MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade couldn't wait to be awarded his third NBA championship ring. So he decided to sneak a pregame peek at his newest piece of jewelry.
And yes, he approved.
"I think they get better every year," Wade said.
By now, he would be an expert in that field.
he Heat got their rings Tuesday night, shortly before beginning their quest for a third consecutive championship by opening the season against the Eastern Conference rival Chicago Bulls.
Packaged in sharp white boxes, the rings weighed nearly 5 ounces each and included 242 round-cut diamonds, 1½ carats of custom baguette-cut diamonds, and three black onyx stones totaling 10.3 carats.
The way Wade sees it, the rings are enormous out of necessity.
"It's always good to add another trophy to the rings," Wade said. "For our franchise, this is our third one, so to add another trophy onto those rings they had to be a little bigger."
For Heat President Pat Riley, it was his ninth championship ring — as a player, coach and executive. Wade and Udonis Haslem are the only players to be on all three Heat title teams, and the biggest cheers from the sold-out crowd seemed to be reserved for LeBron James, who picked up his second piece of title-commemorative jewelry.
James exchanged some words with Commissioner David Stern after being given his ring, then shook or slapped hands with dozens of Heat players, coaches and staff before turning his gaze skyward and watching the championship banner get hoisted to the rafters — albeit a temporary spot before it gets moved to its permanent home on the other side of the court in the coming days.
"To be able to relive last year one more time with our fans and our family, man, it's going to be a great moment," James said before the ceremony. "And then to begin another journey, that's what this league is all about. You forget about last year and you move on to the next one."
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