CLEVELAND — Dwyane Wade reiterated Tuesday that he has no ill feelings toward the Bulls’ organization and said any so-called feud he had with his younger teammates last season was ‘‘overblown.’’
‘‘Aren’t most things overblown? Someone writing about it not in the locker room?’’ Wade said before his Cavaliers lost to the Bulls 108-94 in preseason action. ‘‘Everyone knows the truth. Those young guys in the locker room, especially after me and Jimmy [Butler] went off after that loss [to the Hawks in January], we all sat in the locker room and had a great conversation. I apologized for if what I said came off to those guys as being personal.’’
After that loss to the Hawks, Butler and Wade went public about their frustrations. The difference was that Butler complained about the entire team, while Wade seemed to single out the younger players.
Wade’s comments led to Rajon Rondo attacking Butler’s and Wade’s leadership on his Instagram account, a team meeting, fines for all three and a brief benching for Butler and Wade in the Bulls’ next game.
‘‘That was the only mishap we had as a team,’’ Wade said. ‘‘I’ve been on teams where we had way more than that. I’ve been in [Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s] ear, he’s been in my ear, it’s been on ESPN and it’s been everywhere. And we won a championship. That stuff like that, that’s nothing.’’
Wade said he even reached out to younger players such as Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine after he and the Bulls agreed to a contract buyout last month and left them positive text messages.
The other topic Wade couldn’t avoid was the breakup — not just with the Bulls but with Butler, who was traded to the Timberwolves on draft night.
Butler and his representatives have said general manager Gar Forman wasn’t truthful to them before Butler was traded. Wade was asked the same thing.
‘‘It was choosing to build around Jimmy or choosing to build around your head coach in Fred [Hoiberg] and putting the talent around him and the offense around him that he needs to be successful,’’ Wade said. ‘‘I think they chose the other way.’’
Wade was asked whether a front office should have better communication with its stars and responded: ‘‘Now that’s a different conversation. There’s a lot of things that should happen and shouldn’t happen, from probably both sides. But that’s a conversation for a whole ’nother day.’’
NOTES: Coach Fred Hoiberg said that injured point guard Kris Dunn saw a hand specialist and that the timetable for his return (two to four weeks) hasn’t changed.
• Forward Nikola Mirotic left the game in the first quarter with a sprained left ankle and didn’t return.
• Rookie Lauri Markkanen scored 15 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.
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