On Wednesday Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh talked to Michael Wilbon about teaming up in Miami.
Some notable moments:
Wade on LeBron James coming to Miami: "There's no secret that myself and Chris and LeBron are all good friends. We all came into this league together and played together. But we all make our own decisions at the end of the day. So, of course, we would love for LeBron to join Miami. Who wouldn't. But at the same time LeBron is going to make his own decision."
Note: Reading way too much into this, but ... It has been well reported that Wade, James and Bosh have talked extensively about this, and it's interesting that Wade doesn't say anything about being happy to let James go elsewhere. He leaves the door wide open. It's impossible to think James has told them he will go elsewhere.
Chris Bosh on why he wouldn't take more money in a sign-and-trade to play in Cleveland: "It was just about me and Dwyane talking at that time. I wasn't sure if LeBron was coming back. And I just wanted to leave that decision up to him."
Note: Chris Bosh just walked away from a lot of money! Makes clear that playing with James was a real priority, at least in Cleveland.
Wade on considering the Bulls: "I get teared up a little bit thinking about the opportunity I had. ... Chicago, that's my home. That's where my heart will always be ... unfortunately it didn't work out that I'm in Chicago, but Chicago is my heart. And it will always be. ... It was, it was a time where things kind of swinged, and it played on my emotions a lot, because I am a family oriented person and everyone heard the stuff about my kids. That was going to be my final decision. Of course, I want to be just like every man in the world, you want to be the best dad possible. You want to have every moment with your kids."
Note: Bulls, you have missed an opportunity. Here's the second-best player in the best free agent class ever saying it's "unfortunate" he did not get to join your team, and that doing so would have helped him fulfill his role as a father. Also, the Bulls have a much better supporting cast. How did the Bulls fumble this catch? Also, this testimonial is nice to hear for those reporters who said Wade was leaning Bulls a few days ago. Many said they were nuts, but it was good reporting all along.
Wade on Pat Riley taking over on the sidelines: "Erik Spolestra is our coach. He's 100 percent our coach. There's no question about it. Of course, Coach Riley made those statements earlier. But he didn't make those statements to say he's trying to come in and take over for Coach Spole at all. I talked to him. ... I look forward to now seeing the load lighten on him a little bit as well. These last two years has been a challenge. But the load is going to lighten on him as well. 100 percent he's our coach. He's Chris's coach. And now he's my coach. And we look forward to him grow to be the next great Pat Riley or Lenny Wilkens, the coaches that's in that same breath. We feel he can be that."
Note: As promised, we get to avoid one of the uglier scenes of free agency, which is Riley once again wresting control of a good team from a good coach who had put in time with a bad team, like he did to Stan Van Gundy last time the Heat were good.
Wade on taking a smaller salary: "This decision right here is about winning, and it's about winning multiple championships. So as we came on, this is not a money situation. I'm not opposed to taking less money than what's that max number. This is not about the money."
Bosh: "We're ready to sacrifice a lot of things in order to do that. So it's not about the money. It's not about anything else except for winning. And I'm a winner, Dwyane's a winner, and we're going to bring winning to Miami."
Bosh: "We know we're probably not going to get as many shots as we did before, but that's the sacrifice like I said before, that's one of the sacrifices that I think we're both willing to take. And I think K.G. and Ray and Paul, when they all went to the Celtics back in '08, '07, I think everybody kind of doubted it a little bit, didn't see it. But they made that sacrifice that they needed to make and it worked out for them."
Note: We know they mean what they say, because they have no choice to but to make much less than they could have made. An NBA agent told me at the start of this process not to expect any free agent to do anything other than play where they can get the most money. That is not what happened here at all. Instead, they did something most of us would never do, which is they passed up potentially tens of millions out of a dedication to teamwork and winning. They have bloodied in some quarters of the media for putting fans through the ringer, but this is an incredibly rare step.