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Mario Chalmers on move to join Miami Heat G League affiliate

Mario Chalmers’ next basketball opportunity comes with the Miami Heat. Not in the NBA, but with the Heat’s Sioux Falls Skyforce affiliate.

Skyforce announced Friday that it has acquired the G League rights to Chalmers. The move comes after Chalmers signed a 10-day contract with the Heat on December 31 as a COVID-19 replacement, but did not play in a game before the deal expired last Sunday.

The Heat, who improved to 27-15 after Friday’s 124-118 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the FTX Arena, approached Chalmers over the opportunity in recent days when his 10-day contract expired. Chalmers, 35, remains eligible to sign for any NBA team.

“I think it’s something they had in the works for me after Day 10 was over,” Chalmers told the Miami Herald, as the Heat prepared to complete their back-to-back game Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers. (8 p.m., Bali Sports Sun). “I haven’t heard anything about it. They called me the day after day 10 and told me they would take me to join Skyforce. They know I want to keep playing, and everyone knows I want to keep playing. So I think that’s the best path for me.”

Chalmers, who spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Heat, took part in his first training with Sky Force on Friday and is expected to be available to play in the weekend’s games against Memphis Hustle.

“Just being here on day one, it feels like the Heat organization,” Chalmers said of his first impression of Skyforce. “They do everything just like The Heat, which is to be expected. So this is another way to be a lead vet at this point and also be able to show that I can still play. The way I look at it is that it’s part of the best of both worlds for me. “.

Chalmers last played in the NBA on April 11, 2018 as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. He ruptured his right Achilles tendon in March 2016 and derailed his career, needing four additional surgeries due to issues arising from the injury.

When Chalmers signed a 10-day deal with the Heat last month, he was hoping that his first NBA job in nearly four years would come. But he was not called into a game.

“I thought I’d play,” Chalmers said. “Of course, I’m a little disappointed because everyone knows that once you work hard to come back, you’re going to want to play. You want to show the NBA teams, you want to show everyone that you work hard and that you can still play this game and compete at a high level. So in That connection with their competitive nature, I definitely wanted to play. But I understand what’s going on with the Heat, I understand what’s going on with the team and they’re on a real mission now to get to the finals. I just wanted to be a part of that and not be a source of disruption.”

Chalmers still views his second stint with The Heat as a “fantastic experience,” albeit brief.

said Chalmers, who won two NBA championships as the Heat’s starting point guard in 2012 and 2013 during the Big 3 era. “It took me almost two years to come back. My thing is just to be grateful for the opportunity. I’ve dealt with a lot over the past four years in the basketball world. Just appreciating the little things.”

During his 10 days with the Heat, Chalmers recalls some conversations with 21-year-old goalkeeper Tyler Hero on the team plane.

“He was just asking what it was like in the past,” Chalmers said. “Things are a lot different. There is a little more freedom inside the Heat than we had back in the day. But that’s just the evolution of basketball, the evolution of people, the evolution of minds.”

A lot has changed since Chalmers last played in the NBA. Between then and now, he’s played in Italy, Greece, Puerto Rico, the Big 3 semi-final three-on-three and the G League this season.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is Chalmers’ desire to return to the NBA.

“I hope he gets 10 more days out of it and that I’m signed for the rest of the year,” he said of his goal with Skyforce. “If it doesn’t, I’ll stay here for the rest of the year. The goal every year, and especially my goal, is to win the championship. To be able to do that no matter what level I’m at, it’s just a great opportunity. What I’m happy with is just being able to play at [United] countries, not abroad.

Caleb effect

According to NBA tracking stats, Heat two-way winger Caleb Martin has spent 33 possessions as the Hawks’ star guard Trae Young over the past two games.

The guys only totaled four points on four free throws during that property. He shot 0 out of 4 from the field, including a 0 out of 3 from a three-point range against Martin.

“Caleb is special, he’s very special,” Max Strauss said. “He’s very brave in defense. He just wants to make an impact on the game and he does it every time. He’s always a blight on guys and he puts pressure on 94 feet. We love having him there and he’s changing the game for us.”

Heat star Jimmy Butler praised Martin’s defense after Friday’s win: “I told Caleb he should start my place if he’s going to guard that way, seriously. Because they made me chase that little guy.” [Young] Around. It is not an easy task. So I think if I talk to Spo, I think Spo might start it from me.”

injury report

The match will be without Pam Adebayo (thumb surgery), Marcus Jarrett (wrist sprain), Kyle Jay (disqualified to play), Markiv Morris (return to competition, injury), KZ Okpala (wrist sprain), Victor Oladipo (knee injury). ) recovery) and Chris Silva (not eligible to play) for Saturday’s game.

The 76ers ruled Danny Green (right hip pain), Shake Melton (bruise in the back), Ben Simmons (for personal reasons), Jaden Springer (a J-League assignment and Mattis Thieball (right shoulder pain) for Saturday’s game in Miami. Play tonight The second of a straight game after beating the Boston Celtics 111-99 on Friday in Philadelphia.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.

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