“I understand that it’s a process and I’m going to take that process and be … I’ve been here before, guys, so I know what to do. I’ll be all right,” Wade said to reporters Friday. “I went all the way around the block just to go next door.”
In other words, he put off surgery on his knee for far too long.
The Heat will not admit it publicly, but there are concerns among those in the organization about the second half of Wade’s Hall of Fame career. Reckless abandon on the court made him famous and made him rich and made him loved in his adopted city of Miami, but now it’s making him and the Heat refocus their expectations. Wade is only 30 years old, but it’s an old 30.
Wade expects himself — as does the Heat — to play well into his 30s and at a very high level. It might seem early in his career for such things, but the team has started an aggressive plan to preserve Wade’s body for the long term. Reduced minutes, scheduled off days and a repurposed skill set are all being considered.