You can attend Dwyane Wade's fantasy camp

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You can attend Dwyane Wade's fantasy camp

From Comcast SportsNet Monday, August 22, 2011

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP)-- Dwyane Wade(notes) has the basketball on the wing. Tom Crean is setting up a play. Scattered around the court are a number of players, many nodding in unison.

No, this wasnt Marquette, circa 2003.

Welcome to the inaugural Dwyane Wade Fantasy Camp, where 100 or so men between the ages of 35 to 68 are spending four days with Wade, Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, Miami Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga, Florida Atlantic coach Mike Jarvis, former Duke star Jay Williams and a slew of otherswith everything taking place at a posh Miami Beach hotel, all for 12,500 per person.

We learned a lot from each other. Continue to do, said Crean, Wades coach at Marquette and now the coach at Indiana. And hes not only a player that Ive coached and a person that I love. Im inspired by what he does. Im inspired by what he does on the court and looking at what hes done as a person, as a man, as a father, as a businessman, those things are just fantastic.

So through Sunday, this group of campers is getting a close-up look at what Wades all about.

The star Miami Heat guard is mingling with the guys, taking pictures, teasing them about their games, and giving them a glimpse of what makes him tick. On Friday, the first full day of the camp (it began Thursday with orientation and a player draft, among other events), Wade and Crean spent more than 30 minutes breaking down aspects of pick-and-roll offense before taking some questions and sending the campers off for some games.

Just like old times, said Wade of working with the coach who helped him to the 2003 NCAA Final Four.

Its all happening inside a massive hotel ballroom, with three full courts set up inside. Wade was worried at first that the ceiling15 feet, maybe a bit higherwould be too low to allow for decent play. That concern was quickly erased when the 2006 NBA finals MVP took some shots of his own, his normal arc having plenty of room to spare.

This is the first year and were going to get better from here, Wade said. At the end of the day, like I told all of the campers here, we all have something in commonand its the love of the game. Everyones here because of the love of the game.

Part of Fridays session was a question-and-answer period, where Wade let the campers ask whatever they wanted. One particular question seemed to bring out an especially good answer, when someone asked how he can get better.

Ive done a lot of great things in eight years. So what? Wade said. Ive got to figure out in the next wave of my career, how do I get better? In my mind, I have what I feel is a next level. And I have a blueprint in front of me. I have the Michael Jordans of the world. I have the Kobe Bryants of the world. I have these guys that are showing whats the next level.

And he said his teammates with the Heat, especially LeBron James(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes), will join him in a quest to keep improvingwhich is what he was trying to teach his campers how to do.

The only way the Miami Heat gets better is if individually I come back better, if individually LeBron comes back better, if individually Chris comes back better, Wade said. So going forward, I know that every year, my role might change. At the end of the day, its about team success. Individual success, Ive had it, Ive done it. Team success is way better.

Wade has had a busy summer, with trips to Europe and China, business in New York and Los Angeles, and an upcoming Wades World weekend in Chicago ahead, along with more appearances in September. He also worked a number of camps for kids, and found a lot of what works with them doesnt necessarily hold with the older customers.

Its very different, Wade said. Obviously with the kids, theres a lot of whistles being blown. These guys are veterans of camps. They kind of know what they like. They know what theyre expecting. We asked them what they want to do, and they want to play. So theyll be very sore by Sunday.

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic. 
 

Mitch Moreland fancies himself an ideal fit with Red Sox

Mitch Moreland fancies himself an ideal fit with Red Sox

Mitch Moreland put up mediocre numbers and won a Gold Glove in a walk year. For his efforts, he received a one-year, $5.5 million contract on the open market. 

That’s not a lot. Maybe his .233 average stood out to teams more than his 22 homers, but either way it’s somewhat surprising that a one-year deal on low money is the best he could do given the fact that his career average was .258 prior to last year and he’d hit .275 or higher in two of his previous four seasons. 

The contract might not be a major score for Moreland, but he said choosing Boston was. 

“I had a couple options, but really just the whole fact that it’s place that I really wanted to play,” he said of Boston. “Getting an opportunity to come here and be a part of a winning environment, being part of a winning environment and having a chance to go out and play for a championship is huge to me, personally, and this is a great option. 

“What they were able to do last year, you know you were in for a fight when you were playing these guys. It was a gritty group of guys that had a ton of talent. I like to think of myself as that type player, as a gritty type player and hopefully I felt like I could fit in here and move forward and try to help out and make that goal happen of winning a championship. 

“That’s the main goal as far as playing this game for me. I feel like we’ve got a great opportunity here, and that was before the [Chris] Sale news broke, too, you know? So seeing that also, it just shows you that we’re in it. We’re in it and trying to go all out to make that happen. I’m happy to be a part of it.” 

It doesn’t hurt that his batting average is higher at Fenway Park than it is in any other stadium in which he’s had at least 30 at-bats. Moreland has hit .341/.378/.683 with four homers and eight RBI in 41 career at-bats at Fenway. Asked to explain his success in Boston, he noted that “comfortable” was the only word that came to mind. 

So what is the Red Sox’ plan for the former Rangers first baseman? To play him at first against righties and let Hanley Ramirez DH, John Farrell said. 

Farrell did also point to Moreland’s recent work against lefties. Last season was one of two in his career (the other being 2013) in which Moreland had a better average against lefties than against righties. Moreland hit .277/.320/.479 against southpaws last season, with .221/.293/.407 marks against righties.

“Against right-handed starters, Mitch will be the first baseman,” Farrell said. “That gives us the flexibility to DH Hanley in that spot. One thing I also mentioned to Mitch is we’re certainly open to his at-bats growing in number against left-handers, last year was his best year against left-handers in his big league career.

"With Mitch, getting everyday at-bats against right-handed starters at first base and Hanley moving to the DH slot, that alignment, we also have the ability against quality left-handers, where Hanley would go back to first base and then we’ve got the ability to rotate some guys through the DH slot. 

Added Farrell: “His strengths as a player are many, but we feel this is a very good fit in a number of ways, and positionally first and foremost.”