Luol Deng’s classy goodbye to Heat, South Florida

Luol Deng is gone, but he loved his time in Miami. (Getty Images)
Luol Deng is gone, but he loved his time in Miami. (Getty Images)

Luol Deng was one of the most misunderstood players in recent Heat history. He was their most consistent player the past two years and did a disproportionate amount of dirty work without ever complaining. He is a slasher by nature, but Miami asked him to space the floor as a spot-up 3-point shooter. He made it work. He’s played small forward his entire career, but switched full-time to power forward last season because Chris Bosh went down. He made that work, too.

Erik Spoelstra and his teammates could never say enough about his value, and the fan base finally seemed to appreciate him in the second half of last season. In Miami’s first-round series against Charlotte, Deng was the best player on the court.

Through it all, Deng embraced his role, the organization and South Florida. After agreeing to a four-year, $72 million deal with the Lakers that Miami could not possibly have afforded, Deng posted the following farewell on his Instagram account:

“Thank you to the @miamiheat for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a winning culture and first class organization. Thank you to the #Heatnation fanbase and the city of Miami for welcoming me in and showing me love. Such a beautiful city and rich culture. It’s been an amazing two years, and the experience will stay with me as a special part of my journey.”

He was highly complimentary of the Heat at the end of the season and said he wanted to return if possible.

“I enjoyed it,” he said of his two years in Miami. “You learn so much. You go through different paths in your life, obviously, I’m really appreciative of this. Not only did I enjoy playing basketball on the court, but off the court it’s an amazing city with so much to do. People have been great. People are very supportive. The fans are just unbelievable. Everywhere you go, people really love the Heat and appreciate everything that do. Here, people notice how hard you play and how hard you work. For me, that’s always been who I am. It never really mattered to me what my numbers look like. What’s always mattered to me is just being able to do what I do out there and play as hard as I can, and I feel like people noticed that here. I really enjoyed it.

“I enjoyed every bit of it, so going forward, I would love to be here. It’s something that we’ll sit down and discuss. I can’t really say one bad thing about being here. I enjoyed my time. The one thing that I know about here is the organization wants to win and will support the players in everything they do, whether it’s on the court or off the court. My foundation got a lot of support, the things I want to do in life. It’s a lot more than just basketball here.”

[Miami Heat on hold as they wait for Kevin Durant, but will be busy once they hear from him]

[Here’s how the Miami Heat can fill in the rest of their roster on the cheap]

[Dave George says don’t worry about Dwyane Wade leaving the Miami Heat]

3 thoughts on “Luol Deng’s classy goodbye to Heat, South Florida”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s