Goran Dragic Hopes to Become an Even Bigger Mentor if he Returns to Miami for Another Season

Shandel Richardson

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra received a text message at about 4:15 a.m., the following morning when guard Goran Dragic sustained a foot injury in Game 1 of the NBA Finals that would ultimately prevent him from playing most of the series.

Dragic stated he would return.

"He said, `Coach Don't give up on me in this series. Give me a chance. I'll find my way back.' I talked to the trainers the next day, and they said not a chance."'

Dragic did return in Game 6 but he was nowhere near 100 percent. Spoelstra said "that's just crazy. There's no way he should've been out there."

Dragic wanted to help his teammates in any way possible before the Heat lost the series 4-2. He gained even more respect from his peers after his willingness to play through pain.

"I love him to death," forward Jimmy Butler said. "I wish I could play with him as a teammate forever. These are the moments that you cherish. He put his body on the line out there for me and the rest of our guys for this organization and that means something. That shows the type of player he is and the type of person that he is."

Dragic, who is in the final year of his contract, said he hopes to return to the Heat next season. If he remains in Miami, expect him to embrace a mentor role for rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn.

"I tried to talk to Tyler, K-Nunn as much as possible [during the Finals]," Dragic said. "They had tremendous playoffs. They played well. If I cannot be on the floor for my team, I try to tell them what I see and stay engaged through the whole game." 

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Eriedj
Eriedj

Great leadership is valuable on a team trying to improve young players.


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