12 Şubat 2008

Hibbert savors his final Georgetown games

There are times, when Roy Hibbert is in class at Georgetown, that he allows himself to briefly daydream about what the future holds. Walking across the stage to shake David Stern's hand. Starting a new life in the NBA, a life that will pay him millions.

And then he remembers why he stayed a Hoya for his senior season: getting to be a senior.

"I just try to focus on [thinking] I have three or four more home games at Georgetown," Hibbert said. "I just try to make the best of it right now. The memories are something I'll have the rest of my life."

Hibbert's leadership has been a big part of why the Hoyas have national championship aspirations this season. But Big East-leading Georgetown is coming off its third loss of the season Saturday, at Louisville, as it hosts Villanova tonight at the Verizon Center.

The 19-3 Hoyas are unbeaten (12-0) at home this season, with their other losses at top-ranked Memphis and 25th-ranked Pittsburgh.

Hibbert, the preseason Big East player of the year, has continued his rapid development, though his offensive numbers are by no means dominant (13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds per game). He and his teammates make their bones at the defensive end, where Georgetown is among the best defensive teams in the country. Before losing Saturday, John Thompson III's team led NCAA Division I in field-goal percentage allowed (35.5) and was fifth in points allowed (56.7 per game).

"I just do what Coach needs me to do, and rebounding is one thing I have to do," Hibbert said. "It's not [forward Jonathan Wallace's] responsibility; it's my responsibility. It's not DaJuan [Summers'] responsibility to get it done. I do the things that need to be done that nobody really knows about."

Last year's Final Four team was led by junior forward Jeff Green, who went to the NBA and the Seattle SuperSonics. With Green gone, Hibbert, forward Patrick Ewing Jr., and Wallace have led the way, and the Hoyas have been a more balanced team.

"His growth and his understanding have been tremendous," Thompson said. "If someone were to pick up a stat sheet and look at that, you may not see that. But his game has really grown. And then you get what you get from seniors. You get to this point of the year, and there is definitely an understanding, a sense of urgency. Roy's going to have a lot of years to play basketball in his life, but his time here is coming to an end. Seniors understand that."

That Hibbert has an NBA future still amuses many of his Georgetown teammates. To say he was not expected to continue the Georgetown big-man tradition of Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo - or even, for that matter, lesser Hoyas frontcourt lights like longtime pros Don Reid or Othella Harrington - is among the grander of understatements.

Mourning chuckles when he recalls Hibbert's early steps on the McDonough Arena court where the Hoyas now practice. John Thompson Jr. - "Big John," the longtime Hoyas coach and father of the current coach - has often said that Hibbert was the least-coordinated big man he'd ever seen as a freshman.

"I was one person who can say I didn't think Roy was going to become as gifted as he's become," said Ewing Jr., who should know, being the son of the Hoyas and Knicks legend.

In his last two seasons, Hibbert has worked to become better at everything - including hitting an improbable three-pointer in the final seconds that beat Connecticut in January.

"It was a shocker," Ewing Jr. said. "I'm glad he took it when the score was tied, rather than when [Georgetown] was down."

But it's no longer surprising to see Hibbert doing surprising things on the court. And as the calendar gets close to the end of his amateur career, Hibbert gets more determined to try to stop time, for just a little while.

"Obviously, the top of the mountain is winning the tournament," Hibbert said. "I think we're on the side of the mountain right now, looking up, trying to make our way up. Coach tries to stress we want to keep improving. We don't want to take any steps backward. We don't want to go back down that mountain."

kaynak : NBA

An Inside Look at Student-Athletes: Dr. Knoll Knows

The first time that Dr. Wayne Knoll started talking about Georgetown basketball, I was almost tempted to tune him out. Here was this highly respected professor of English who looked like he hadn’t attempted a free throw in decades — how could he possibly tell me anything new about sports?

In hindsight, I should have known better. This was the same man who had taught me so much about literary giants such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. It made sense to think that I should at least listen to what he had to say about figurative towers like Ewing and Mourning.

In addition to having taught English at Georgetown since 1972, for past 23 years, Knoll has been the university’s faculty athletic representative (FAR). Between these two vantage points, Knoll has been able to develop a unique insight into not only Georgetown basketball, but Georgetown athletics in general.

