Very often, during training, the Heat players take the basketball and improvise a little football. If for a purist it might sound like profanity to kick a basketball, Goran Dragic explains that these moments, often launched by Jimmy Butler, allow players to enjoy life together.
We do this regularly. Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard, Chris Silva, all these guys like to kick the basketball or the soccer ball that we have upstairs. We have a job to do, but it’s also important to have fun and enjoy being with each other. ” Jimmy Butler
Dragic explains that of course it is important to prepare, but it is also essential to have fun to have a tight team. Without that, it’s difficult to aim for the summits.
Jimmy loves football, I love football and we are used to watching games together, especially in the bubble as was the case for the Champions League final. We like to spend time together as a team, so we enjoy it. These moments are just moments when we take pleasure. We try to make the most of it on the off days because we know that the next day will be a difficult day, a day when we have to do our job. When we are not playing we have to prepare, but we also have to have fun. Alchemy is essential. If you want to go far, you need this chemistry. We really enjoy spending time together. We like to be together on the field and this collective emulsion is manifested on the floor. That’s why I find it super important. ” Goran Dragic
Indeed, being close to each other seems to be an essential component in a team sport. Everyone talks to each other transparently and that’s probably what it takes to win. This allows players like Meyers Leonard or Kendrick Nunn who were incumbents to accept a lesser role. Dragic explains how he manages things vis-à-vis the rookie whose place he has taken in the starting five since the start of the playoffs and who, leaving the bench, turns at less than 30% of success in shooting (a figure catastrophic) in his new role.
He takes it well. He comes to training every day and works a lot. He is constantly trying to improve. We encourage him, we tell him to hold his head up because you never know: maybe he will be the guy that the series will be based on. He could bring that spark off the bench and suddenly put on shots. Then in parallel, he is a good defender. We need everyone. This is what we repeat constantly within the team. We have the depth of the bench and everyone can contribute. That is why he has to stay focused. Sooner or later the opportunities will open up and he will shoot. ” Goran Dragic
If the mood is as it seems, Nunn must really feel supported and that bodes well. That said, until then in these playoffs, the Heat has never found itself back to the wall. As we know, it is often easier to stay united in victory than in defeat. Will soccer games be enough to overcome this? We may know more about this very soon.
The last video of the 6th man