MIAMI -- With the Heat's defense reeling ahead of Monday's matchup against the Phoenix Suns and the election around the corner, there was a lot to discuss at the morning's Heat shootaround.
Here are some quotes from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra on various topics -- some serious and some not so serious -- including the team's defensive woes, the right to vote, which Heat player could be president one day and what it's like to be mic'd up during a game on national television.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTING ON ELECTION DAY:
LeBron James: "It’s an important time for everyone. It’s important for young people to understand how important it is to vote, to have that right. There was a time where [African-Americans] didn’t have the right to vote. There was a time that women, especially, didn’t have the right to vote. It’s your time. People should understand that and be responsible about it."
Dwyane Wade: "It was very important for me to just have the ability to do it. It’s a privilege to be out there to vote. You want to make sure that you have some kid of voice or say, whether it’s one vote or not. If you can use any of your celebrity to bring people out, you do that."
Chris Bosh: "People died for that, the right to vote. Doing our ancestors -- our grandmothers and grandfathers -- due diligence by going out and exercising our right as a citizen, it’s important. People come from other countries to participate, to vote, so their kids can do that. Anytime somebody is active politically and in the community, it’s always a good thing."
Erik Spoelstra: "We’ve had only a couple discussions during the debates. We’ve offered to record them to educate themselves. And we encourage them to educate themselves and make their votes matter. Our guys are very active and it’s good to see. It’s all about educating yourself on the candidates and making your voice heard."
ON WHICH HEAT PLAYER WOULD MAKE THE BEST PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:
Wade: "Oh, Shane Battier. That’s easy. Shane and JJ would be the top two candidates, they could run against each other. When they’re in the locker room, they’re together. But you know how that goes. A lot of guys are together, but when they get out there they separate. I don’t know which one would be Republican, but those two guys, we respect them so much in the locker room, but we have moments on plane rides where we sit down and talk about other things besides basketball. Those two guys are two guys that you listen to and want to get knowledge from."
James: "[Battier] could do whatever he wanted to. He could be the mayor of Detroit or the governor of Michigan. He could go back down to Tobacco Road and do something down there, he could do that too. He’s great with his words and he’s great with his knowledge."
ON THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN ADS:
Bosh: "There are too many of them. None of them have been funny. They’re all serious. You get depressed a little bit just watching them. It’s just like dang, they make each dude seem like it’s just bad. I thought it was about togetherness."
ON BEING MIC’D UP DURING SATURDAY'S KNICKS GAME:
Wade: “No player really wants to be mic’d, I don’t think. In the beginning of the game, you feel that mic on the side, and then after a while you just forget that it’s there. The NBA is not going to put anything out there that I say that’s going to hurt the image of the league. So you just go and just say what you say. It’s edited. I think that’s in the fine print, for the safety of the game.”
ON MIAMI'S DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES:
Spoelstra: "We know playing like this isn’t going to get us anywhere. We know where [the holes are], it’s time to do it. We’re at the point now where we need one of our games, defensively. We’ve had five good weeks together, we’re better than what we’ve shown."
James: "We know. We’ve won two out of our three games, but not the way we want it. I don’t think it’s a lot of breakdowns, but it’s communication breakdowns. We’ll be fine. We’re a team that understands that we don’t like what’s going on so we’ll make the adjustment. We know what’s going to win us the majority of our games, that’s defending. Defense is where we make our mark."
Bosh: "We just need to be honest with what we do. We’ll be better defensively, but we’re three games in. We’re just doing things wrong, plain and simple. And that’s going to happen. But when you mean errors, you have to correct them. That’s what I mean by being honest with each other. If we make mistakes, we have to listen to the criticism that we give each other and take it as it’s better for the team."
Wade: "There’s 79 more games. We’ll figure it out. It’s three games into the season and we’re playing some pretty good teams. It averages out over the course of the season. Right now, we can’t worry about it as much everyone else is. We have to come out there every night and put out a better effort."