade are bullish on the Heat’s potential.
Wade has said the roster needs augmenting and, “I have my own ideas, but it’s not my job to say. Our organization is going to address the areas that need to be. Obviously, it’s not enough [on the roster] because we’re sitting where we are now.
“I know one thing about the Heat organization: We’re not going to just sit around and hope. We’re going to try to figure out to make sure we can be as competitive an organization as we became accustomed to.”