After the Heat lost to the Warriors on Sunday, Stephen Curry had a message for Dwyane Wade.
Are you sure you want to retire at the end of this season?
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As part of the jersey exchange that’s become a trademark of Wade’s final NBA season, Wade chose Curry as the Warriors player to swap jerseys with.
“It seems like he’s got a lot more in the tank,” Curry said. “That’s what I told him after the game, ‘Are you sure?... I know you got a lot of stuff going on off the court with family and all that. Are you sure you don’t have a couple more years left in there?’”
Wade has made it clear he’s sure, but Curry isn’t the only NBA player questioning his decision to end his career this year. The 37-year-old has said that he’s received similar messages from other players around the league.
Entering Monday’s game against the Nuggets, Wade is averaging 13.9 points on 42.7 percent shooting, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists off the Heat’s bench this season.
“We understand how important he has been to the game throughout his career,” Curry said. “No matter who you root for throughout the league, you respect greatness, in terms of what he has been able to do throughout his career.”
Warriors All-Star forward Kevin Durant also spoke highly of Wade.
“He’s done and experienced so much in the league, and he’s been really good as an older guy with all the younger guys in the league, as well,” Durant said. “I think he’s invested so much into basketball, especially physically, that it’s just time to walk away and pursue what’s next in his life. As a hooper from day one, I can appreciate that about D-Wade, especially battling him in the Finals and throughout my whole career. It’s good to see guys go out the way they want to.”
That’s what impresses Warriors forward Draymond Green. Wade is ending his career when he wants to and how he wants to.
“I think if you looked at D-Wade three years ago, you kind of were worried, like, ‘Ah is it over?’” Green said to reporters. “And he’s battled back from that, and it’s good to see a guy who’s great as D-Wade was close out on a strong note. The way he’s playing this year, it’s great to see him go out like that. You kind of hate to see a guy limp out of the game, and there are some kids that will see some of these older guys and be like, ‘Oh man, he sucked.’ No, if you knew that guy five years ago, like — but that’s just the nature of the business we’re in. However, like I said, I think D-Wade is playing amazing this year. It’s good to see him go out on a high note.”
As for Wade, he was thankful for the ovation he received at Oracle Arena and for the tribute video the Warriors put together for him.
“It was great man. It was amazing,” Wade said. “They really put some thought into that. Afterward, I said to my teammates that, it was dope. It was a great tribute. I appreciate Steve Kerr and the Golden State organization and the fans for the ovation. It was a fun environment to play in.”
Wayne Ellington speaks
After his first practice with the Pistons on Sunday, former Heat three-point shooter Wayne Ellington spoke to reporters about his decision to sign with Detroit.
“A lot of contending teams wanted me to come and give them that spark from behind the arc,” Ellington said. “Detroit was an amazing fit. A great fit for me. I have great relationships here with a few people within the organization already. It came together and we felt like this is the perfect place for me.”
Some of Ellington’s ties include his former agent, Arn Tellem, who’s leading the Pistons’ front office, and the son of his current agent, Mark Bartelstein, also works for the organization.
The Heat traded Tyler Johnson and Ellington to the Suns in exchange for Ryan Anderson last week. Phoenix then waived Ellington, allowing him to become a free agent and sign with the Pistons.
Ellington is expected replace most of the playing time that opened up after Detroit traded three-point shooter Reggie Bullock to the Lakers.
“He’s such a smart player,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said of Ellington. “It won’t be hard to integrate him into what we’re doing. We plan to put him into probably all the things we did with Reggie Bullock. We intend to ease him in pretty quickly.”