MIAMI -- There was one thing in particular that stood out for Dwyane Wade when he met with the Nets as a free agent in that much-hyped Summer of 2010.
"Jay Z wasn't there," the Heat superstar guard said Wednesday, recalling the Nets' pursuit. "He called in, but he wasn't there. I think he was in 'Bron's meeting. Still feel bad about that."
Wade smiled as he took a veiled shot at his Heat sidekick, but there was no doubt the Nets' situation intrigued him before he re-signed with Miami to form the Heat's Big Three with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, winning the NBA title last season. However, Wade wasn't too keen on waiting on the move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.
"They had a great presentation," Wade said. "It was very exciting to think about Brooklyn, to think about being the first . . . I knew what they were embarking on was going to be exciting, but at the time, that was two years away. We were at a point where we want to do it now."
James agreed that he just didn't see himself waiting two years for the Brooklyn move to kick in. "It was hard to see where they were at the time," James said. " . . . I had a great meeting with those guys, but ultimately, we all know where I landed at.
"I'm happy I'm here and it's working out for them as well."
Wade didn't deny the Nets have become a more attractive option for potential free agents and thinks they've assembled a talented cast.
"Obviously, they've done a good job of kind of what they said they were going to do," he said. "I remember meeting with them a couple of years ago, their whole goal was to be a team to be, in a sense, reckoned with by the time they got to Brooklyn and they were able to build that. By getting Deron Williams, that was the start of that. Obviously, they already had Brook Lopez and they were able to bring other guys there.
"So they put together a pretty good team, a team that if they continue to get continuity, it's going to be a team that cam compete at a higher level in the Eastern Conference."
James equally praised the Nets and their chances in a tough Atlantic Division.
"Only time will tell, but talent-wise," James said, "I think they're right up at the top with New York and with Boston . . . That's a great division to start the season off, and we'll see what happens."