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Ray Allen seconds Heat 'bad marriage'

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

But there apparently were simmering frustrations with the approach of Spoelstra, Heat President Pat Riley and an organization that prides itself on Heat Culture.

"With a team as old as we were, and with as much basketball as we'd played, we were still doing a million appearances, we still were having all the practices, and doing all the things that typically wear you down by the end of the year. Just being on your feet so much.

"The team didn't learn how to manage our bodies better. When your players have played in June the last three or four years, by this time you have to figure out how get people off their feet. We don't need to have a practice. We don't need to have a shootaround. We just have to be mental. From those aspects, you wear yourself down long term."

Spoelstra said he prefers to carry forward other memories, namely of Allen's game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals that allowed the Heat to win their second consecutive Big Three championship.

"I love Ray," Spoelstra said. "I walk by his picture every day and tap it, of just an acknowledgment of how special that time was and how it's one of the iconic, all-time iconic shots in NBA history. So I love him.

"If we didn't win three in a row, I think we should be open to criticism. It's tough, it's tough to win in this league multiple years, going four years in a row. I tip my hat off to teams that have been able to win three in a row. But I love Ray."

Wade made his "bad marriage" comments last week to Cleveland media amid the Cavaliers' uneven start to the season. Wade is the latest player from the Heat's championship teams to join James in Cleveland, following Mike Miller, James Jones and Chris Andersen.

Of that 2013-14 experience, Wade said, "As a team, we were kind of like this. It was worse because it wasn't new guys. It was guys who had been around each other four years in a row. Your jokes weren't funny anymore to other guys. When you walked in, it wasn't a big smile no more. Guys were just over you. It's like being in a bad marriage. But we somehow made it to the Finals."

Spoelstra said he did not sense any lingering disappointment as he spoke to Allen.

"We actually stopped traffic. We chatted for a while in the intersection. He looks great," Spoelstra said. "We support his new venture, we order lunch from his restaurant, weekly, all the time. So, I will forever be grateful to Ray."

(c)2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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