In the midst of all the news of this NBA offseason, one of the most important stories has to be that this is the final season for the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade.
Wade has given the NBA so many memories through this Hall of Fame career and has solidified himself as one of the elite to ever play his position. With 3 NBA titles, 12 All-star appearances, the 2009 scoring title, and an NBA finals MVP there are very few people in the world who have a resume to match that.
I have seen many debates where peak Dwyane Wade is better than peak Kobe Bryant, and honestly the conversation between the two is much closer than you may think off the top of your head. According to Basketball Reference, per 100 possessions Kobe only had a slight edge in offensive rating from 110-109 and defensive rating from 105-104, their Usage % is also extremely close Bryant 31.8 to Wade’s 31.6 and hey, they both won with Shaq in their prime….. Though only one of them got a Finals MVP while Shaq was on the team………
Dwyane Wade has brought so many amazing moments to his Illustrious career that will stand the test of time. Hell, even before his NBA career he lead an underdog Marquette team to upset the #1 team in the country, the Kentucky Wildcats for a berth in the 2003 NCAA final four. Later that year Wade was drafted 5th overall by the Miami Heat and carried himself with so much swagger from the get go with his immediate success and sweet Converse sneakers. When Wade and Shaq lead the 2006 Heat to an NBA title, many thought Wade was the best player in the world. (That year, he really had a case)
Wade also was part of the great trio that turned the NBA world upside down when Chris Bosh and LeBron James took their talents to South Beach to give NBA fans one of the most entertaining four year spans of any team in NBA history. People hated that team so much, but man they were a ton of fun to watch every night. With four straight NBA final appearances and two great victories over the upstart Thunder trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook and then the next year with the insane seven game series against the Spurs…. There was nothing like that group.
What’s really funny is I have been lucky enough to see Wade in person twice….. But when he played for the Bulls and Cavaliers. Something tells me that people won’t really discuss those two seasons the way we discuss Wade’s legacy. As Wade enters his 16th and final season on a Miami Heat team that’s….. not really exciting, Wade provides a reason to flip the Heat on League Pass. Hopefully Wade’s last NBA game isn’t the beginning of April and he gets one final trip to the postseason in a Eastern Conference that isn’t the deepest conference competition wise.
Dwyane Wade has become a measuring stick for what Shooting Guards should be. We see a lot of players who really carry some similar skill sets to what Wade was in his prime and look forward to his day in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Also, another generation of the Wade family is on the way with Zhaire Wade making some waves on social media. Could this be a way to keep the Wade name alive? We certainly hope so.