Tragedy often puts things into perspective.
That was the sentiment of Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Wednesday night.
As news of a rising death toll from a shooting at a high school in South Florida reached the team, basketball seemed suddenly less important.
“I’d just like to say that our thoughts and prayers go out to all the students and families and teachers and anybody in Parkland that is suffering from an incredibly tragic and senseless act,” Spoelstra said before taking questions from reporters. “We just want them to know we’re thinking about them. It makes this game feel totally insignificant.”
Dwyane Wade, who was traded from Cleveland to Miami — where he spent the first 13 seasons of his career — at last weeks trade deadline, said he couldn’t make sense of the news. Parkland, Fla., is about 45 miles north of Miami.
“To all of the families that have been affected by this, my prayers go out to them,” Wade said. “This is so unfortunate.”
Marco Belinelli taking advantage of all-star break
The Sixers’ newest addition will not be heading to Los Angeles to watch the all-star festivities. Instead, Marco Belinelli is leaving Thursday to go back home to Italy.
Belinelli said that it was important for him not to rush to a decision on which team to join after his buyout from the Atlanta Hawks, but he also wanted to get it done before the all-star break so that he would have an opportunity to familiarize himself with the team.
Of course, while in Italy he’ll have an chance to spend some quality time with his girlfriend, family, and friends, but he will be also watching previous Sixers games and doing some solo film sessions so that when the team reconvenes after the break, he’ll be more prepared.
“I’ll only be there for four days, so it’s not much. But I think it’s important to have some time to relax,” Belinelli said. “I’ll work out a little bit and make sure that I watch some Philly games so that I can understand the players better.”