Goran Dragic Takes Heat Rookie Gabe Vincent Under His Wing

Dragic, Gabe Vincent

Getty Miami Heat's Goran Dragic has taken Gabe Vincent under his wing going into the 2020-2021 season.

Miami Heat starter Goran Dragic has become a mentor to one of the team’s most exciting rookies, Gabe Vincent, the latter of whom spoke about how their relationship has grown on and off the court.

Vincent, 24, who was named the NBA G League Most Improved Player during the 2019-2020 season, has only played nine games with the Heat. But with the help of Dragic, he’s looking to take on a bigger role during this coming season.

“I’ve learned a lot from Goran,” Vincent said, as reported by Sports Illustrated. “Definitely the time in the bubble, our team got much closer. I know UD [Udonis Haslem] had mentioned a lot that we’re like a family and I think that’s still true. I hang out with Goran off the court at time. I look at him in many different ways and we stay in touch and communicate.”

Dragic, 34, who was named as an NBA All-Star for the first time in 2018 while playing the Heat, may feel a strong connection to Vincent, as they share the same drive and ability to keep improving their game as a professional baller. In 2014, while playing for the Phoenix Suns, the Slovenian point guard was named the NBA Most Improved Player.

Vincent Is Looking to Have a Breakout Year Following His Stellar Season in the G League

Vincent was absolute fire while playing with the Heat’s G-League affiliate, the Stockon Kings. The Nigerian-American point guard, originally from Modesto, California, played college basketball at UC Santa Barbara from 2014 to 2018, signed another two-way contract with the Heat in January.

While playing with the Kings, he averaged 23.7 points per game and became one of the best 3-point shooters in the G League, nailing .423 of his deep shots on 10.4 attempts per game.

As for gelling with the Heat squad, he largely credits Dragic. “I’m still learning from Goran,” Vincent said. “Just in terms of his game, his pace and the way he controls the floor and communicates with guys, the way he gets to the basket and finishes at his size. Goran has a lot to his game. It’s a little bit different … He’s really efficient. I’ve been learning a lot from Goran and I’m continuing to learn. I love being around him.” 

Heat Play Their First Pre-Season Game on Monday Against the Pelicans

Fans will get their first look at Vincent’s skill going into the new season during Heat’s first pre-season game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 14.

It’s an important warm-up match as the Heat’s first official game of the new season, scheduled to take place on Christmas Day, will also be against the Pelicans at home at the American Airlines Arena. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, fans will not be allowed to attend the season opener.

“At this time, the amount of games we will host without fans is unknown. Believe me, I’m not happy being the bearer of this news,” said Eric Woolworth, Vice President of Business Operations wrote in an email to season ticket holders, as reported by CBS Miami.

However, there’s hope this is just a temporary thing. There is a chance fans will be admitted to games at some point in 2021.

“The HEAT and the NBA are deeply committed to executing a comprehensive health and safety plan so that you and your loved ones will feel completely comfortable returning to the Arena to enjoy HEAT games,” the letter stated. “As you can imagine, readying our facility has been an extensive and exhaustive process.”

READ NEXT: Tyler Herro: Best ‘Trade Piece’ Over Any Nets Player, Analyst Says

Read More