Heat's Pat Riley: Bam Adebayo's 'No-Nonsense' Attitude Reminds Me of Dwyane Wade

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 9, 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 11:  Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat dunks against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half at American Airlines Arena on March 11, 2020 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo has enjoyed a breakout 2019-20 season that has included averages of 16.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest and an All-Star Game appearance.

He's also apparently made an impactful impression off the court with Heat president Pat Riley, who gave the star big man significant praise Friday when comparing him to Heat legend Dwyane Wade.

Riley spoke with Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (h/t Reid Goldsmith of ClutchPoints):

"I've never met a man like this, a player, who was so respectful, had so much dignity, was such a team guy, that has grown to a point where he wants this responsibility.

"He reminds me a lot of Dwyane, in Dwyane's attitude. Dwyane came in, he was a no-nonsense guy. He went right to work. And he became a great player. And he had an attitude and a competitiveness and a killer instinct, besides the talent. But he had this attitude that was above and beyond.

"I think that's what Bam is. Bam possesses this attitude about doing it the right way and doing it every day."

The 22-year-old Adebayo has helped the Heat earn a 41-24 record and a fourth-place mark in the Eastern Conference. They've already eclipsed their win total by two from last year with 17 games remaining on the ledger this season.

That's in large part due to Adebayo's efforts, as the third-year pro has developed into a monster down low after earning a full-time starting job.

He's also a force on the defensive end: Per ESPN.com, Adebayo only trails 2018-19 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks on the defensive real plus-minus list among qualified power forwards.

Adebayo has a bright future ahead of him, and receiving that type of praise from Riley, who has been part of nine NBA champions, speaks volumes.