Dwayne Wade concluded his 16 year career last week in Brooklyn. The entire season was a tough goodbye for one of the NBA’s greats. Fans showed appreciation while some scoffed at the idea of Wade getting this much love (Paul Pierce). My earliest basketball memory is Dwayne Wade throwing the basketball into the air as he captured a title against Dallas. I was born and raised in Cleveland, LeBron and the Cavs are my go to always. Despite this, I have a love for D-Wade. He deserves the send off he has gotten, including this story by me.
Love for Dwayne Wade starts with the draft. He was the Dark horse of the 2003, was not pegged as a franchise player. Lebron and Carmelo dominated as the one’s expected to be great and Darko Milicic came last as a peculiar could be something pick. Wade caught the eye of Pat riley and the organization. After one year and a trade, Wade had the endorsement of Pat Riley and Shaq. The cool idea of the Miami Heat captured my attention with two terrific stars. I loved the fact that Wade was on the path that those players drafted above him craved. This made D-Wade real cool, real quick.
Wade’s title was also important for why he was my favorite player. His title gave the hope that it only took one elite player to win it all. Lebron was going to be alone for the next couple years and I couldn’t be more confident. Unfortunately like Lebron, neither could win a title without the player empowerment moves they eventually made. My love for wade faded when he joined Lebron, but those couple years were amazing thrills comparing the two. My hope for a Cavs title stemmed from Dwayne Wade’s title.
The Wade and Lebron connection also made him more lovable. The two were pals since after the draft and constantly had terrific battles. I admit again that I hated the big three Heat for stealing Lebron, but time passes. It was the peanut butter and jelly relationship that brought wade to Cleveland eventually. Dwayne Wade was on the Cleveland Cavaliers, this was a dream for 10 year old me. Despite not lasting long, Wade was apart of my team. This was a dream realized.
The biggest poster in my room is the Dwayne Wade poster I have from the NBA store in New York. Miami and Wade, Shaq and Wade, Lebron and Wade, it’s such a memorable career. Wade was a staple and star in the NBA as I grew up, always connected to my basketball enjoyment somehow. Thanks D-Wade, enjoy retirement.