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News » Wade looking for basketball season to bring relief

Wade looking for basketball season to bring relief

Wade looking for basketball season to bring reliefMIAMI (AP) - It's getting tougher for Dwyane Wade to keep his private life private.

The reigning NBA scoring champion is being sued by scorned business partners and responded by filing a $100 million defamation suit against those parties. He entered mediation with hopes of settling those lawsuits and still hasn't reached a divorce settlement with his wife - more than a year after the former couple headed to court.

The off-court issues are many. Still, Wade insists they won't become on-court problems for the Miami Heat this season.

"We're all going to have our challenges and certain things that we'll have to deal with in our personal life because it's so out there nowadays," Wade said. "You understand that you have to deal with it in such a way, but people say, 'How will it affect your play?' It doesn't affect your play unless you're just mentally weak, honestly."

And after last season, few would likely question Wade's mental strength.

The divorce battle was ongoing and getting downright ugly at times. Details of failed restaurant deals were coming to light, and one of those former business partners attacked Wade's character by making a slew of accusations publicly around the All-Star break.

It's likely no coincidence Wade's stats soared at that point.

From mid-February through season's end, Wade averaged 33.9 points. No one else in the NBA averaged more than 28.3.

Wade finished the year averaging 30.2 points and 7.5 assists. Miami won 43 games last season, 28 more than the year before, and will hitch its hopes to Wade again when training camp formally begins Tuesday in South Florida.

"He can do it again," Heat guard Daequan Cook said. "He's done a lot of amazing things for us in my career with the Miami Heat, and I'm looking forward to him doing a lot more amazing things. You can't take anything away from that type of player."

Wade is dealing with more this year than the courtroom battles.

It likely will be the final year of his contract with the Heat: The 2006 NBA finals MVP can become a free agent at season's end, and Wade has indicated for months that he will likely exercise that right. But Wade has consistently said for years that his intention is to remain with the Heat, and that apparently has not changed.

Still, the questions on that - like the ones about the court cases - are grating on him.

"There's only so much and so long I will talk about those things anyway," Wade said. "It'll get to a point where I won't talk about them and I will make that very clear. But at the same time, I understand certain questions will come up. I mean, this is life."

There's a chance that the court cases could take Wade away from his day job from time to time this season as well.

Understandably, that concerns the Heat.

The team filed a brief this month asking that some of the arbitration hearings be postponed until after this season, saying they could cause "untold disruption" to the Heat and subject Wade to "an increased risk of injury."

Wade said he appreciated his team's concern.

"I'm not going to stress about this, this and that once the season starts," Wade said. "Hopefully it doesn't take me out of it too much, but if it does, I've got to take care of my business and I'll be right back."

One thing Wade is certain of: His Heat teammates won't be burdened by his personal life.

Most everything that teammates know of his off-court situations, Wade said, comes from media accounts. Basketball is his release, the arena is his office, and everything going on outside those doors stays there when it's time to play.

"I will not come in and say 'Oh, I'm having a bad day because of this and that.' I'm not that guy," Wade said, looking out at the Heat practice facility. "If people never know about it from the media standpoint, they wouldn't even know I'm going through anything. I come in here, it's all about basketball."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 28, 2009


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