Miami Heat rookie Edrice "Bam" Adebayo settles into his new home and a life in paradise...
There’s a row of shoes lined up and a rack of trendsetting outfits fit specifically for the Miami Heat’s rookie big man Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, but as the 6-foot-10 power forward/center eases into his new Miami style, he can’t take his eyes off the television screen showing the stats from the previous night’s game. It was his first NBA start, and he wasn’t thrilled with the way it went. “Just gazing at how we lost,” he tells Ocean Drive. “I watched the film this morning, looking at small mental mistakes we had.” The road to greatness will have its bumps for the first-round draft pick out of Kentucky, but as he says, he is grateful to be playing in paradise.
How did it feel to get your first start? It was great. Unbelievable. Words can’t describe it. Being in front of these fans and have them support us is a different level. I just try to be patient and see what’s ahead of me. My teammates encourage me every day. We’re all working hard and just having fun.
What was your first day in Miami like? I had been to Orlando and Fort Myers, but never to Miami. There are a lot of places you can end up, but I ended up in Miami, which is just a blessing. It was like moving to paradise. The first day was very busy. I had the press conference. I rode around a little bit [beforehand], and I had my manager help find a place to live. I wanted to live close to the arena so it wouldn’t be a hassle to get there and back, or if my car ever stopped working.
What has been the biggest challenge so far? The moving part—getting everything in line with my schedule of practice, workouts, lifting and then going to help people move stuff in on elevators. That’s the biggest process.
Is anyone from the team showing you around? Udonis Haslem is kind of the unofficial mayor here. He was planning on it, but we haven’t gotten to that yet. I’m waiting for when he has time because he’s on a busy schedule just like everyone else. Justise [Winslow] showed me a cool little place—a restaurant that’s my little secret. I like South Beach a lot. But I don’t really do anything. I kind of hang out with my mom and watch TV. She likes CSI: Miami, so that’s what we watch, honestly. There are a lot of places I haven’t been that I want to check out. Hopefully I’ll be here my whole career like UD and experience all of Florida.
Is it odd that Udonis’ oldest son is only a couple of years younger than you? It’s weird because [Udonis] is 17 years older than me. He’s a whole teenager older than me. It’s unbelievable just realizing how young you are playing in the NBA and how old dudes can get still playing in the NBA. Udonis still runs around like us and still has fun like us.
Is there a player that you want to model your career after? It’s always been Kevin Garnett, because of his passion and his drive. He’s one of those guys that never took plays off. He always wanted to be the best player and the most vocal. He always wanted to see his team win.
What’s the biggest difference between playing in the NBA versus any other level you’ve played at? This is a business, first and foremost. You can’t slack. Sometimes in high school you can take plays off and you won’t get taken out. Here there is someone waiting for your position, waiting for that chance. For me, I’m just buying into the process of whatever we need to do and sacrificing whatever I need to for the team to win. I just want to win.