Dwyane Wade has needed adjustment period to get used to Heat way: ’It’s been like training camp all over again’

NEW ORLEANS — Dwyane Wade is very aware of how the Heat do things after spending the first 13 seasons of his NBA career in Miami. But even Wade has needed an adjustment period to get re-accustomed to the Heat way.

“It’s been a very different training regimen,” Wade said in advance of Friday’s game against the Pelicans. “For me, it’s been like training camp all over again. I’m probably as sore as I’ve been all year. First of all, the style of play is different. I’m coming from a different system to a system that is way different. So it’s more body movement for each player on the team, which is a little different than where I come from with my role.

“Also, Miami has its way. It has its way of cutting body fat or cutting weight and all these things. The extra work that you got to do to get down to that. I haven’t had to do that since I left. I haven’t gotten on a scale, really. So it’s a little different mentality. It’s good for you, but you got to get there.”

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade is shown during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Heat re-acquired Wade on Feb. 8 by sending a 2024 second-round pick to the Cavaliers. And already in the two weeks the 12-time All-Star has been with Miami, he’s had his body fat measured twice.

“It’s a part of what I need on this team, especially as we get down the stretch,” said Wade, who is averaging 7.0 points on 32.1 percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in a bench role in his first three games with the Heat.

“I want to get in better shape to be able to do more things on the floor and I got to get into the shape of this team. It’s a lot of extra work not only that I’m doing, but I see a lot of the guys that have been here that continue to keep doing it. [James Johnson] continues to keep doing it, a lot of guys. It’s just a part of the culture and no one is above that.”

This isn’t a surprise, considering Heat president Pat Riley made it known that Wade needed to get in better shape after trading for him earlier this month. Riley said he told Wade immediately after the move, “You just ate your last meal of pancakes with syrup and with whip cream and strawberries on top. We’re back to veggies.”

The All-Star break took Wade away of Miami, as he flew to Los Angeles to fulfill All-Star weekend commitments. But he’s made sure to make the most of the Heat’s facilities when he’s been in Miami.

“He’s around our facility a lot right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Wade. “He’s been working on his conditioning, working on his body. We play a different style, not better or worse, but we play with a lot of speed and quickness and he’s adapting to that.

“He’s also very aware and mindful that he’s stepping into a new team late in the season and been around enough good teams to know that chemistry matters. And I love his approach right now. He’s come in and been willing to help and serve and continue to get to know the guys and let them know he’s not here to disrupt anything, but more to help.”

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