During the Heat’s media day on September 27, Spoelstra slammed “the rhetoric” concerning All-Star Bam Adebayo, and whether or not he’s worth his $163 million contract extension which kicks in at the start of the 2021-22 NBA season.
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“I know there’s a lot of rhetoric about Bam’s game,” Spoelstra said, per Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. “Most of that rhetoric is from people who don’t really understand.”
“[Adebayo] is one of the unique younger players in this league,” Spoelstra continued, as reported by Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. “It’s always been about impacting winning. That’s his greatness. He has an incredible work ethic… his range will increase. He’s a unique player. You can’t look at him from a conventional way.”
Adebayo Addressed His Lack of Shooting, ‘Everybody’s Big Take on Me’
Adebayo also spoke to the media on Monday, addressing head-on the criticism concerning his lack of attack at the rim.
“Obviously shooting,” Adebayo said in response to what he looked to improve on this summer. “That’s everybody’s big take on me. Attacking the basket more often. Being more assertive and picking my spots where I can really excel at. And not getting bored with scoring off that every play. I did at times go in a scoring streak from one spot, and then I would go away from it.”
On whether or not he’ll look to shoot more threes, “Yeah,” he said.
Adebayo Gained 15 LBs of Muscle During the Offseason
Adebayo, who spent the offseason helping Team USA win a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and hit the weight room to put on 15 pounds of muscle.
The 24-year-old center admittedly has a chip on his shoulder after the Heat got swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, and his No. 1 goal this summer was to get bigger and better.
“That’s our job,” Adebayo said, per Miami Herald‘s Anthony Chiang. “That’s our job to be better than we were before and that’s what we’re all doing. I feel like we’re all getting better at something and it’s because of that chip. Everybody on this team has a lot to prove this year, so everybody’s got a lot of stuff on the line.”
The Kentucky alum went from 245 pounds to 260 pounds. His bigger physique was on display in photos posted by the Heat’s official Instagram page on Thursday.
“Last year, I couldn’t lift as much as I could because I had my shoulder injury from the Finals,” Adebayo explained. “So I was thinner up top than I should’ve been. That comes with recovery.”
“Since we had such a short offseason and went straight into last season, I could only do so much,” he continued. “But this offseason, I’ve really been in the weight room and made a conscious effort to get my body back to where it was.”