For instance, he remembers 1982 very well. A young Patrick Ewing had enrolled in Knoll’s literary analysis class shortly after arriving on the Hilltop for his second semester. Ewing, according to Knoll, was shy and respectful, especially given his notoriety. He was also a dedicated student.

The day after a victory against Syracuse in February, Knoll recalls seeing Ewing standing outside his classroom. Ewing had played an integral role in the win the evening before, but at that moment he was visibly crippled by the flu.

“I told Patrick to go home!” recalls Knoll. “There was no reason for him to be in class when he was so clearly suffering.”

But Ewing wouldn’t budge.

“Dr. Knoll, I don’t want to miss class,” the budding superstar replied. “The basketball season has started now, and I’m worried I’m going to miss a lot of classes.”

Knoll was impressed with Ewing’s dedication to academics — Patrick had even turned in the paper that was due that day.

Later that season, the basketball team was in Utah for the opening round of NCAA Tournament games. Ralph Dalton, another player who was serving as the team’s academic captain that season, Ewing and three other team members were all enrolled in Knoll’s literary analysis course.

The five players gathered around to talk to Knoll. Dalton spoke first.

“Dr. Knoll,” he began, “We’ve finished all of your assignments! And we’re going to win! And we’re going all the way! So can you give us the rest of the assignments so we don’t fall behind?”

What was Knoll’s response to his intrepid student-athletes?

Chuckling, Knoll remembers, “I ended up giving them more assignments — all the way up through the National Championship.”

Knoll was able to cultivate intimate friendships with his student athletes. He recalls how Ewing, a fine-art major, would occasionally stop by to show off his latest work. Today Knoll counts one of Ewing’s charcoal sketches among his most prized possessions.

Another player with whom Knoll developed a close friendship was Alonzo Mourning. “He was brilliant,” recalls Knoll, “Articulate, smart, he could do anything.”

Mourning has similarly kind words to say about Knoll. In a recent interview, he stated, “Dr. Knoll was the type of professor that guided you through some of the obstacles that you were going to face in class. He played an important role in my success as a student athlete.”

Whenever Knoll teaches poetry, he likes to tell his classes the story of how Mourning was a gifted poet. Not only did Mourning routinely write his own poetry, Knoll still possesses a volume of work that ’Zo composed during his tenure at Georgetown.

Considering Knoll’s friendships with stars such as Ewing and Mourning, one naturally wonders if he had any experience with Allen Iverson.

“I didn’t teach A.I.,” recalls Knoll, “because no one taught A.I.”

Eventually, Knoll transcended his career as a professor and added the position of Georgetown’s FAR to his resume. In this role, he serves as the main liaison between student athletes and Georgetown faculty. Knoll is proud to point out that during his tenure as FAR, Georgetown has never had an academic-athletic scandal. He also cherishes the esteem that other schools have for Georgetown.

“Our Jesuit influence and motto is not just lip service, we really value the concept of a healthy mind and a healthy body,” Knoll says.

One person who certainly also holds Knoll in high regard is President DeGioia. In a recent statement, DeGioia, who was twice a student of Knoll’s during his undergraduate years at Georgetown, noted that “[Knoll] has embraced our philosophy that Georgetown’s athletics programs field competitive teams with student-athletes that demonstrate sportsmanship as well as academic success.”

It’s certainly true that academic achievement is never far from the mind of Knoll. Another of his responsibilities involves helping to monitor student athletes’ GPAs. His motto is to be proactive rather than reactive and to encourage those in need to seek assistance before it’s too late, so he is exceedingly proud of the fact that there is often not a single student-athlete in academic difficulty.

“The only thing I ask of each of them,” Knoll says of his student-athletes, “is not to sit in the back of the class as if you were just an add-on! Come on up front!”

Men’s basketball may be the highest profile sport at Georgetown, but to Knoll, all student-athletes are created equal.

Many years ago, Knoll remembers an afternoon when several members of the varsity football team came to him frustrated with the state of their program. Recent incidents involving public urination, intoxication and academic difficulties certainly signaled to Knoll that a change in the culture of the team was necessary.

Working with former Athletic Director Frank Rienzo, Knoll says he was shocked to discover that the coach’s response to the difficulties was a simple “boys will be boys” mantra.

That’s not the way we handle things here at Georgetown.

