Some things don’t change.
Not even after six years.
And so, as Dorell Wright — finally, officially again a member of the Miami Heat — addressed the media following Tuesday’s shootaround, Dwyane Wade had an order ready while strolling by.
“Hey, young fella!” Wade, the godfather to Wright’s son, shouted with a smile. “Get me some Gatorade on the way to the bus.”
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“Hey, I ain’t the young boy no more,’ Wright replied, laughing.
No, he isn’t, not like when the Heat drafted him to play with Wade in 2004, or when he left for Golden State as a free agent following his breakout 2009-10 season. He’s 30 now, and a world traveler, having just spent a season in China before signing with the Heat. And, when asked what he can offer, the first thing he said was “veteran leadership.”
It’s unclear how much the swingman will play, especially at first, though he does provide insurance in case Justise Winslow — now dealing with an ankle injury — is sidelined for any reason, or if Gerald Green slumps again.
And it won’t take him long to acclimate.
The place already feels like home for him, even if Wade and Udonis Haslem are the only players left from his last stint.
“Just the energy I felt when I walked in the building was great,” Wright said. “It’s been a long time. Somewhere I grew, as a man, as a player, as a professional. I’m just happy to be back.”
Wright, who shot 38 percent from three-point range last season In Portland, said he knows he isn’t guaranteed 20 minutes. He said he’s in good shape, after working out in preparation for joining an NBA team.
Wright said he had NBA opportunities this offseason, but joked, “I gave that all up for more money.”
And he knew he would get a shot with someone late in the NBA season, once the Chinese season ended.
How many teams were in the mix?
“Three or four,” Wright said. “It got a little serious once people started hearing I was coming here. That was pretty fun. But this is somewhere I’ve been looking for a long time, about returning. This is the best fit for me out of all the different situations.”
Wright played for Erik Spoelstra and said the system isn’t that hard, even if the terminology has changed some. He also believes he grasps material faster than he did when he came into the league as a teenager, drafted No. 19 overall.
The toughest thing for Wright?
But Wright now believes it was the best.
“Totally,” Wright said. “I have no idea where I would be if I had stayed around. I would have been the 13th, 15th guy maybe, you never know. And I got an opportunity to go to Golden State, and show a lot of people, and even myself, what I really can do. And what I’ve been working on the past six years I’ve been here. So it was a blessing, man. To be able to spread my wings, and bring this culture with me, every stop I’ve been on.”
Now he has stopped back home.