The Miami Heat have held a spotlight over their head for the past few months in the basketball world. They were indeed the first play-in to make it to the NBA Finals and win an Eastern Conference championship, but much of that light came from the offseason. Miami has now been to the Finals in two of the past four years, unable to end any of those seasons with a ring.
Perennial superstar Damian Lillard requested a trade specifically to the Heat in the offseason, but conversations between Miami and the Portland Trail Blazers didn’t move toward an agreement. Lillard ended up in the East with Giannes Antetekounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, while the Heat filled their roster with a couple two-way role players.
Familiar faces like Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro were the talk of the town during Miami’s media day. The stars, as well as head coach Erik Spoelstra, talked about their confidence in the current roster and their ability to get the Heat back on top of the East.
Here are a few notable quotes from media day.
Jimmy Butler: “It’s a new season, I’m excited for it, you know, I’ll see y’all in the Finals in June… Somehow, someway, we’re gonna end up in the Finals, we’re gonna win it, and then y’all going to say we got lucky.”
Bam Adebayo: “Every season I come back better if that’s improving in free throws, improving in field goal percentage, obviously shooting threes. Being a better backup point guard, in the sense, at the center position. So it’s a list of things I want to get to that I think I could be better at.”
Tyler Herro: “I don’t feel not wanted.”
Kevin Love: “I would be more than willing to step into a mentorship role if they would have me, and obviously there’s no filling the role that UD (Udonis Haslem), the fast shadow that he leaves over that veteran leadership role, but I certainly think that guys throughout our lineup will lead in their own way.”
Thomas Bryant: “Throughout the years I’ve seen them watch me and seen workouts and they’ve kept in contact with me throughout the season… It’s funny how it all aligned right here, I remember by first actual NBA workout was the Miami Heat.”