The player’s introduction for the Miami Heat’s home opener against the Indiana Pacers surprised fans when Goran Dragic and James Johnson were announced as newly minted captains, joining Udonis Haslem in that role.
Of course Johnson responded by becoming only the second player in Heat history, Dwyane Wade being the other, notching at least five blocks and eight assists in a game.
After stops in many cities, including D-League, James Johnson and Heat Culture were a natural fit for each other.
It means the world to me that these guys voted for me to lead them, for them to follow me. I have great respect for them. Being the captain on this team don’t mean that I’m always saying what to do and everything I say is right. I also follow their lead, too. And it think that plays a big part in it.
Dragic’s performance leading undefeated Slovenia to its first ever major sports championship cemented his role as a team leader and mentor.
Like Johnson, Dragic has been on several teams in his career and appreciates how Miami has embraced him and his family as one of their own.
It means a lot because you’re working hard to get respect from players and the coaching staff and that’s something huge. We have one of the best captains in the NBA in UD and it’s a privilege to learn from him and try to be a role model for young players and kids. I was a captain on the national team, but that’s something totally different.
JJ has that personality that he’s always on you even if you do some good stuff or bad stuff. He’s always going to look into your face and tell you. That’s what we want. That’s what we need. We need guys who are talking to the players and if a player has a bad game try to lift them up and get them to do their best.
Coincidentally the tri-captains are the only players on the team in their 30’s, with all the other young ones in their 20’s.
Introducing your 2017-18 Miami HEAT tri-captains!#HEATCulture pic.twitter.com/he5zZhSgSf— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 22, 2017
Introducing your 2017-18 Miami HEAT tri-captains!