Despite placing second in the fan vote for starters, Wade placed third in the overall balloting for backcourt starters in the Eastern Conference when the media and player votes were factored into the equation, with Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker making the cut.
“If I’m choosing an All-Star, I’m not picking me,” he said after the Miami Heat completed their shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena in advance of Friday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. “It’s not an indictment on anything, but guys that deserve to be All-Stars will be All-Stars.
“For the first time, I actually agree with [TNT analyst] Charles Barkley and what he said. It’s a lot of guys that get their first chance to be All-Stars, and if they deserve it, then they deserve it and they should have those spots. I appreciate the love from my fans to even vote me, to have as many votes as they did. But from an All-Star standpoint, there’s multiple guys that deserve to be in there and I hope they get their opportunity.”
With the five starters in each conference announced Thursday, coaches now will vote for the seven reserves in each conference.
Wade said he plans to give the fans what they want the balance of this 16th and final NBA season, even if it comes in something as mundane as a regular-season game.
“Some nights you walk off the court frustrated as a competitor that you weren’t able to perform or your team wasn’t able to perform to the ability that you believe that you should,” he said. “You try to savor those moments, but those are tough ones. So that’s why I said, sometimes through this process, I’m going to enjoy it and I’m going to be able to enjoy it with other teams and the fans. But some nights the competitiveness gets in me and I just want to go to the locker room.
“Even in Boston the other night, we lost and we were losing by a lot. And I had to fix my face because I saw some younger older ladies across the way and they were just so excited and they were trying to get my attention. I had to realize that this might be their last opportunity to see me play and they looked like they were big supporters and fans. So I had to actually put a smile on my face and I had to think, ‘Maybe this is not my last time here, but maybe this is their last time seeing me.’ A lot goes into it, definitely with how I try to approach each time I got into an arena.”
Removed from the starting lineup as well as the rotation in Wednesday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, forward Rodney McGruder said he remains ready for whatever is next from coach Erik Spoelstra.
“Coach has done a great job of keeping me focused, keeping my mind clear,” he said after Friday’s shootaround. “It’s just being prepared if my number is called. So I’m just sitting back waiting on my moment, hearing my number called.
“At the end of the night, just being a great teammate and doing all the little things that can help lead to a victory.”
McGruder said he appreciates the empathetic nature of the roster, with Kelly Olynyk and Wayne Ellington among teammates caught in the rotation squeeze.
“You can’t get caught up in yourself. You understand for a guy like Wayne, who had a great year last year, had a great start this year,” McGruder said.
“So, you know, you have empathy for guys. You just have an understanding you only can control what you can control, that is being prepared and being professional.”
Dion Waiters on Friday became the latest Heat player to deal with a migraine this season.
Asked if there was a reason for the seeming increase in such occurrences for his team, Spoelstra said, “We’re looking into it. I don’t have an answer for that.”
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