Most athletes talk about being a good teammate and doing things for the better of the team before themselves but few actually put their actions where their mouths are. Dwayne Wade is one of those few. Cavs coach, Tyronn Lue, said earlier on Monday that Wade came to him and said he would prefer to come off the bench rather than start.
According to Lue, the reason for Wade wanting the change was for the betterment of the team overall, since he has struggled in his role in the starting lineup and thinks the team would benefit more by JR Smith starting in his place.
Ty Lue says Dwyane Wade came to him and said he wants to come off the bench. JR Smith back to the starting 5.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 23, 2017
At the Cavs practice today, Wade was able to explain things in his own words to reporters.
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) October 23, 2017
As Wade mentioned, him coming off the bench and being a leader for the second unit was something he discussed with Lue when he first signed with the team. Although it’s still very early in the season, Wade has struggled in the starting role, averaging 5.7ppg, while shooting only 28% from the field. His average of 23 minutes per game isn’t exactly starter minutes either. The move to the bench should give him a little more freedom on the court as the playmaker with the second unit, where he won’t be playing off of Lebron as much. After practice, Wade took to twitter and it was clear he is very content with the move.
I Love This Game. The highs, the lows and the in between . These are the things that makes me feel alive as an athlete!
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) October 23, 2017
One lesser talked about situation in all of this was the rumored tension between Wade & Smith after Wade took his starting role after Smith claimed he was told nothing would change when the Cavs signed Wade. This move by Wade should smooth over any lingering feelings and build better team chemistry. Overall it’s a smart move by a veteran athlete who has already won at the highest levels and sees what his role can be to help this team reach it’s peak.
Written By Joe Casey