Greg Beacham, The Associated Press
Published tirsdag, 11. december, 2018, 6:01 EST
LOS ANGELES – Dwyane Wade will spend a lot of time in Los Angeles while settling his retirement next year. He already has a house here, and his wife's acting career would undoubtedly take advantage of more time in Hollywood.
LeBron James is a newly mint southern Californian self, and he is already dressing up to occupy his former teammates, long-standing rival and permanent friend.
"I told him," no one likes to train himself, "James said with a laugh." So he can come to Staples. He can come to the training facility whenever he wants to work out. He can also help me with the young guys. He will be much more personal to me, so I & # 39; will love it.
Wade still has 56 regular season games left in his self-declared final NBA season with Miami Heat, but he held a major milestone in the procession when he challenged James for last time Monday night in Los Angeles Lakers' 108-105 victory .
The result was not the most important part of the night for every man. They were wrapped in pure excitement – in the chance to look the last time in two incredible basketball career, which has been chronologically parallel, often cutting and always momentum.
"I knew at some point in the game, it would make me think this was the last time we competed against each other," Wade said. "It hit me immediately, once the sum sounded and we were given the opportunity to look at each other and be like:" Man, it has been fun. It has been a hell and we have enjoyed it together. "
James put up 28 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Wade scored all 15 of his points in the second half to go with 10 assists and five boards.
But the best moments arrived late when James and Wade finally guarded each other, playing one last one-on-one game to hold.
The defense won at both ends, probably because they know each other well enough to remove their strengths. They trampled each other to drive to their more unpleasant sides, and James forced Wade to try a 27-foot turnaround, fadeaway 3-pointer that missed 7.2 seconds.
Wade was more open when he missed a 3 who would have put the Heat in front with 22.5 seconds left.
"I needed one," Wade said with a grimasse. "I would have it so bad, I think I would have it too much, it would definitely be memorable. But it's my last time to play this guy you know? This is the Holy Grail in the NBA and we go to the finals, this is the holy grail for me. The competition to play against the biggest player in the game. The game in LA. I thanked him for bringing us to this stage for our last hurray at this stage. this. "
Without changing Wade's pension plans or the incredibly unlikely NBA Finals matchup, they will never meet in a real game – and Lakers win put James ahead of Wade 16-15 in their head-to-head matchups over their career.
James was wondering about the symmetry in this last showdown, but both players said their times together meant much more than their time in opposite uniforms.
James and Wade won two NBA championships and four straight Eastern Conference titles together in Miami, along with their Olympic gold medals from Beijing.
"The game must take care of itself, but just the fact that we were on the floor does what we love to do, it's more important," said James. "Gains and losses will happen during the season and during your career, but those moments you'll never come back."
James and Wade swapped jerseys after the final summing, their bittersweet feelings overshadowed by the thrill of the moment and the possibilities of the future.
"It's the end of a history book," said James. "One of the best movies you could ever see. It's too hard to put in words. Thank you they'll be night. We'll have dinner later. I know he has more games, but it's the last to us. "