Dwyane Wade, Heat embrace rivalry with Bulls

Dwyane Wade, Heat embrace rivalry with Bulls

October 27, 2013, 11:15 pm
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Mark Strotman

Dwyane Wade agreed with Derrick Rose's statement that the Heat are the Bulls' biggest rival because, well, everyone wants to beat the champions.

Speaking to reporters Sunday morning, Wade said that both Chicago and Miami have the ingredients to make a perfect rivalry.

[MORE: Like it or not, Pacers are a rival of the Bulls]

"That means we've been successful against the teams, and the games that we play are very competitive," Wade said. "Any team could win any time. A rivalry, you've got to be able to beat each other and you've got to play each other in the playoffs. But also we've been successful versus teams, and we're the two-time champions, so the last two years we've been where every team wants to go and I've been on the other side before.

"So I understand the mindset of teams looking to get there and looking at the team they need to take down to get there, so we've been there for a couple years and I think we've done a pretty good job of understanding that and knowing we are looked at as multiple teams' biggest challenge."

Earlier in the preseason Rose was asked about whether he considers the Pacers a rival of the Bulls, something he shot down. Rose responded "for sure" when asked if the Heat were the Bulls' biggest rival. Last season the Heat, on their way to their second straight NBA championship, defeated the Bulls -- playing without Luol Deng and Rose -- in five games. Three years ago the Heat also beat the top-seeded Bulls in five games before losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals.

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With Rose looking like his old self, the Heat may have to go through Chicago if they want to three-peat. That's just fine, said LeBron James, who is happy to see Rose back, healthy and having fun.

"I'm happy and I'm proud that he's back. Being a fan of the game and being a fan of his, I'm happy with what he did last year being able to stay strong throughout everything and throughout all the adversity and everybody criticizing him about what he should do," he said. "He did what was best for him and it was great to see that. And to see him back full strength, the game is happy to have him back and I'm happy to see him back out there.