In terms of the problem players, Knoll’s directive to the coach was to “get them all out of there, off the team.” When the head coach was finally fired, Knoll played an essential role on the hiring committee as they vetted new candidates. According to Knoll, the main criterion for the new coach was not an athletic winner, but one “who understood the place of athletics on this campus as a part of Georgetown.”

During his days at Kansas State, Knoll was quite the student-athlete in his own right. He played three sports — two kinds of track and field as well as varsity football. “Third string tailback,” he says, “but it was still fun.”

Today, even after 36 years of service, Knoll remains committed to his responsibilities at Georgetown. He is drawing up a blueprint for future FARs so that they will be able to focus more on the intricacies of NCAA compliance issues without having to sacrifice the personal care and attentiveness to the athletes themselves.

Considering his immediate future, Knoll thinks only in terms of Georgetown. “I remain so stimulated by my vocation as an instructor and faculty representative,” says Knoll, “I have no plans to retire.”

It’s good that Knoll plans on sticking around for a while, because there’s no denying that his will be a tough act to follow. Both as an instructor in the classroom and a valuable advisor outside of it, Knoll has directly and positively impacted the lives of several decades worth of Hoyas.

I can’t believe that even for a second I questioned what Knoll could teach me about athletics.

With just four years on the Hilltop, there isn’t enough time to learn it all.

kaynak : NBA

9 Şubat 2008

Old school big men Hibbert, Padgett last of "dying breed"

Who says traditional centers have gone the way of the underhanded free throws and short shorts?

Certainly not in the Big East, where the legacy of Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning lives on in Louisville's David Padgett and Georgetown's Roy Hibbert.

The duo, along with Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, have ushered in an mini-big man Renaissance in the Big East.

When Padgett and the Cardinals (17-6, 7-3 Big East) host the sixth-ranked Hoyas (19-2, 9-1) and Hibbert, there will be hook shots and head fakes, power dribbles and boxouts. Heck, there might even be a sky hook or little lefty-flip.

While most of their brethren have tried to mold themselves into jump shooters more comfortable on the wing than in the paint, Padgett and Hibbert are throwbacks. Athletic but not exactly dynamic, they have become dominant players in arguably the nation's most physical conference by doing the little things well.

"I think we're the last of a dying breed,'' said Hibbert, who is averaging 13.1 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Hoyas.

"We're probably two of the only true post players there are in college basketball still,'' Padgett added.

Sure, Hibbert has added a soft 16-foot jumper to his repertoire, while Padgett has evolved into one of the best passing centers in the country, setting up at the high post while finding teammates darting to the basket. Yet their true talent lies in the block, where a good head fake and seal can neutralize even the most ill-intentioned of defenders.

Their pet moves are straight out of ESPN Classic. The 7-foot-2 Hibbert's baby skyhook is nearly impossible to block, while the 6-11 Padgett has become a master at getting opponents off their feet with a shot fake leaving them watching helplessly while he slides by for a layup.

Call it old school. Call it fundamentally sound. Just don't call it boring.

Though they rarely make the highlight reel - Hibbert's stunning 3-pointer to beat Connecticut at the horn last month notwithstanding - there is a simple beauty in the way they play that has won them the admiration of rival coaches.

"They both do a great job of rebounding, using their size,'' said St. John's coach Norm Roberts, who got an eyeful of both players in losses to the Cardinals and Hoyas last month. "I think David probably runs the floor a little bit better, but Roy has an assortment of moves and has really varied his game.''

Marquette coach Tom Crean hailed Padgett as the best "offensive facilitator'' in the country after the Cardinals systematically dominated the Golden Eagles on Monday.

Though the numbers are hardly eye-popping - he's averaging 10.1 points and 4.2 rebounds - coach Rick Pitino has called Padgett's impact on Louisville's "basketball IQ'' immeasurable.

It's no coincidence the Cardinals struggled while Padgett sat out six weeks with a fractured kneecap. Sorely missing was his presence as the quarterback on their suffocating zone defense and his ability to create easy shots for teammates on offense by making sure everyone is in the right place.

"Without Padgett and (forward Juan) Palacios, I wouldn't say we played bad basketball, but we didn't play smart basketball,'' Pitino said.

Hibbert's responsibilities are slightly different.

A better shot blocker than Padgett, Hibbert likes to challenge opponents, attacking their strengths. His tenacity is one of the reasons the Hoyas lead the nation in field goal percentage defense. Opponents shoot just over 35 percent from the field against Georgetown, undone by the Hoyas' length and relentless discipline.

