As he reveled in the joy of his third NBA championship, Dwyane Wade said early Friday morning that he does not believe his troublesome right knee will require surgery.
“There will be a few treatments, but it won’t be surgery,” he said. “A lot of rest is going to be key for them. I’m going to treat my knees very well this summer.”
Wade sat out the series-clinching Game 4 victory against Milwaukee in the opening round but said he never considered taking off any other playoff games.
“I’m about gutting it out,” he said.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the injury was “a deep bone bruise. It just continually got re-aggravated.”
Wade topped 20 points in four of his final eight playoff games — including 23 points in Game 7 of the Finals — after going a career-long 12 games in a row without reaching that plateau.
“To have that kind of performance, help lead my team, it’s special,” he said. “So special.”
Said Shane Battier: “They tried to bury Dwyane, but he kept pushing open that coffin door.”
Wade sat on the floor outside the locker room for a few minutes after the game because “I just wanted to soak it in. We go through life so fast, and we never really get to enjoy moments.
“The championships that I’ve won seemed like they went past me so fast. I just wanted to take a moment and just soak in being a kid from Robbins, Ill., from Marquette University and now having three championships.”
Wade said he thanked Spurs forward Tim Duncan after the game “for being the competitor that he is” and that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told him: “You were Dwyane Wade tonight. LeBron James was LeBron James. And when you all are that way, it’s hard to beat you.”
BIG TV AUDIENCE
With a 44.2 rating, Game 7 was the highest-rated program in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market in 15 years. The game was viewed in 716,000 homes on WPLG-10, equaling 44.2 percent of homes with TV sets.
The previous record Heat rating locally was the 40.3 for the close-out Game 5 win against Oklahoma City in last year’s Finals. This year’s Super Bowl had a 40.7 local rating.
Nationally, Game 7 produced a 15.3 rating for ABC, and the Finals closed with a 10.5 average, beating the 10.1 for each of the past two Finals.• Ray Allen, who must decide whether to exercise a $3.2 million player option by June 30, said after the game he needs time to decide his future. Asked whether he might step away from the game altogether, he said: “I haven’t even gotten that far yet.”
Forward Rashard Lewis said he will exercise his $1.4 million player option.• Some Spurs reaction after the game: Duncan, who missed three shots in the final 2:46, said: “Game 7 is always going to haunt me.”… Manu Ginobili: “I’m very disappointed, very upset. … I still have Game 6 in my head.” …
Tony Parker, who went scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting in the second half: “I have no excuse. I just didn’t play well.” … Popovich: “I couldn’t love our guys more. What they accomplished this year is something nobody would have ever expected.”
BY THE NUMBERS
James’ 37 points were the most in a Game 7 of the Finals since Jerry West’s 42 against the Celtics in 1969. … Spoelstra, who has a 50-29 career playoff record, tied Phil Jackson for most wins (46) over any three-year playoff stretch. Keep in mind the NBA went to a best-of-7 first-round series in 2003. …
Miami’s 91 made free throws were the fewest ever in any seven-game playoff series. … The Heat joined the Los Angeles/Minneapolis Lakers, Chicago, Boston, Detroit and Houston as the only franchises in NBA history to win back-to-back championships .