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LeBron James and Dwyane Wade last played together seven weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean they have not stayed in touch.
The close friends will renew acquaintances Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Miami Heat.
James, who said he was happy for Wade when the Cavaliers sent him back to Miami on Feb. 8, said at shootaround the trade is not discussed when the two future Hall of Famers talk.
“We don’t talk about that,” James said. “It’s day-to-day conversation, ‘What’s going on? How are you feeling?’ I checked on him last week when his hammy was kind of sore. I talked to him when they got stuck in Indiana (on Sunday night).
“I felt like they got stuck on purpose so they wouldn’t hang out with me.”
The Heat’s plane had mechanical problems after an overtime loss at Indiana on Sunday, forcing the team to stay overnight in Indianapolis before flying back home Monday morning.
The last time James and Wade were teammates it was ugly with a capital U for the Cavaliers. On Feb. 6 in Orlando, Cleveland built a 16-point halftime lead. However, coach Tyronn Lue did not come out of the locker room because of health issues, which would eventually force him to take a leave of absence from the team. The Cavaliers ended up collapsing in the second quarter and were blown out by 18 points.
Wade did not play the next night at home against Minnesota, when the James-led Cavaliers pulled off a stunning 140-138 win against the Timberwolves at Quicken Loans Arena.
The 36-year-old Wade, signed by the Cavaliers to a contract in September after he was bought out by the Chicago Bulls, was traded the next day to Miami in exchange for a protected 2024 second-round draft choice.
James played four seasons with Wade when they were together in Miami after James and Chris Bosh left Cleveland and Toronto, respectively, in the summer of 2010 to head to Miami, reaching four straight NBA Finals, winning two championships.
James said it seems as if a lot of time has passed since he and Wade played together.
“(It) seems like it was a long time ago,” he said. “We’ve had like five seasons in one, so me and D-Wade being teammates again in Cleveland seems like it was years ago.
“It’s crazy how things have changed so fast, but I definitely don’t take it for granted.”
Cleveland (44-29) has won five straight and sits in third place in the Eastern Conference, a game ahead of fourth-place Philadelphia (43-30) and 1.5 games ahead of fifth-place Indiana (43-31).
Miami (39-25) is eighth in the East, a half-game behind seventh-place Milwaukee (39-24) and 1.5 games back of sixth-place Washington (40-33). The Heat, losers of two straight, are a comfortable five games ahead of Detroit (34-40) for the final playoff spot.
The Cavaliers have lost 13 straight games in Miami, their last win coming in January 2010, James’ final season in his first tenure with the Cavaliers.