Wounded pride: Why Dwyane Wade opted out and what it really means; plus Dolphins' complete open-to-public training camp schedule here, "Let's gooooo States!" & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
It's Radio Tuesday!: I'm back on my regular Tuesday in-studio schedule with the Dan LeBatard Show today, 3-7 p.m. on The Ticket Miami, 4-7 on ESPN Radio and Fusion TV. Ears and eyes welcome. Good day to follow me on Periscope because we'll have something from the studio.
1) It is TUESDAY, JUNE 30. Farewell, June. You were good. 2) Click on Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes column. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Wade opts out, Winslow star-bound, Hot Button Top 10, Heat draft and Wade verdicts & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also on Facebook, Instagram, Vine and now Periscope, too.
The Winslow column: Click on Justise At Last for today's latest column by me, on why Duke's Justise Winslow looks like the Heat's biggest draft-born star since Dwyane Wade in 2003. Winslow is fifth in NBA rookie of the year betting odds at 9-1, per Bovada. Only better odds are for Jahlil Okafor at 7-2, D'Angelo Russell at 4-1, Karl-Anthony Towns at 7-1 and Emmanuel Mudiay also 7-1.
MONEY AND PRIDE: WHY WADE OPTED OUT AND WHAT IT MEANS: NBA players opt out of their contracts early to become free agents for various reasons. LeBron James is doing it in Cleveland and it's all about power. Control. He wants to leverage the threat of leaving to force desired roster moves. With other players it's all about ego. Even if they have every intention of remaining with their team, they want to be loved and appreciated. They want to feel that from other bidding teams. They also want the adulation of their team's fans when they eventually re-sign. With Dwyane Wade in Miami it's a bit more complicated. It's about money, yes, but first it's about pride and respect. Wade's pride needs to feel Miami is showing him respect reflected in dollars. The problem is, Pat Riley, eyeing enough financial flexibility to pursue Kevin Durant in 2016, could draw a hard, pragmatic line with Wade. The chance Wade will leave is real. Not likely, I don't think, but real. Wade is gambling that another team (it only takes one) will offer him a max contract, or at least more $$$ than Riley is putting on the table when negotiations begin on Wednesday. There must be compromise, but that is not a given here. Wade wants to stay and end his career as a Heat Lifer. Little doubt. But he must be given enough to save face, to not feel insulted. Wade, at 33 and with intermittent health issues, should not expect a $20 million-a-year deal. But Riley should pay more than he thinks he should. It wouldn't be just gratitude. Wade remains a positive asset who would be a great mentor for young Justise Winslow. The negotiations behind closed between those two men and their teams will be fascinating, and likely tense at times. Somehow Riley must find a way to both keep Wade and also be in play for Durant in '16. It could be impossible. Then again, this is Pat Riley. It's when nobody thinks Riley can do something that El Presidente's own ego might rise up to prove them wrong. Let's see. How Heat fans think of Wade and Riley -- the two most important figures in franchise history -- sways in the balance.
Wade drops from most-popular-jerseys list: The NBA's top-15 ranking of most popular player jerseys does not include the Heat's Dwyane Wade, for the first time in memory. In national sales from April through, Stephen Curry overtakes LeBron James for No. 1, with Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson rounding out the top five. Miami is No. 10 in team merchandise sales.
DOLPHINS' COMPLETE OPEN-TO-PUBLIC TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE: As our blog readers knew first here, Dolphins today announced their full preseason training camp will begin July 30 and that 14 practices will be open to the public -- all at the team's Davie training facility except for one evening scrimmage on Aug. 7 at FIU Stadium. Admission to the scrimmage is $5 with tickets available via dolphins.com. All other practices are free. Most practices will begin inside the team's indoor practice bubble, with players taking the outdoor fields visible to fans about 30 minutes later. One practice, on Aug. 15, will be open only to Finatics season-ticket members. Practice times are subject to change, so for updates read the Herald or call the team's practice hotline at (954) 452-7004. This will be the team's 23rd training camp in Davie.
Dolphins Open-to-Public Practices:
(All are at Davie training camp except Aug. 7 as noted; all at 8 a.m. unless noted)
Thu July 30
Fri July 31
Sat Aug 1
Sun Aug 2
Tue Aug 4
Wed Aug 5
Thu Aug 6
Fri Aug 7 (6:30 p.m. at FIU Stadium)
Sun Aug 9 (3 p.m.)
Mon Aug 10 (12:30 p.m.)
Tue Aug 11
Sat Aug 15 (open only to Finatics season-ticket members)
Sun Aug 16
Mon Aug 17
"LET'S GOOOOO STATES!" U.S.-GERMANY TONIGHT: Diabolical! That's a word soccer announcers like, especially in England. I'd use it for the Women's World Cup unfortunately putting the United State and Germany (who play tonight at 7 in Montreal) on the same side of the bracket. These are the WWC co-favorites, so this feels like a championship match. The survivor of it will be favored to win it all in the final vs. Japan or England. The Americans must show more offensive punch than we've seen from them thus far. This doesn't feel like a 1-nil game to me. It feels like it may take three goals to advance. And once again -- unabashedly -- I make no pretense of neutrality of journalistic objectivity. "Let's gooooo States!"
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