Miami Heat MiamiHerald.com Miami Heat Home Delivery

« D-Wade M.I.A at M-I-A | Main | Action Heating Up »

Just Another Day of Work (Not!)

Only one word truly describes how today played out as the Heat's beat writer for the Miami Herald. Wade-Face

Crazy. Well, maybe I could find another that would fit just as well. Amazing.

Somewhere between agonizing and exhilarating was where I could be found from the moment I got my first call of the day Wednesday morning with a tip that something big was going down in Miami.

Turns out, the Heat not only got a major commitment from Dwyane Wade, there was also the accompanying news that he will partner with Chris Bosh in Miami for the next five or six seasons.

That's two of the top three free agents on the greatest market in NBA history who ended up with the Heat. There's still one big fish out there - LeBron James, who will announce his decision at 9 p.m. Thursday.

But Wednesday might have been one of the most thrilling days in four seasons on the Heat beat. Let's recap.

6:47 a.m. - First text from a league source buzzes the cell phone, indicating that some big news could be coming down for the Heat, with a potential double commitment from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The process of trying to confirm this info begins, as does the day for our 11-month-old light sleeper in the room.

7:15 a.m. - First calls go out to Heat execs, agents and player sources to see if the tip indeed is legit. Understandably, it's hard to reach folks at that time on the east coast, let alone anywhere else in the country.

7:32 a.m. - Turn on the TV, ESPN. See/hear Chris Broussard on the Mike and Mike Show, breaking down the exact same info - reporting it as fact: That D-Wade and Chris Bosh were a done deal in Miami. Thinking to myself, this could or couldn't be legit. After all, I kept thinking about how my man Broussard reported as fact that Wade, Bosh and LeBron were having their pow wow in Miami two weekends ago. Only, I was in Chicago with D-Wade at the time, and LeBron, it was later determined, was in New York.

7:47a.m. - Tweet that ESPN is reporting Bosh and Wade a done deal in Miami, still unable to secure reliable sources just yet as I wait on return phone calls.

7:50 a.m. - Start to file a story for the Herald's web site that lays out the details of the Bosh-Wade pairing in Miami. Details are breaking nationally, but, in an effort to make sure facts are straight, still not quite ready to confirm the story through independent sources.

8:03 a.m. - Politely turn down the first of dozens of interview requests from radio stations from South Florida to San Antonio to Chicago to New York. The adrenaline rush begins at this point. Ask the wife if she could handle dropping off our youngster, because it's going to be a hectic day. She says Yes. I've got the next drop-off and pick-up Thursday.

8:30 a.m. - Time to get dressed, showered and headed over to Nova Southeastern University, figuring I'd better make a run at Dwyane Wade while he's at his youth basketball camp.

9:40 a.m. - Get to Wade's camp, bypass reporters waiting on ground floor and proceed upstairs to gym area where Wade is meeting with relatives and friends. Politely asked to leave, since other reporters have already been told to go downstairs.

9:52 a.m. - Run into two Wade family sources who confirm that he's coming back - and that Bosh is joining him. They believe Bosh might be headed to Miami later Wednesday for a potential press conference. Details still sketchy.

10:01 a.m. - After conversation, posts Twitter update with the independent confirmation needed to give legs to our local story. The Heat has its men. At least two of them. Call Herald editor Jorge Rojas and dictate what I've got. Reach out to two teams that have been courting Bosh to see if they've heard the same thing. Positive response from one, negative from the other.

10:30 a.m. - The wait for Wade begins. First camp session nearing an end. Figuring Wade will talk to assembled reporters soon. Figured Wrong.

11:30 a.m. - Figuring Wade probably has plotted a back-way escape from the gym and wouldn't dare walk through the massive lobby to get to his vehicle. So the search for rear exits begins. Locate Wade's white luxury vehicle in the Arena's loading dock area, right beside ESPN trucks.

11:48 a.m. - Something's fishy. Then rumors start to fly that ESPN will be broadcasting an announcement from Wade's camp at 12:30. Assured by league sources that it's all legit and that the only hangup on Bosh's end is whether Toronto is going to accept Miami's sign-and-trade offer so dude can get his extra $30 million on a six-year contract, instead of $96 million over five years.

11:59 a.m. - Female campus staffers and food service employees taking booty-pose photos next to Wade's super-clean white Maybach. Even Wade's whip proves to be the ultimate chick magnate, I guess.

