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The inside story of how Miami Heat center Dewayne Dedmon became ‘The Mechanic’ – The Denver Post

Perhaps the most notable part of how Dewayne Dedmon became “The Mechanic” isn’t how a social media account created a nickname that went viral to the point of being officially adopted by the Miami Heat.

The most extraordinary element is the way he adapts so well to the hardworking and gritty reserve center.

“When I was a senior in high school, my senior project was actually where I worked in a garage,” Dedmon told the Sun Sentinel this week. “I can change the oil. I can change a tire. I know a little how to make candles. They are a bit tricky. I can do certain things.

Who knew?

Of course, no one Beat the Miami Heat (Twitter: @miaheatbeat), when the social media account embraced Dedmon’s work ethic when he joined Heat last April, at a time when the team lacked someone to help Bam Adebayo with the dirty work of the team in the paint.

No matter. A nickname was born.

“We’re doing a post-game show called Hangover Time,” said @miaheatbeat host and editor Giancarlo Navas. “We are just awkward talking about the game. And we kind of fell in love with Dedmon. At first, they struggled to bounce back from the year they had him. So he started bringing energy and stuff like that.

“And I believe it was Tiffany Meeks on our post-game show who said, ‘He looks like the neighborhood uncle who will fix your Camaro. And then we started to create this character, because he had also corrected things in the team, right? So we created a segment called Dedmon’s Garage.

Left there, it would have simply been an innovative nickname suggestion, likely to dissipate into the ether.

But after being tagged on social media with the nickname, Dedmon upped the ante.

His Halloween costume at the start of the season?

Well, as the caption on his Instagram said, “Happy Halloween from the Mechanic an Elmo.”

There, alongside his son in an Elmo costume, stood Dedmon in a mechanic’s overalls.

“My wife bought them for me, because of the nickname,” he said. “It was a joke that we really liked.”

Navas and his team were beside themselves.

“He posted it and tagged us,” Navas said. “We couldn’t believe it. We had lost him. It was The Mechanic and Elmo. For us, it was, “Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening. And we thought that was our funny little gag, and now Dedmon is kind of in on it.

And that’s the thing, from the start, Dedmon took it like an embrace, finding something particularly appealing about Dedmon’s Garage.

“I thought it was funny,” he said.

Of the . . . it took on a life of its own.

He was mentioned on the podcast that Jeremy Taché does for Bally Sports Florida.

Heat captain Udonis Haslem started using it.

Longtime Heat play-by-play voice Eric Reid would mention it on Heat shows.

Basketball Reference listed him on Dedmon’s biography page.

Suddenly it was a staple of the Heat’s official social media accounts, one, Cedric Brown, the Heat’s director of digital programs, said he could no longer be overlooked.

“During that period, when he started playing really well,” Brown said, “that’s all we could see in our endorsements, ‘The Mechanic, The Mechanic, The Mechanic.’ And it was like, this is awesome.”

So they led it by Dedmon.

“He said it’s the ‘toughest’ nickname in the league,” Brown said of the gritty item. “And when you hear that, that’s when we knew we really had to look into it.

“We had his blessing and we kind of ran with it.”

As with Navas, the Halloween post put him on top.

“When we saw that,” Brown said, “we knew at that moment that we had no choice but to carry on. That was it. It would feel like we were doing us an injustice to ourselves and our fans by not using it.

For Dedmon, 6-foot-11, 250 pounds, it’s the latest evolution in a string of nicknames he says have begun. . . at birth.

“Heavy D was my nickname when I was little,” he said of the nickname first worn by the late Jamaican-born rapper, producer, singer and actor.

“Apparently,” Dedmon, 32, continued with a smile, “when I came out. I was a big baby.”

Later, he says, the nickname changed to D-Mac.

“It started in college,” he said of that one. “Only one of my teammates gave me the nickname on a day when we were chilling, and it kind of stuck.”

And now the mechanic.

“I mean, it works for the team, it works for what I do. So it’s cool,” he said. “I learned early in this league, it’s about playing a role, to fit in and stick to it to keep a job.”

And if necessary, perform an oil change.

Only, he says, the stakes have changed.

“It will be $250,” he said.

Whoa, $250 for an oil change?

“It’s not a scam,” he said, smiling again, “you’re paying for the experience.”

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