As Luol Deng heads into his 12th season in the NBA, the two-time NBA All-Star talks about the upcoming NBA season, his second year as a Miami Heat player and his 12th season overall in the league.

Deng, who played for Team Africa in the first ever NBA game on the continent is optimistic about the new season with the Heat.

Last summer, Miami Heat lost the best NBA player on the planet ‘Lebron James’. This offseason, they gave themselves a chance to rejoin the championship picture.

Expectations are high in South Beach for a starting five that appears razor sharp and a second team that received some needed attention. This is an old roster, which means it’s both heavy on experience and anxious to win sooner rather than later.

‘I want to challenge myself to have the best season I possibly can. I just turned 30; I feel great.’

On how far the Miami Heat can go this season, Deng was positive. ‘I think we have the potential of going all the way. The ultimate goal is obviously to reach the highest level and to win it all. But at the same time we’re not coming in thinking we’re better than anyone, I think we’re going to earn it and we’ve got to show we deserve to be one of the best teams this year.’

He also commented on the return of Dwayne Wade to the Heat on a one-year contract after opting out last June. ‘Dwayne is a winner. We didn’t want to change a lot in the squad. We are excited to be back and play together, so the chemistry could even be better than it was last year.’

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat congratulates Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls © Getty Images

Deng, who averaged 14 points, 5.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds in his first season in Miami, is looking to improve this season. ‘Individually, I want to challenge myself to have the best season I possibly can. I just turned 30; I feel great; and I really think your focus level as you get older is way better. But you really want to bring that consistency to your team.”

Catch Deng on

Luol Deng #9 of the Miami Heat © Getty Images