Dime: I know when you spend your first six years with a franchise, you grow up there. What do you miss most about Miami?
Dorell Wright: Man, just playing in a beautiful city and for a first-class organization. Being able to play for Pat Riley, one of the greatest of all time, a young coach in Erik Spoelstra, and Stan Van Gundy, it was fun. I played with at least five or six Hall of Famers, so I learned a lot. I learned not only how to carry myself as a young adult, but as a professional â€“ I think that’s key around this league.
When you grow up fast, you have to be a pro right away. I learned so much from those guys, and they did a great with me spawning my development; letting me wait my turn, really understanding the game, adding more things to my game instead of just being thrown out there like a lot of high school kids had to. I really applaud them for the things they did with me ’cause the things they taught me six years ago, I’m still doing today.
Dime: You’ve spoken before about what Dwyane Wade meant to your development in Miami. What’s it like playing against him now, and what has he meant to your career?
DW: Man, just going out there and being a competitor. I watched him for six years go out there each and every night â€“ hurt half the time â€“ just because of the style he plays. He goes to the basket, he gets contact and he hits the floor a lot. Any person that gets a commercial about falling, you know what type of guy they are â€“ hard-nosed, great big brother, he showed me the ropes. I just soaked up all the knowledge he taught me as far as going out there and being a competitor, bringing your hard hat each and every night and competing at the highest level.
Dime: Last year you had two huge games against Miami. Being that first year away from the team, did you have a little extra something to prove?
DW: It was just that I was going out there to compete. It was my old team, of course I was excited, but I just wanted to go out there and play good and play hard. I had the opportunity to make some open shots and get to the basket â€“ just an all-around game. It’s part of it when you play your old team, you’re just really excited.