We, the fans and media, have been talking. A lot. We’ve been talking at school. We’ve been talking at work. We’ve been talking in our homes. We’ve been talking in the streets. We’ve been talking on the internet. We’ve been talking on the phone. We’ve been talking just about everywhere, and on anything that will transmit sound, images or text.
In short, we’ve talked enough on every minute aspect of the upcoming finals, covering everything from defensive assignments and substitution patterns down to arena seating arrangements and the differences in the material used on either team’s uniform. Now is the time to let the players talk, and until they make their statements on the court, that means listening to what they have to say. Read on for selected quotes from the Miami Heat, then check out the corresponding article for the Dallas Mavericks here.
"It’s not bad for me. I don’t know why people don’t think I can run, but you’ve got to understand when you run and bang, that’s to my advantage."
"I’ve been anxious the last couple of days. I just try not to be too anxious."
"You got to get back, and we’ve got to keep shooting the ball at a high percentage. If we keep getting the ball inside and keep shooting at a high percentage, then they don’t get those long run-out chances."
"They pose a lot of match-up problems, but we pose a lot of match-up problems, too."
"Just add. I’ve always said, for me personally, because I am very hard on myself, I would like to have five or six when I’m done. So they just say, ‘Shaq had five or six, period.’ You know, three is cool, three is a nice-sized book, but I want a novel. ‘Shaq had four or five.’ I want a New York Times bestseller when they talk about me."
"In the new era of young stars, I would love to start something off. The guys are going to be in the playoffs for many years, are going to be in the Finals for many years to come, so to be one of the first ones would be a start."
"I’d like people to be in the back yard saying, ‘Where is the next D-Wade going to come at?’ That would be special."
"Shaq, he wants to continue to define his greatness. And we just want to be a part of it."
”Thirteen years of a lot of blood and sweat, a lot of ups and downs. It’s an incredible feeling.”
“Getting to this stage isn’t enough for me. I’m going to leave it all out there because this could be my last opportunity to even play this game, let alone getting to the NBA Finals. I’m going to play it like it’s my last breath on this Earth. I hope it’s contagious.”
“I’ll be satisfied when we win the big one, and that’s what I’ve been working for my whole career.”
"They’re going to probably try to run the big fella and get him in pick-and-roll situations. But he’s seen all that."
“He’s playing better than anybody in the NBA right now. I’m just going to make it as tough as possible.” – on Dirk Nowitzki
“So far, it doesn’t look like it. I guess I’m the next in line to give it a shot.” – when asked if anyone can guard Dirk
“If their perimeter players are either penetrating or going to the glass for second shots we have opportunities. Sometimes they don’t have the best floor balance, so we’ll try to take advantage of what we can, but we’re not going to push it.”
“I said something to him right there. I said ‘There are a lot of witnesses out there. Let them witness you be the first. Let them witness you be the first of the new crop to win a championship. That is where you start it. That is where you leapfrog over everybody else.’”
“Udonis says to him the other night, kidding, so put it in this context, all right? He says, ‘I thought when you walked out of the locker room in the third quarter that you would be bringing a Gatorade with you – label-first.”
“Dirk is one of those guys that it’s going to take fifteen guys, fifteen strong coming in hard and helping.”
Heat Owner Mickey Arison
“A huge thank you to Heat fans that were jumping up and down, screaming, hugging everyone you could find and generally going crazy like an old person as the clock ran down. We heard you — which was weird. We felt you — which tickled. All of us on the sidelines — hold on, was I even there? — felt the exact same way.” – from a recent blog post