Tonight(/was tonight depending on when you’re reading this) is Dwyane Wades last game as an NBA player and boy, what a ride it was.
D-Wade was my 2nd favorite player from 2004-2010. Why only until 2010? Because in 2010, Flash became an anti-hero when LeBron James joined the Miami Heat and turned him into an evil player up until the leagues most polarizing figure returned home to Cleveland to corrupt more young players and break his cities heart again. Then Wade goes home to Chicago, almost does the right thing and drags Cleveland to mediocrity only to leave halfway through the season to return to Miami and then has gone out on one of the most fun farewell tours a player could go out on, and it was well deserved. Let’s go on a small trip down memory lane:
2006 – Dwyane Wade Leads The Heat To One Of The Best Final Wins Of All Time
This was truly one of the greatest coming of age moments in NBA history. Up until this point, everyone knew Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh were good, but all the attention from the 2003 draft class was still all on LeBron James, but after the 2006 playoffs? All the hype was on one Dwyane Wade because he put on a hell of a show all summer long. He opened the playoffs with a 30 point game against Chicago in a thrilling Game 1 where he scored 14 4th quarter points and led Miami to a victory that would kickstart the championship run. Then, he and Shaq led the Heat to a dominate second round vs the New Jersey Nets. Followed by a battle with Tayshaun Prince and the Detroit Pistons in a 6 game series only to be capped off by a Finals performance for the ages vs the Dallas Mavericks and the first premier player from the 2003 class to win a title.
2010 – Dwyane Wade Recruits Chris Bosh and LeBron James To Miami to Win Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, Not 5, Not 6…..Actually, 2 championships.
It was one of the most exciting times to be an NBA fan. The summer of 2010 was the most intense free agency periods I can remember. Everyone needed to load up to compete with Boston’s Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and there were 3 top NBA players who were all up for a new contract, D-Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James, and it had all been manufactured years prior. After all 3 players signed new deals after their rookie contracts, they all made sure that when their new deals were up, they’d have the option to play together. That’s exactly what they did, and they all did the smart thing and picked the best city that one of them was already in, South Beach. This is the time where D-Wade would have the only blemish on his career when he tore Rajon Rondo’s elbow out of its socket and threw him to the ground, which could have only been influenced by one LeBron James. They would go on to lose to Dallas in 2011, beat OKC in 2012, the Spurs in 2013 and then lose to the Spurs in 2014 to which his best friend decided to jump ship and return to the people he betrayed in Ohio.
2015-Present – Dwyane Wade Becomes A Hero Once Again
D-Wade would never become a finals threat again after the Heat broke up, but he did fall back into the graces of all the fans who loved him before the Heat were the enemies of the NBA. He graced us with countless old-man dunks, vintage performances every 20-or so games and some absolutely incredible last second game winners including an absolute stunner from this season vs the Golden State Warriors.
Dwyane Wade, as a young fan growing up, there was only one player I looked up to more than you. You were everything. You were a superhero and you earned your nickname. You performed, you razzled, you dazzled, and you gave us everything anyone outside of Los Angeles could want in an NBA player, an alternative to Kobe Bryant. You made us jump, you made us cry, you made us a priority. You even made me one of the happiest puberty ridden teens by agreeing to take a picture with me at the 2009 Finals between the Orlando Magic and LA Lakers even though my mortal enemy Stephen A Smith interrupted it and made me look like a dunce. You made me buy hideous Jordans, but more than anything, you gave us all an escape for at least 82 nights a year. You were and will forever be an NBA legend and for all the people who will never have gotten to see you play are truly unfortunate.
Thank you, D-Wade…for everything.