HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – Dwyane Wade expects to be away from the Miami Heat at times during the preseason because the case that will decide custody of his two sons is taking much longer than originally planned.
Wade is scheduled to testify in a Chicago courtroom on Oct. 6, one day after Miami's preseason opener at home against the Detroit Pistons. Wade plans to play in that game.
"I think it's going well," Wade said. "It's a process."
Other trips to Chicago are expected to be necessary in the coming weeks, Wade told The Associated Press on Tuesday, but the 2006 NBA finals MVP is hopeful that he will not miss any games, regardless of whether they fall in the preseason or regular season.
Dealing with off-the-court matters was a huge part of Wade's summer. He settled four civil cases stemming from failed business deals in a Miami court, and his divorce from high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Wade was finalized after nearly a three-year separation.
Wade hoped the case regarding his sons, ages 8 and 3, would be complete by the third week of September. But the case has been delayed at times, and some elements of it — his ex-wife spent a week on the witness stand alone — took much longer than anticipated.
The Heat are aware of the potential for some Wade absences during the coming weeks.
The appointed attorney for the two young boys recommended earlier this month to the court that Dwyane Wade be awarded custody, and that Siohvaughn Wade should agree to undergo "extensive therapy" as part of any scenario in which she would have visitation privileges.
Dwyane Wade was awarded "physical possession" of his sons in June by another judge in Chicago, who found that an emergency order was merited because Wade's time for visitation with his children "has been frustrated on an ongoing basis as a result of continual interference" by his now ex-wife.
Their divorce was finalized in June, although both custody and financial matters remain undecided. Wade also settled four civil suits stemming from failed business dealings in a Miami court this offseason.
"He seems about as excited and focused to come into camp as I've seen in a long time," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He was working very hard up in Chicago ... working, running, training and conditioning earlier than he has before. I don't know if he has a lighter feeling on his shoulders. I think he feels he has an opportunity right now and to be ready and to not miss this moment."