Dwyane Wade: Enjoy this Heat team while it lasts

From left, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, forward From left, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, forward Chris Bosh and guard LeBron James pose with their 2012 NBA Finals championship rings during a ceremony before a game against the Boston Celtics. (Oct. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

MIAMI -- The Heat has been the most covered, dissected and scrutinized NBA team since LeBron James signed with Miami three years ago. But Dwyane Wade thinks everyone should enjoy this Heat team while it lasts.

James can be a free agent next summer and there have been rumblings about him taking his talents elsewhere. The Heat could look to trade Chris Bosh this offseason.

This is a team that could undergo some major changes in the next 13 months. But before the defending champion Heat faced the Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, Wade said Miami has done a lot and still has more to accomplish.

"I think it's a great achievement to be in three Finals in a row because the hard part people don't get to see," said Wade, who scored 14 points in the first half Thursday night. "Everyone sees the names and says, 'Oh, they should be [champions].' But it's a lot harder than that. To be here three years in a row is a great achievement, and to be in this position now, to be able to win two championships out of three is even greater.

"We're enjoying this opportunity we've all had to play with each other. I think people need to enjoy it a little bit, too, because one day it won't be here and people are going to miss it. Let's stop getting rid of it while it's still here."

It's been a tough postseason for Wade, who is playing with issues in both knees. There has been some speculation that he will require a procedure during this offseason.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Heading into Game 7, Wade was averaging 15.5 during these playoffs and 19.0 in this series.

The Heat has become James' team. Wade, who has played his entire 10-year career in Miami, has graciously accepted that transition much the way David Robinson did after Tim Duncan arrived in San Antonio, and Duncan has now with Tony Parker's elevation to elite player status.

James has won back-to-back regular-season MVPs and has been the driving force for Miami's three straight Eastern Conference titles. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and overtime of Game 6, leading Miami back from 10 down to force the seventh game.

"That was a very big moment for his career, defining moment," Wade said. "There's a lot of great players in this series. He's the greatest one."

You also may be interested in: