Another six-pack of nuggets from Heat media day:
• Hassan Whiteside said all the right things today, dismissing any suggestion that his $98 million contract will make him satisfied or complacent.
“I think it’s crazy for somebody to say that,” Whiteside said. “It took me 27 years to get here. What would be the point of doing all that if I don’t reach my final goal?”
When asked if this was his team, Whiteside cracked: “It’s coach’s team. He’s the one with all the minutes.”
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Udonis Haslem said Whiteside has seemed engaged and driven, and now he wants Whiteside to become more of a leader.
“He signed a deal so he can be more relaxed,” guard Goran Dragic said. “... D-Wade is gone. C.B. is gone so he needs to step in as a leader too. Hassan is going to be awesome. He looks great.”
• Dragic, on losing Chris Bosh: “It’s not the prettiest situation right now but we need to clear our heads and have one focus, one goal to get better as a team, get to know each other and try to build that chemistry we are going to need this season.”
Is it easier knowing that Bosh won’t return, as opposed to uncertainty?
“Probably it’s easier,” Dragic said. “Now you can build the system. You know what kind of guys you are going to have around. [But] I would rather have a small chance he could be back. It’s a tough situation.”
• Dragic, who said he will probably be more assertive offensively with Bosh and Dwyane Wade gone, said: “Everyone is saying this team is not going to do well, but in some situations that’s good – you can turn those negatives to positives and take it as motivation that you are going to prove those people wrong.”
• Udonis Haslem said forward Derrick Williams and center Willie Reed have spent the most time in the gym of any players this off-season.
“It’s amazing [Reed] can work out during the day with the team,” Haslem said, “and I will call him at 10 [pm] and say I’m headed to the gym, let’s go. And he’s ready to go.”
• Dion Waiters said one of the strengths of this roster is “at any moment, any guy can get the rebound and push the ball up the floor. We have a lot of guys who can create for themselves and others.”
Waiters said “a lot of people aren’t expecting [much] but I think we’re going to be a decent team. Anytime you lose Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, that’s five championships, that’s tough, that’s tough. Especially guys who have been to battle, been to tough places. We’re young, we’re coming up.”
• Josh McRoberts, who has been dealing with a foot issue this offseason, said: “The last two years have been no good. It sucked. I’ve had some tough years, some down years. It’s been different in terms of you have nothing without your health. It has been a challenge but it’s a new year.”
• For a look at what Erik Spoelstra had to say today in his first press conference since April, please click here.
• And for a look at why Dion Waiters is losing weight and money, and Pat Riley’s thoughts on what happens when he leaves the Heat, please click here.
• And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz