Dwyane Wade announced an hour before the Heat's preseason opener on Monday that he would not play. He was originally in coach Erik Spoelstra's starting lineup, but since Wade dealt with a bone bruise and tendinitis in his right knee towards the end of last season, erred on the side of caution.
"He wants me to do what's best for my body," Wade said. "I've been practicing very hard, going very hard. I could play, but I just think it's smarter that in consecutive days of going so hard, just be smart today, rest a little bit, let my legs recover."
As reported by the Associated Press through NBA.com, Wade said his decision to sit was entirely based with maintenance in mind. He did participate in the team's scrimmage and in the workout the morning before the preseason opener. He also has in the back of his mind the preseason opener in 2010 when he felt hamstring tightness before the game. He played and injured the hamstring, which affected him the remainder of the preseason.
"I do have that in mind, so I'm taking it a little smarter than before," Wade said.LeBron James is impressed at the fitness level of Wade at this stage of camp and is not concerned about Wade's health entering the season.
"Seeing his explosiveness, his quickness, lateral quickness, everything, he looks healthy, feels healthy and he shows it more than anything on his face when he's healthy," James said. "That's a great sign."Wade enters this season with career averages of 24.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. Last season, he averaged 21.2 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game.