Q&A with Dwyane Wade on playing to 40, retiring, coming off the bench

Dwyane Wade isn't ruling out playing to age 40, coming off the bench or anything, for that matter. (Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade isn’t ruling out playing to age 40, coming off the bench or anything, for that matter. (Getty Images)

Heat president Pat Riley said last weekend he could see Dwyane Wade playing until he’s 40 years old. At first it seemed like he was joking, but then he kept going and it seemed a lot less like a joke.

After the team’s shootaround in New Orleans this morning, Wade talked about that idea and what he thinks the end of his career might be like.
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Dwyane Wade nowhere near retirement

Dwyane Wade sounds like he plans on sticking around several more years. (Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade sounds like he plans on sticking around several more years. (Getty Images)

When Dwyane Wade scored the 20,000th point of his career during the Heat’s win over Cleveland on Saturday, the in-game celebration had the retrospective feel of a retirement ceremony.

But Wade isn’t close to done.

After missing 48 games over the previous two seasons, this is the healthiest he has been in years and he is on track to play 75 games. That would be his most since 2010-11, and the more promising aspect of that resurgence is that his knees feel good. He looks so strong that Pat Riley mentioned the idea of him playing until he’s 40, and it wasn’t clear whether he was joking.
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Miami Heat’s Tyler Johnson eyes pre-playoff return

Tyler Johnson is optimistic he could come back before the playoffs. (Getty Images)
Tyler Johnson is optimistic he could come back before the playoffs. (Getty Images)

Tyler Johnson can’t be trusted when it comes to giving an update on his injury status, so much so that coach Erik Spoelstra (jokingly or half-jokingly or possibly not joking at all) publicly suggested that Johnson would lie about his health in order to stay on the court for the Heat.

Johnson has been out since undergoing surgery on his left shoulder in January and might be out for the year, though he is unwilling to believe that. His rehabilitation work has been going well, and he said this afternoon he hopes to be back before the end of the regular season.
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Wade stuck in shooting slump: “Eventually it’ll turn”

It's been a rough run of missed shots lately for Dwyane Wade. (Getty Images)
It’s been a rough run of missed shots lately for Dwyane Wade. (Getty Images)

It’s been a rough second half of the season for Dwyane Wade, who came out of the All-Star break with a sore left knee and has battled a bruised right thigh lately.

When he came back from the break, the team had shifted into a new, faster offensive style, plus the Heat added Joe Johnson at the end of February. In short, there has been a lot going on for Wade, and that probably has something to do with him averaging 16.8 points on 35.2 percent shooting the last six games.
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Joe Johnson spurned Cavs because Heat “a piece away from being at top”

Joe Johnson believed Miami was one or two players away from a title run. (Getty Images)
Joe Johnson believed Miami was one or two players away from a title run. (Getty Images)

The race for Joe Johnson last month essentially came down to the Heat and Cavaliers, two teams that are always angling at each other and will meet Saturday in Miami.
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Heat-Hornets surprisingly a big game in East playoff race

The Heat and Hornets play tonight with major standings implications. (Getty Images)
The Heat and Hornets play tonight with major standings implications. (Getty Images)

It’s hard to remember the last time a regular-season Heat game against Charlotte meant so much, but tonight certainly does.

As it stands now, these teams are on course to face each other in the first round of the playoffs with Miami as the No. 3 seed and Charlotte at No. 6. However, they are only a game apart in the standings.
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Dwyane Wade to play tonight vs. Denver Nuggets

Wade plans to play tonight against the Nuggets. (Getty Images)
Wade plans to play tonight against the Nuggets. (Getty Images)

Dwyane Wade has been hampered by a bruised right thigh since Wednesday, but hopes to play through it tonight when the Heat host Denver.
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Wade hopeful, but not counting on Bosh return

Wade was upbeat about Bosh's progress, but isn't counting on him to return this season. (Getty Images)
Wade was upbeat about Bosh’s progress, but isn’t counting on him to return this season. (Getty Images)

Chris Bosh is keeping in play the possibility of returning this season, but Dwyane Wade said the Heat can’t plan on getting him back on the court.

“I don’t want to get to a point where we’re looking over our shoulder for Chris to come back,” he said tonight in Chicago. “If he walks in the locker room and he’s ready to play on game day, I’ll jump up and cheer and be happy in that moment, but at this time we have to forge forward and keep focusing on what we need to do.
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Hassan Whiteside’s incredible free throw fix

Hassan Whiteside's free-throw shooting has gotten tremendously better thanks to a change in routine. (Getty Images)
Hassan Whiteside’s free-throw shooting has gotten tremendously better thanks to a change in routine. (Getty Images)

How often do you see something like this? Hassan Whiteside has been a dreadful free-throw shooter most of his career, but somehow seems to have fixed that in the middle of a season.

Over three partial seasons prior to this one, he shot 49.4 percent at the line. He was 52.7 percent for the first two and a half months this year, then bumped that to 61 percent from mid-January to mid-February. Over his last eight games, however, Whiteside has made a stunning 84.1 percent.
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Wade: Heat have same ambition without Bosh

Dwyane Wade sees big things for Heat even without Chris Bosh, and Goran Dragic is leading the charge. (Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade sees big things for Heat even without Chris Bosh, and Goran Dragic is leading the charge. (Getty Images)

Obviously, obviously, the Heat would be better if they had Chris Bosh, but they have patched together enough production to cover his absence so far.
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