Dwyane Wade’s jersey exchange with Celtics guard Terry Rozier following Thursday’s game was pre-planned … in November.
“Let’s [go back to] late November,” Wade said with a smile before the Heat hosted the Grizzlies on Saturday. “I wake up the next day, and I got a text at 4 in the morning from Terry Rozier. He’s like, ‘Yo, I’m going to need that jersey.’ So I go and I look at when we’re playing them, thinking we’re about to play Boston. I’m like, ‘We don’t play y’all till January.’ So he put his request in early and let me know at 4 in the morning to make sure that when we play them he needed that jersey. We have that kind of relationship.”
Rozier, a 24-year-old bench player who grew up in Ohio, got what he asked for as Wade handed him his black Heat “Vice Nights” uniform following Miami’s 115-99 win over Boston. It marked the first of four meetings this season between the Heat and Celtics.
Rozier said after Thursday’s game that “it was mandatory I got his jersey. I wouldn’t let nobody else get it.”
“I’ve known Terry for a while — when he was at Louisville and we had a sit down and talk,” Wade recalled. “He told me how much of a big fan he was. He had all my sneakers — Converse, everything. He showed me he’s been a big fan for a long time, and we’ve built a relationship from there, even when he was in college. Just me reaching out to him, seeing how he was doing.”
Wade has already exchanged jerseys with All-Star players like New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Los Angeles’ LeBron James, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s Bradley Beal. Swapping jerseys with an opposing player after each game has become a signature element of Wade’s final NBA season.