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Bam Adebayo Spills the Tea on Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s Style with the Heat

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Jaquez has won back-to-back Eastern Conference rookie of the month honors this season.

There is no doubt that the Miami Heat got arguably the steal of the last NBA draft in Jaime Jaquez Jr. who has been a standout in his first year playing professionally. One player that has noticed the talent of Jaquez on and even off the court has been star Bam Adebayo, the Heat’s captain after the retirement of long-time Heat forward Udonis Haslem.

Before the Heat take on the Detroit Pistons, Adebayo spoke to the media about Jaquez and how he has meshed with the team in the midst of his rookie season. Adebayo made sure to emphasize that Jaquez has “gelled with us off the court” and that is noticeable with how the rest of the team interacts with the UCLA product according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel.

“I would say how he has gelled with us off the court,” Adebayo said. “We’re going to be in the gym, we’re going to work out, we’re going to find ways to make each other successful on the court.”

Adebayo says Heat embrace Jaquez

Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) drives to the basket against the Denver Nuggets during the second half at Kaseya Center.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Adebayo would mention that meshing well with the Heat can possibly be credited to Jaquez spending four full years at UCLA playing college basketball as him getting used to another avenue. So far on the season, the 23-year old has been averaging 12.7 points, four rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the field.

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“But off the court, I believe him gelling with us as a youngster, coming around, just coming from four years of college to a different way of living going from UCLA to Miami, it’s good for him to come in and be willing to experience all of that,” Adebayo said. “We’ve got guys around him, we build around him, and we embrace him.”

Another teammate that has been impressed with Jaquez has been Heat forward Caleb Martin who has been known as the team’s “X Factor” since last season. He describes the first-year player as a “sponge” who absorbs the information being thrown at him, which for a rookie, it is one of the best traits a player can have.

“He’s a sponge,” Martin said via The Sun Sentinel. “He’s listening; he’s learning. We’re throwing a lot of things at him and he’s doing a great job. And also trying to be himself in the mix at the same time is really tough. But he’s been handling it really well. And as you can see, he can make big shots and make plays on both ends of the court.”

Martin says Jaquez is “only going to get better”

With how much Jaquez has been impressing his teammates and especially Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, it seems to be that he is the future of the Heat. It was not too long ago that before the season, his name was mentioned in a possible trade package for now Milwaukee Bucks star Damian Lillard.

While that fell through, Heat fans are most likely glad he did as Jaquez’s ceiling should be through the roof. Martin expressed that he will “love to continue” to see him bloom and that he is “only going to get better.”

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“I love to continue to watch him grow,” Martin said, “and it’s only going to get better.”

Jaquez’s other passion besides basketball

Besides being skilled in basketball, Jaquez has another passion that has not been unearthed until now as he enjoys the topic of wine. He even mentioned how during a past road trip in California, Heat teammate Kevin Love asked about going to Napa Valley and Jaquez’s hand “shot up” according to Winderman.

“We were on the bus going to shootaround against the Pelicans and then K-Love came in and said, ‘Who wants to go to Napa Valley?’ ” Jaquez said. “Hands shot up, I was ready to go. Then all our hands went up, and we were all ready to go.”

Despite being 23-years old, he already has a pre-determined plan when he retires from playing professional basketball. He emphasized that it is to be a “sommelier in the restaurant business.”

“I would say I’m on the way to being a wine connoisseur,” Jaquez said. “One of my goals in life after I’m retired, I have a lot of ’em, is to be a sommelier in the restaurant business. So I’ve always been interested and fascinated in the time and education and the exquisiteness people put into wine.”

While it is great to see that Jaquez has interests outside of basketball, the time to taste wine should maybe be in the back burner as the Heat are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. They are currently embarking on a four-game road trip that starts with two straight matchups against the Pistons starting Friday night.

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Miami is 35-30 on the season which puts them eighth in a tightly packed Eastern Conference. With 17 games left in the season, the team is hoping for a major turnaround and if they accomplish their goals, maybe Jaquez can sip some wine with success.

Zachary Weinberger_headshot

About the Author

Zachary Weinberger joined ClutchPoints in October 2023 as a Miami Heat reporter as well as an Associate Editor. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2022 after covering the school’s athletic programs since his freshman year at the FAU University Press, where he was a Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He then covered FAU Sports for The Palm Beach Post.

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