Courtesy of Joe Vardon
WADE: Probably. I definitely feel that the trade, for me, one of the most important parts of the trade was getting Jae Crowder as a defender. Somebody who can guard multiple positions, that was huge for Bron, myself, J.R. (Smith), guys like that. Because if you look at it when Kyrie was here and you’re looking at the roster, I was like if you go there who’s gonna guard, you don’t want to be a 35-year-old having to guard everybody every night? And you don’t want Bron to do it. I definitely think with Jae coming here, it was a bigger nudge.
DW: That’s a great question. I don’t know. I think it definitely came together at the right time. I think if I would have gotten bought out then, I don’t know. Things could’ve been different for me, so, you’re right. This wasn’t nothing I always said to myself, ‘oh, if I get bought out I’m going to Cleveland.’ It was not predetermined. To me it was the best situation. Maybe at a different time other situations might’ve looked a little bit more appealing.
DW: We’re both two busy guys so in the summer I only saw him that last week in LA when we worked out together. I could see his mood and around these guys and everyone that’s here. Obviously we’ve gotta win ball games, everything’s gotta go right and we gotta stay together to continue to have that mood, but right now he’s in a great place.
DW: The hardest thing with him coming to Miami maybe that first year was coming to a team that was my team. And he didn’t want to step on toes in a sense. Obviously his greatness as a player and everything he brought to the table gained him an unbelievable amount of respect from everybody. But just vocally at first, he kind of, you know, didn’t say much and kind of let myself and (Udonis Haslem) lead until we let him know that we needed his voice more. And he got comfortable then.
Here, this is LeBron James’ show. As Cleveland goes, whatever it’s been the last three years it’s been obviously Kyrie and LeBron, it’s been LeBron coming back here to put this organization where it is right now. This is his comfort and he understands and knows what his voice means to each guy here, to the coaching staff, to everybody. He doesn’t stay quiet, he uses it. In Miami he understood that sometimes it’s a little different culture, his voice may not be impactful. Once he realized that he didn’t say as much all the time.
DW: I think it’s still being defined. I’m not really asking. I think (Cavs coach Tyronn) Lue is trying different things out. LeBron is just coming back and we’re playing together for the first time, so, I think this year it’s going to be what T. Lue says. I know what my ability is when I’m on the floor. I can score the basketball and I can make plays for others, and I’m going to continue to do that.
DW: No because if you have it on your mind then you might as well go ahead and do it. … If you think about the end then the end is going to attack you, say ‘come on.’ So I don’t. I made a promise to myself and one of my teammates where, I had a year in Miami where I was in so much pain and I thought about retiring. It was when LeBron was still there. And after that I did everything to get myself healthy. And once I got back healthy I started enjoying the game again, I just told myself I would take it year to year and I wouldn’t worry about what’s next.
Some nights I don’t feel like I’m 35, some nights yeah I feel older. But I just go out there and play and I really don’t feel any different, so I don’t really think about it too much.
DW: I think he loves it here. I think right now, talking to him, not talking to him about it, I know what his focus is on. His focus is on what this team can accomplish.
You never know what a guy’s future is going to be. What I’ve learned in playing with guys is you don’t focus on it. You’ve got to focus on this season and you can’t think about the future. You let other people write about it and talk about it but you gotta try to focus in on what you can control. And if you don’t, then it’s already gone. You’re mind is gone, you’re not going to be as great as you want to be. Injuries start happening, all kinds of things when you’re not really focused on what you need to.
So, I know LeBron is focused on this year. I’m focused on this year. I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to be in this environment with these guys. I definitely ain’t thinking about my career or retirement or anything like that. I didn’t know I was gonna be here. So, being here, being in this situation, being around these coaches I’m just enjoying this process. I wake up every day thankful that I am here. So you kind of just focus on now.