12:05 p.m. - Campus security escorts media members waiting in the gym lobby out of the facility, with ESPN officials moving in to set up for the exclusive interview with Wade. Media members then asked to leave the campus completely. Meanwhile, I'm around back in the loading dock stairway, staking out Wade's car and trying to blend in with either students or lawn maintenance crew.

12:15 p.m. - Get call from Cleveland source close to LeBron, asking is Miami ready for the LeBron circus to come to Miami now that Bosh and Wade are committed. Also hear that Bron might be making plans to fly to South Florida on Wednesday night for dinner with Wade. Tweet that it could be "blockbuster info" or complete "B.S." You know how Twitter is. It's about as reliable as the outer layers of Bron's inner circle.

Bosh screaming 12:23 p.m. - Get call from Chris Bosh's rep, saying he'd be willing to offer me first local interview after ESPN deal is through. Since I'm getting Bosh, might as well let Wade's crew know I'm out there waiting by his car, so I can talk to him too.

12:30 p.m. - Wade and Bosh interviewed by ESPN, with Wade in gym and Bosh on location in Dallas. Can't tell what's going on because I'm still laying out. But I do hear the ESPN techs being as giddy as freshmen at a college frat party.

12:35 p.m. - Damn. Cell phone's dying. See a Nova student standing nearby and ask if I can use his phone. Tell him I've got Chris Bosh calling in a few minutes and my battery is going out. Turns out, the student is an intern with a local TV station, posing as a student to get past security. Wearing a Heat T-shirt and a backpack, my new partner, Jeff Feibelman, gladly offers his iPhone for the mission. "You mean The Chris Bosh is really going to call my phone?" asks Fiebelman, a lifelong Heat fan. "Come on man, stop kidding."

"Dude," I said. "Just give me your number before we miss the call, before my phone completely dies."

12:37 p.m. - In middle of conversation with Herald photographer, my cell dies. Luckily, moments earlier, I had given Bosh's peeps the number to Jeff's phone. Now, I'm Starsky. He's Hutch.

12:45 p.m. - Bosh calls for exclusive with Miami Herald. Thanks Toronto for developing him into a star player. Talks about decision-making process en route to Miami, says Spoelstra will remain coach and that Pat is determined to go after LeBron now that Bosh and Wade are in tow.

12:58 p.m. - Transcribe Bosh interview on laptop, posts Twitter updates with major quotes from Bosh.

1:20 p.m. - Thank Jeff for his tour of duty, hand the kid back his phone, and head into gym to search for Wade. Jeff has one request. "Can you give me a shoutout in your story?" Not quite. But we'll figure something out. So here you go, Jeff. I owe this kid a lunch somewhere. I've been blessed and lucky.

2:00 p.m. - Catch Wade coming out of luxury suite, where his family and inner circle are now in full force waiting in the hospitality area. Wade steps out to get away for a moment and collects his thoughts. "Glad this part of it is over," Wade said.

2:30 p.m. - Thankfully, there's a Starbucks in this joint. I'm running on fumes. After six updates to the day's online version of the story and countless tweets along the way, it's been an amazing day. The Heat got their men. I did my part to bring you the Herald's version of the biggest story of the day in the NBA. A total team approach.

2:52 p.m. - Check in with a couple of Wade's key peeps on the way out. Thank them for the updates throughout this crazy free agency process.

3:02 p.m. - Head to the parking deck. Thank God Almighty there's no ticket for a parking violation after rushing in there five hours earlier to make sure I wouldn't miss Wade.

3:04 p.m. - With no cell phone service and my computer battery drained, flip on the iPod and hear Ice Cube's 'Today Was A Good Day' lyrics. Fitting. Hit the ignition, and catch the end of The Sports Brothers show on 790 The Ticket on the drive home. That's fam there.

(Updated) 7:33 p.m. - Just got the request from Stephen A. Smith to come on his show Thursday morning. Glad to do it. I might owe that brother an apology for doubting his call on this potential Wade-Bosh-Bron trilogy. And I might not end up being the only one to do so.

In many ways, an amazing day was just coming to an end. Then again, in this 24-hour news cycle, it was just beginning, considering the updates needed to the final version of the story before the day was done.

Like I said, just another day on the Heat beat.

Peace Out.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Comments

 
Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise