Dwyane Wade has become an NBA phenomenon. During the past 15 seasons, he made himself into one of the greatest shooting guards to ever play the game. Many know him as “D-Wade” or “The Flash.”
Wade recently announced that he will be playing his final season with the Miami Heat before he retires.
Fans saw this coming, but it’s hard to hear it will become a reality after this season. But Wade’s career is one for the books that the Hall of Fame couldn’t possibly ignore. It was already heartbreaking watching Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour two years ago officially come to an end after his last game as a Laker and dropping 60 points.
But Dwyane Wade plans on having a final year of his own. The three-time NBA Champion publicly announced his decision about the upcoming season in a Youtube video on Sunday, Sept. 17, called, “One Last Dance.”
Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Wade played both basketball and football. He favored basketball partly because he idolized Michael Jordan.
D-Wade’s NBA journey began in 2003 when he entered the NBA Draft from Marquette, the same year his good friends LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh were drafted. After being selected fifth overall in the first round, Wade went to the Miami Heat.
Wade played 13 seasons with the Miami Heat and one with the Chicago Bulls, winning three NBA Championships along the way. The acrobatic shooting guard leads the Heat franchise in points, assists, steals and wins.
Although not the best outside shooter around, he managed to put up high numbers, using his ability to get open and create space. His post moves, Euro-step, step back jump shot, and pump fake are his go-to moves. Wade made it difficult for other guards, smaller or bigger, to guard him in the post. He knocked down the fade-away shot consistently when he gives the hard shake one way and pulls up going the other way. His euro-step had opponents spinning and missing because of his fast footwork when stepping slightly around defenders.
The Flash has a high defensive IQ that made him a good reader on defense for tipping passes and plucking defenders. One of his better defensive abilities is his blocking. Wade could get up as a defender and send an opponent’s shot from behind without him even knowing. His skill set on defense set a record for most career blocks as a player under 6’4. His game-winner against the Chicago Bulls in ???? began on the defensive side which then erupted the arena.
Wade has experienced different coaches during his career. Erik Spoelstra was Wade’s assistant coach for five years. He then became his head coach for 8 more seasons. Spoelstra was Wade’s head coach for his two championships in 2012 and 2013. Pat Riley, one of the greatest coaches ever in the NBA, also coached Wade in 2006 when they took home their first NBA championship.
The Miami Heat
D-Wade won three NBA championships while playing for the Heat with other all-stars.
In 2006, Wade helped carry the Heat past the Dallas Mavericks when they were down 2-0 in the NBA Finals. He took home his first championship that year with the legendary Shaquille O’ Neal. That championship comeback performance gave Wade the Finals MVP Award. He averaged per game 35 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2.7 steals
In 2011, LeBron James joined the Miami Heat in “The Decision” interview and teamed up with Wade and Chris Bosh. D-Wade and LeBron took the NBA by storm during their alliance, which lasted for four seasons, propelling the Heat into four straight NBA Finals appearances against three strong opponents, the Dallas Mavericks, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and twice against the San Antonio Spurs.
Wade and the Heat lost to the Mavericks in 2011 but beat the Thunder in 2012. During the following two seasons, Wade went to war against the San Antonio Spurs, averaging per game 18.5 points, four rebounds, and 1.7 steals. In 2013, the Heat defeated the Spurs to retain their title as NBA champions when Ray Allen splashed one of the biggest and important 3-point shots of all-time to force a Game 7. In 2014, the Spurs defeated the Heat, ending the “Big 3” era of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Throughout their years together, Wade and James were the premier dynamic duo of the NBA. They gave fans full-court alley-oop passes, vigorous transition dunks, and heart-racing games. When things went wrong, Wade remained poised. He brought true leadership to every team he played on, whether it was full of veterans or young guys. Wade’s positive locker room presence and personality will be his most missed attributes – not only as a player but as a man.
The Flash was clutch and he’s still knocking down game-winners at 36. Wade’s been a great closer in the fourth quarter of games, hitting difficult game-winning shots. In his career, he has hit 18 game-winners, including the most recent one in the 2017-18 NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia Sixers.
D-Wade has been selected to the All-Star team 12 times, taking home the NBA All-Star MVP Award in 2010. He’s made himself a 2-time All-NBA First Team, 3-time All-NBA Second Team, 3-time All-NBA Third Team, and 3-time NBA All-Defense Second Team player. He might be the most notable talent (others would include Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone) to never have won a league MVP.
The Chicago native played for three teams during his career: the Miami Heat (2003-2016) the Chicago Bulls (2016-17) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2017-18). On both teams, Wade brought what he always did to the table; a sense of leadership, competition, and perseverance. About halfway through last season, Wade was traded back to Miami.
Farewell 16th season for @DwyaneWade: “I’ve given this game everything I have and I’m happy about that. And I’m going to give it for one last season, everything else that I have left.” https://t.co/T86km4WrQ0
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 17, 2018
The Heat’s All-Time franchise player gave the fans an electrifying 15 seasons, which will never be forgotten. D-Wade brought Miami the love and loyalty a city needs. His dedication to the game will reward him in the long run and make his name in the Hall of Fame as one of the best shooting guards to grace the court.