Southeast Notes: Wade, Clifford, Porzingis, Oladipo

Dwyane Wade has been trying to preserve his body for the long run the past few years, at 33 years old he was still able to corral a one-year, $20MM deal from the Heat this past summer. Still, the 13th-year veteran has no aspirations of matching Kobe Bryant‘s 20 seasons in the NBA, as he tells Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports.

“That ain’t a goal for me. That’s a long time. I’m sure Kobe didn’t think he’d play 20 years. It’s amazing. And he’s been through a lot. He’s been through a lot of injuries but he’s still out there. And he’s still, you know, Kobe Bryant,” Wade said. “It’s amazing to see a guy who has played 20 years in the league. Makes me feel old, for sure, just watching him. I don’t know how many people come in with the goal, ‘I’m going to play 20 years.’ I think you take it step by step. For years I said, ‘I want to make it to 10.’ I made it to 10 and I was like, ‘I’m solid.’ Then, you keep going from there. But 20? No way.”

Bryant isn’t nearly as effective as he once was, and Lee’s piece examines what Wade, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are doing to ward off similar declines in their own games. See more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford, fresh off agreeing to a three-year extension, thanked owner Michael Jordan and vice chairman Curtis Polk, as well as GM Rich Cho, whose relationship with the coach has reportedly been less than ideal“I like who I’m working for and wanted this to happen,” Clifford said today, according to the Hornets Twitter account.
  • Kristaps Porzingis said he sensed the Magic would have drafted him with the No. 5 overall pick if the Knicks had passed on him at No. 4, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Porzingis worked out for the Magic shortly before the draft, Berman adds.
  • New Magic head coach Scott Skiles has decided to bench former No. 2 overall pick Victor Oladipo in favor of Channing Frye, who was reportedly available on the trade market for little in return before the season, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel relays. Skiles stressed that the move isn’t punishment or necessarily permanent and said Oladipo handled the news well, Robbins notes. Oladipo is eligible for a rookie scale extension after the season.
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