Dwyane Wade and Gerald Green were back alongside their Heat teammates Saturday morning, each having dealt with some tough personal issues in the past week.
Wade said his 8-year-old son Zion, who remains hospitalized from earlier this week with an undisclosed ailment, is “not out of the woods yet” but will hopefully be out of the hospital soon.
Green, who missed Miami’s last six games after a bizarre altercation at his Miami condo the morning of Nov. 4 that led to him being put in handcuffs and restrained as he was taken to the hospital, apologized profusely and referred to what happened to him as something he’s “ashamed of.”
“This whole situation to me, like I said, is an incident that I’m ashamed of,” said Green, whom the Heat said would not discuss the details of what happened when a police incident report said he came downstairs to the front desk of his condo building, hands bloodied and asked for a woman to call paramedics before he passed out in the building’s valet area.
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“I’m just trying to get over this situation,” Green said. “Like I said, I can’t apologize enough to the residents that live in my building, my fans who supported me, definitely my family and definitely this organization that has my back. Like I said, it’s a situation I’m not proud of. I’m ready to move forward. I’m ready to move forward with the team’s goal. And I’m ready to be with my brothers.”
Saturday was Green’s first full practice with the Heat since he missed his first game of the season Nov. 3 with what the team referred to as an illness. The next morning he was hospitalized. After being released from the hospital and speaking to team officials, Green began serving a two-game suspension the Heat instituted Tuesday.
“From Day 1 they’ve had my back,” Green said of the Heat. “They guided me through this whole situation, and I owned up to my mistakes. They supported me, and I just can’t be thankful enough that I’m with this organization.”
Green, 29, said Saturday he feels “pretty healthy now” and “ready to go.” He said he has been “kind of working out a little bit” in the time he has been away from the team. Coach Erik Spoelstra said he expects Green, a prolific scorer off the bench, to work his way back into the rotation with a second unit that has excelled.
“This happens in the league,” Spoelstra said. “Gerald was an integral part of what we’re trying to do. We’ll work him back in at a healthy rate. Whether that will be on Tuesday, I don’t know right now. There’s still a couple more days of practice. He’s getting back into the mix.”
Green’s teammates said they were happy to see him. Center Hassan Whiteside said Green was knocking down shots, dunking and “playing with a lot of energy” in what Spoelstra described as an intense, full-contact “Hunger Games-type” practice.
“That’s our brother man,” Wade said. “We’re happy that he’s back. And he’s happy he’s back. Basketball for us is our sanctuary. It’s our way away from a lot of things. It’s good to come in here and just be kids, be boys, be homies, be great at what we do and forget about a lot of things on the outside. It was good to have G back and I’m looking forward to what he brings to our team come Tuesday.”
Wade said he was happy to be around his teammates too. His eldest son, Zaire, was giving him score updates throughout Thursday’s 92-91 victory over the Jazz — the first game Wade missed the season — while the 11-time All-Star said he tended to his youngest son at the hospital. On Saturday, Wade said he felt like he had been out for three weeks and couldn’t breathe at times running up and down the court.
“It was good to get back out here [Saturday] and kind of blow it out a little bit and get back out here with the guys in the midst of talking junk to each other and all the things,” Wade said. “You can say a lot of things about us and this organization, but one thing you can’t say is we don’t stick together. Each one of my teammates reached out to me. I appreciate their support, the organization. You know I think Zion feels the love from everybody in the organization — from the top to each player. It’s very comforting knowing you have an organization that really cares about everything more than just the game of basketball.”
Still it was pretty apparent basketball wasn’t the first thing on Wade’s mind Saturday and it probably won’t be until Zion is out of the hospital and back home. Wade said Zion’s mother was with him Saturday and plenty of family is spending time with him.
“One thing as a father is you do your best job to protect your kids and to provide, but there’s certain times there’s nothing you can do,” Wade said. “In the situations we’ve dealt with, you feel helpless. So you’re not getting [any] sleep. You’re not thinking about [anything] else. But life keeps going on and you keep pushing. The biggest thing is every day you see improvement [with Zion]. So you’re able to feel a little more at ease. As the week goes on, I feel more at ease and I feel better.”