"You have the scouting report and obviously know what those big guys like to do,'' said Hibbert, who averages 2.1 blocks per game. "I like to try to take that away, try to outsmart them.''

Hibbert's evolution from awkward freshman into dominant force has helped the Hoyas re-estabilish themselves among the nation's elite. It hasn't always been easy, but Hibbert never backed down from the challenge of playing in the shadow of former Georgetown greats Ewing, Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo.

Though Hibbert lacks Ewing's offensive firepower or Mourning and Mutombo's defensive nastiness, he's undoubtedly the best passer of the four. Hibbert's 40 assists are third-highest on the team, as he deftly finds an open shooter or a cutting teammate when the double-team comes.

"He's really expanded his game,'' Padgett said of Hibbert. "He's got a good feel for where the ball needs to go.''

Padgett thought he was a good passer until he came to Louisville, only to realize he sometimes panicked when double-teamed.

In an effort to get better Padgett would go entire practices without shooting, focusing on keeping his head up and eyes moving. While he averages just one assist a game, he rarely takes bad shots and is just as adept setting up in the high post with the ball over his head searching for a teammate as he is backing someone down.

When it gets to crunch time on Saturday, though, Padgett and Hibbert will likely be back in a familiar spot, down in the block, banging for supremacy in the kind of battle that used to be commonplace.

It's a challenge both welcome, one that would look just as natural in black-and-white as in pixel-perfect high definition.

"He's the anchor of their team defensively; when they need a bucket they go to him,'' Hibbert said. "I believe it's the same thing for me.''

kaynak : NBA

8 Şubat 2008

Heat: Mourning retirement untrue

Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning's retirement is off just hours after the Miami Heat center made it official.

A spokesman for the Heat said a story erroneously was placed on the team's web site Monday confirming that Mourning will call it quits.

The 37-year-old Mourning, who entered his 15th NBA season saying it would be his last, saw it cut short when he tore the patella tendon and quadriceps tendon in his right knee on December 19.

After undergoing an operation, Mourning ruled out the possibility of a 16th season in an interview posted on the Heat's official web site earlier Monday.

"I'm retired," he said. "This is it for me."

Later in the day, a team official said the story was incorrect and that it was removed from the web site.

Mourning suffered the tear as he raced down the court and planted beneath the rim to block a shot in the first quarter of the Heat's 117-111 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Since being drafted second overall by Charlotte out of Georgetown in 1992, Mourning played in 837 games for the Hornets, Miami and New Jersey. He began his second spell with the Heat in 2004.

Mourning owns career averages of 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The seven-time All-Star won one championship with Miami in 2006.

A two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Mourning defeated the odds just by stepping on the court in recent years. He was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease in 2003 and returned for the 2004-05 season after a transplant.

kaynak : NBA

Alonzo Mourning Captains First-Ever McDonald's All American(R) Advisory Council With Assists From Danny Ferry and Greg Oden

Alonzo Mourning, the Miami Heat center who was named McDonald's All American(R: 58.55, -0.28, -0.47%) High School Basketball Games Alumni Ambassador in 2007, today announced his next steps in the McDonald's All American Games Alumni legacy with the development of a "Three Point Mission" for the McDonald's All American Advisory Council.

"It's important for alumni of the McDonald's All American Games to take an active role in the program that helped so many of us jump-start our basketball careers," Mourning said. "It is up to the veterans to lead the way for the basketball stars of tomorrow who will be filling our shoes and giving back to communities across the country."

kaynak : NBA

Heat: Wade's team

A friend asked me today what I think the Heat should do next.

My answer?

The same as it has been for months:

Whatever Dwyane Wade wants.

Really, that's what it is about: making sure that the style and the roster are to his liking, so he remains beyond his contract's expiration in 2010.

That's what this trade was about, too.

For the past year-plus, it's been apparent that Shaquille O'Neal, on whose broad shoulders Dwyane Wade stood for two seasons, was now figuratively and literally standing in Wade's way. Standing in the way of Wade becoming a leader. Standing in the way of Wade setting the locker room tempo, to something more like what Alonzo Mourning what espouse. Standing in the way of the Heat playing a style that suited Wade best.

