Goran Dragic says he still ‘cannot sleep well’ because he wants to return to NBA Finals after getting there with Miami Heat

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Former Miami Heat and current Chicago Bulls guard Goran Dragic spoke out about how losing the NBA Finals in the Orlando, Fla. bubble in the 2019-20 season has affected him.

Dragic shared that he is still longing to get another chance in the NBA Finals, as he was injured for much of the 2020 championship series.

“Every athlete, every basketball player wants to win a championship, and it’s the same thing with me,” Dragic told The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry. “I’ve already been close with Miami. Unfortunately, I got hurt in the NBA Finals and it still — to this day I cannot sleep well because I want to be back. I still have that hunger and I feel good. I feel healthy. I’m 36 years old. I’m not the youngest anymore, but I still have that passion and that is the most important.”

Dragic, who dealt with a foot injury in the 2020 NBA Finals, played in just two games in that series against the Lakers. He played 16.9 minutes per game in those matchups and averaged 5.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Dragic’s injury certainly hurt Miami’s chances of beating LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Dragic has yet to get back to the NBA Finals.

Last season, Dragic finished the year with the Brooklyn Nets, who were expected to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. However, Brooklyn was bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Now, Dragic is entering a new chapter of his career with the Bulls, and he may have a big role right away for the team. The Bulls are expected to be without guard Lonzo Ball for a few months after he had another operation on his knee.

That could allow Dragic to play major minutes for the Bulls, who finished with the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference last season.

Like Dragic, Heat fans are hoping their team can get back to the NBA Finals in the 2022-23 season. Even though Dragic is no longer with the franchise, the Heat made the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

The 2019-20 season didn’t end the way Miami wanted, but it’s hard to not look back fondly on the run Dragic and company made in the playoffs that season.

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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.