IT would have been a huge accomplishment and an awesome learning experience had Robert Dozier gotten the chance to play behind Miami Heat superstar Lebron James.
But failure to make the Heat’s final roster just before the start of the NBA season has only motivated him to strive harder.
Dozier, who played college ball for the Memphis Tigers alongside now Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, said the experience of just being part of the Miami Heat training camp and hanging around with James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the team gave him new, invaluable insights on the game.
“I was one of the last to be cut unfortunately but it’s just great experience to be able to play with some of the world’s best players,” Dozier told Spin.ph as he was about to get ready for the Aces' weekend practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
“That team (Heat) was just kind of stacked with a lot of great players,” he added.
The 6-foot-9 Dozier arrived early Friday morning in Manila and attended his first official practice with the Alaska in the afternoon to start learning how coach Luigi Trillo and the Aces run their triangle offense.
Had he made the cut, Dozier said he would be coming off the bench to spell James on the small forward spot, or at times, relieve either veteran power forward Udonis Haslem or Shane Battier in the frontline.
“I play the three or four positions, though I’m a guy who can do pretty much do a little of everything,” said the 27-year-old Dozier.
Dozier was supposed to arrive in Manila a week ago, but passport problems delayed his arrival. Now that he’s seen his new PBA team, he said he’s excited to bring in his intensity, learn the Aces system and help the team win the championship in the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup.
“It’s a good situation for me to come here (Manila). Well, I’m a hard worker. I play tough, I get up and down the court. I’ll just give myself some more time to prepare and be in good shape,” explained Dozier.
Trillo hopes Dozier’s blue-collar attitude would rub off on the Aces as they hope to build on their strong Philippine Cup performance recently.