Above: the Miami Heat at Atlantis (BIS Photos/Derek Smith)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Miami Heat’s bid for a third consecutive NBA championship is starting in the Bahamas.
The Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island has been transformed into a basketball court for a three-day preseason training camp for the Heat, who arrived in the Bahamas on Monday.
“We thank Atlantis and the Ministry of Tourism for having us here,” said Heat star Dwyane Wade. “We came down here to work as well as refresh our minds, but the biggest thing is that they gave us a great place to work and we are going to do that.”
Above: LeBron James
The Heat were welcomed by the junkanoo band the “Commandos” when they arrived on Monday.
“It was awesome,” Wade said. “It was great. I was wondering how long they were going to keep on dancing. They are in unbelievable shape.”
Reigning NBA MVP LeBron James said the goal was to “get back into the rhythm of things.”
“We know the system but we want to go where we can work our habits and maintain focus,” he said. “Training can be great. It gives us the opportunity to get back into the flow of things, get everything back in order and go from there.”
It’s not the first time Atlantis has turned its ballroom into a court. Since 2011, Atlantis has been hosting the “Battle 4 Atlantis,” a college tournament most recently won by Duke.
“To be welcomed with open arms is cool,” James said. “We are humbled by it.”
On Tuesday night, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie hosted a dinner in the Heat’s honour, a meal which included Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett and Heat legend Alonzo Mourning.