If you were around the team at all -- and I wasn't around as much as in the past three seasons -- the tension was obvious. O'Neal's presence made it easier for Wade to become what Wade became. Now, however, O'Neal's presence was making it more difficult for Wade to become something even greater.

"We simply looked at the big picture, where we are today, and we need to build around Dwyane," Pat Riley said before Wednesday's game in Detroit. "And everything we do now, moving forward is about building around Dwyane."

Again, you could see this coming.

My guess is that Riley saw it coming before the season, but figured that he could get one more strong season out of O'Neal. And even if he couldn't, he wasn't sure if he could get much for him.

He got plenty, as it turned out.

He got a multi-dimensional player who has made four All-Star teams, and whose contract doesn't do as much damage as O'Neal's contract, even if Shawn Marion chooses to opt in next season.

And Wade got what he appeared to want:

A team.

The Heat is all his.

Now it's up to Wade to take that next step, out of O'Neal's shadow.

Wade must demand more from teammates.

Wade must demand more of himself.

That means cutting back on some of the off-the-court commitments.

That means committing to defense.

And it's up to Riley to construct a team that convinces Wade to commit to the Heat for the long-term.

What would you like to see/hear from Wade?

Below, you'll see two columns that I wrote before this season.

You'll see that I'm making the same points now -- and Riley seems to be making them as well -- that I made then.

You'll also see that I underestimated Riley again, when I said it would be all-but-impossible to trade O'Neal.

If every homeowner had a realtor like Riley, housing prices would be soaring, not slumping.


July 17, 2007 Tuesday
Broward Metro Edition



The mayor had no chance in this competition. Dwyane Wade, even at less than full strength, remains a formidable one-on-one opponent.

"I got more votes to come here today than he did to get in office," Wade joked Monday, appearing on a platform before adoring and amused adults and children at City Hall Park.

The count wasn't close. Richard Kaplan won his 2006 election with 1,950 votes. City Hall Park received 110,000 votes in the Staples Dream Park Challenge, earning the park $25,000 in renovations and its supporters an hour with Wade.

Wade remains the people's undisputed athletic champion in South Florida. He is no longer a defending NBA champion, wearing the scars of surgery and a Bulls sweep instead of a crown. To reign again, he must make the Heat his team, just as he made Lauderhill another one of his towns.

It's his time now.

"I'm going to be here for a while," Wade said. "I don't know about Zo, I don't know about Shaq, but I'm going to be here for a while."

Heat fans can only hope. His contract expires in three years. If all goes well, an extension will follow. All will go well if Pat Riley can find the right complements to his game and personality, and leave him feeling comfortable with the franchise direction.

Wade can play a part, too.

He assisted Riley in the difficult, doomed attempt to recruit point guard Maurice Williams, but he hasn't failed at much else in four seasons. His record of consistently exceeding expectations has earned him the right and responsibility to set them for others, too.

Monday's recognition of that reality showed he had done more than heal this offseason. He has grown. He reiterated his desire to "be the best at everything," while quipping that "maybe my three-point shot might come into play. Who knows? It's going to come out one of these years."

What must come out most next year?

His voice.

It should be stronger.

While that is difficult when sharing the spotlight with someone as outsized as Shaquille O'Neal, Wade sounded ready for that step. He doesn't plan on being "a coach in the locker room," because "we have Coach Riley.

"But a coach on the floor, because I know the game a little better, I know my teammates a little better, I know how to handle guys a little bit better now," Wade said. "Coming in as a young guy, no matter if you're the quote-unquote superstar of the team, it's still tough as a young guy to tell someone who has been in the league 12, 14, 15 years to do something out of character."

Reportedly, a rather large 15-year veteran is training unusually hard this summer. Yet if O'Neal or any other teammate starts slacking again, Wade has earned the stripes to stand up.

"Not yelling and screaming, and cussing people out in the papers," Wade said, smiling. "Maybe once or twice."

Steering them back into shape.

Upon announcing his return Sunday night, Alonzo Mourning spoke of intensity, of never settling, of the dangers of feeling you can "flip that switch." Mourning, the embodiment of the Riley way, has as much credibility regarding work ethic as any athlete alive. Mourning vowed to start "cracking that whip" so much that teammates were "probably going to get kind of sick of hearing my voice."

Mourning's voice is worthy, but his minutes are few. Wade and O'Neal are better positioned to get points across, so Mourning said he planned to have the attitude "conversation" with both stars.

