Goran Dragic admits he was initially ‘scared’ of playing with Dwyane Wade on Miami Heat

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Chicago Bulls guard Goran Dragic recently revealed that he was “scared” when he first was traded to the Miami Heat to play with Dwyane Wade.

The Heat acquired Dragic from the Phoenix Suns back in the 2014-15 season, and he played with Wade in Miami for several seasons.

“He possessed that aura that he made everybody better and he wants to win,’’ Dragic said of Wade, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. “He’s competing every night. When I came to Miami, you’re kind of scared to play with those kinds of players because you don’t know how they’re going to accept you on the team. But he was awesome, not just to me but to everyone. Whenever you needed a bucket he was going to find a way to deliver.’’

Wade, who was recently nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023, is arguably the greatest player in Heat franchise history.

It makes sense that Dragic may have felt some pressure when he joined Wade. The 13-time All-Star won three NBA titles with the Heat and is one of the best shooting guards in NBA history.

The Heat didn’t win an NBA title with Dragic and Wade on the roster, but Dragic was a part of the team that went to the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 season. Wade had retired prior to that season.

Wade averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 48.0 percent from the field during his NBA career. He won the NBA Finals MVP award in the 2006 NBA Finals, averaging 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game against the Dallas Mavericks.

An eight-time All-NBA selection, Wade spent time as the No. 1 option for the Heat, but he also was effective playing alongside LeBron James and Chris Bosh as part of the team’s Big 3.

Even though he’s retired, Wade is still a part of the game of basketball. He is in the ownership group for the Utah Jazz, and prior to that, served as an analyst for TNT.

Dragic may no longer be with the Heat, but it’s clear that he was appreciative of his time playing with Wade in Miami.

Right now, Dragic is looking to help the Bulls get back to the playoffs in the 2022-23 season. Chicago has gotten off to a slow start this season, but Dragic has played well in a limited role.

The veteran guard is averaging 7.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. With Lonzo Ball out of the lineup for the Bulls with a knee injury, Dragic has been an impactful player for the team.

Dragic is still chasing that elusive NBA title in his career.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.