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Dwyane Wade’s advice to Kevin Durant: Be yourself and have fun

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Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors to create the latest incarnation of the NBA superteam cast him and his new teammates as villains in the eyes of many fans.

Dwyane Wade, who knows a thing or two about how superstars banding together to chase an NBA title can come with some baggage, advised Durant to not worry so much about how others perceive him. Instead, the Chicago Bulls veteran believes the best way for Durant to overcome negative public perception is to simply ignore it and enjoy playing basketball.

Wade recalled how the Miami Heat initially erred while navigating the backlash spawned by the formation of the “Big Three” in himself, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Acknowledging that teams relished the opportunity to beat the Heat super-squad, Wade admitted it “took time for us to get to the game that we wanted to get to.”

Wade went on to note that like his Heat squad with James and Bosh, the Warriors will ultimately figure out how to integrate Durant into the team, noting sacrifice will be necessary from all of Golden State’s top players. Further, Wade advises Durant and the Warriors to not embrace the so-called “villain role.”

“I think them guys understand what it takes,” Wade said, via Basketball Insiders. “I think the biggest thing is, what I say is just enjoy it. One thing we did wrong our first year was we played into the villain role because people was not liking that we was together and we tried to play into that role. That’s not why we started playing basketball – we started playing basketball because we enjoyed it and we loved it.”

While the Warriors have looked a bit disjointed at times early on, Wade is right that the team will figure out how to blend all the talent at some point, probably sooner rather than later.

“You have the ability to do whatever you want in life and you made a decision, so live with your decision,” Wade said of Durant. “Enjoy your decision and just enjoy playing basketball.”

Sage advice, indeed.

[Pro Basketball Talk]