Considering O'Neal's hearty historical endorsements of switch-flipping, Wade is Mourning's more natural apprentice. Wade must adopt Mourning's attitude and commitment to defense, and take Mourning's burden, by demanding the same of others.

"Losing changes everything," Wade said. "When you come off winning a championship, a lot of guys are like, 'We know what to do because we've done it.' And you don't follow the same format all the time. Losing changes that. It gets you refocused, it gets you right back to being a student again, and listening to your teacher. We've just got to do a better job of coming in and listening to Coach Riley and our leaders, Shaq, Alonzo, myself, and take it from there."

Wade has listened well. He must make others listen to him.


May 3, 2007 Thursday
Broward Metro Edition



See you on the sidelines, Pat Riley.

Riley did not commit to returning as the Heat coach Wednesday. He committed only to a return to the hard, old Heat way, the way of responsibility and accountability.

Which way?

"Mine," Riley said.

So, if that's the culture he wants, that's whose responsibility it is to compel the change:


Just as Riley realized the mistake of attempting to meet his listless players halfway, he should recognize it would be equally foolish to take the halfway approach to the re-indoctrination process.

He must coach the team next season.

He must serve as the bridge to the next Heat era, smoothing the transition of primary influence from a slipping superstar to an ascendant one, helping to make this Dwyane Wade's team on and off the court. He must adjust the overall attitude sufficiently that someone like Erik Spoelstra (a Wade favorite) would have a fair shot upon someday taking control. He must create the conditions that convince Wade to stay a Heat player for life.

He must coach, even though he has sometimes enjoyed better success as a personnel evaluator when not simultaneously serving on the sidelines, and even if the thought of the grind makes him queasy.

The formidable presence of Shaquille O'Neal leaves him little choice.

Riley must coach.

His only other choice is to trade O'Neal, and that's not happening. While no longer an irresistible force, O'Neal represents an immovable object, due to age, salary and a short list of acceptable landing spots. New York? Maybe, to fill the Garden again. Dallas? Only if Mark Cuban got irrationally desperate after a first-round exit.

So O'Neal stays. The Heat has experienced the perks of Diesel power. O'Neal energized the fan base while occupying sufficient attention to free Wade to emerge. Yet as O'Neal starts to run (or jog) on fumes, he stands as an impediment as much as an asset.

He is an impediment stylistically, as he ages and the Heat tries to compete with more athletic, free-flowing opponents. He is an impediment transitionally, his presence preventing Wade from taking total control of this environment. He is an attitudinal impediment most of all.

It's no secret who sets the corrosive flip-the-switch tone.

"He admitted to me, `Coach, you came halfway, I agree, and we didn't come and meet you,"' Riley said. "And he said `we."'

If Riley plans to fulfill his promise to monitor attitude more closely this season, the prime surveillance spot is neither a house in Malibu nor an office in Miami. It's the practice floor, locker room and sideline.

Riley still has the best chance of any coach to reach O'Neal. He understands O'Neal's obsession with legacy, speaking Wednesday about how O'Neal "wants to go out favorably," and relating that O'Neal was "very depressed" about the sweep.

"But he also knows that his influence on his teammates and the fact that he wants to end his career illuminated, then he's going to have to lead by real example," Riley said.

That, to Riley, isn't about big numbers. It is about supporting the coach, doing the work, setting the tone, with body language as well as words, from the bus to the court.

"Shaq's good at this," Riley said. "He lifts players up. But the leadership is going to have to be strong."

Leadership also entails knowing when to let another lead.

Making O'Neal understand that will require Riley's strong leadership. Riley must do the delicate work of steering this team toward Wade, who is more pliable and, when healthy, more physically capable to respond to the challenge.

Riley said Wednesday that Wade was "hurting" emotionally and didn't like the way the season ended. Expect Wade to return inspired.

Few observers liked the way this Heat team handled itself from start to finish. Remember, after Stan Van Gundy's 2004-05 squad fell a game short of the Finals, Riley also spoke of the need to instill more of the old Heat culture. And that Van Gundy team embodied the correct culture far more than this last Riley one did. After allowing the culture to corrode on his watch, Riley is responsible for doing the hard, hands-on repair work.

That would be a show of accountability for every player to follow.

kaynak : NBA