Imagine my horror when I pulled up the ol' Hoopshype this morning and encountered this teaser:
...Dwyane Wade would love to play in New York for Mike D'Antoni...
I'm glad I don't drink coffee, because I would have likely sprayed it across my laptop. That's an unfair headline to just spring on a guy first thing in the morning like that.
But reading the piece that spawned the teaser calmed my nerves a bit...
This Newsday column and its accompanying blog post are the sources behind the Hoopshype item. Wade seems to be in a particularly chatty mood, giving reasonably insightful replies to queries about the free agent bonanza that is the summer of 2010, the Heat's chances with a full season of Shawn Marion, and the challenges facing Erik Spoelstra. I don't know what this says about the media landscape and all of that, but the blog post is way juicier than the column, because that's where the D'Antoni lovefest begins.
I mean, I love offense. Why wouldn’t I?” Wade said during a promotional trip to the NBA Store. “I love him. When we’re in practice, I love Nate McMillan, but I want to be on Mike D’Antoni’s team because Nate is preaching all defense and Mike is preaching all offense.
I kind of think that's a taken-out-of-context response, as it appears Wade was asked to compare/contrast D'Antoni with fellow Olympic coach McMillan. But still, it's not fun to read about Wade's infatuation with another coach, especially when he offers, as the article states, "cautious praise" for Spoelstra. But I'm not naive enough to believe that Wade isn't thinking about these things. As bad the team has been, the Knicks are the Knicks, and NYC is NYC. It's always in the conversation for every free agent, and Wade won't be any different.
The point is, Miami has two years to build a more attractive situation than New York or any other potential suitor, and that includes surrounding talent, coaching, and marketing possibilities. If the Nets end up with LeBron (or he stays in Cleveland), Kobe stays in LA and Wade continues to play at a superstar level, our guy could very well be the Knicks' primary target in 2010, and he might leave. A lot can happen in two years, and I think Miami is building the young core necessary to keep him, but it's possible. And ignoring that possibility doesn't make it go away.