Originally written September 11, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
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MILWAUKEE Miami Heat guard and former Marquette University basketball standout Dwyane Wade knows what it's like to have a target on his back. And with the 2012-13 NBA season around the corner a season in which Wade and his Heat teammates will attempt to defend their 2012 NBA championship could that target possibly get any larger this season? "Man, if our target gets any bigger, I don't know," Wade joked at Marquette's Al McGuire Center before a signing for his new book, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball. "Our target is pretty big. I would say it's going to be tough to repeat. It's tough to win the first championship. It's going to be tough to win another one." Of course, the Heat's bid for another championship will rely partially on Wade's health, which deteriorated down the stretch in last season's playoffs. The 30-year-old eight-time All-Star had knee surgery soon after the postseason and was forced to miss the Olympics in London, but he confidently said Tuesday that he'll be back and ready for when the Heat begin their season Oct. 30 against Boston. "I'm working my way back," Wade said. "We have over a month or so before the first game so I'll be fine. I'm back on the court, back in the weight room getting stronger. It's not my first rodeo, so I know how to deal with certain things." Wade has had to deal with plenty of pressure and expectations since the Heat added LeBron James and Chris Bosh before the 2010-11 season. And having coming through it with his second NBA championship the first with his two high-profile teammates Wade sounded confident the Heat can get through anything thrown at them this season. Of course, it helps to have even more talent on board, as Miami added sharpshooters Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in July moves Wade said make this year's team the best of the three since James and Bosh arrived. "I think that the good thing about us is we've dealt with everything we could possibly deal with," Wade said. "There's going to be things that come up, but as a team, as a tight-knit group, we can deal with whatever comes up. All I hope for is good health for us for this season, and if we have that, we give ourselves a chance to be there and compete again, especially with the pieces we added this summer. "They make us a better team than we were the last few years, so that's a good thing." Much of what Wade discussed in his press conference on Tuesday, however, had to do with his life off the court, which he talks about in his recent book. Having just recently gone through a tough custody battle with his ex-wife over his two sons, Wade reflected a bit on that and also the struggles of growing up with a mother who battled drug addiction. It was an emotional process, he said, reflecting on the darker days of his upbringing along his path to superstardom. "A lot of it was therapeutic in a sense," Wade said of the book writing process. "I've talked about the situation with my mom since I've been in the NBA, but it doesn't matter how many times you talk about it, you get emotional. A lot of times when I talk about it, I feel like I'm looking at someone else's life, but it's mine. It was just reliving everything over again and having to go through that in a room with me and my writer. It was kind of emotional to do that, but I thought that it was good to get that out. I was focusing on helping someone else who's in the same situation that I am." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
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