Today we’ll take a look into the career of a NBA superstar who recently hung it up. The Miami Heat were lucky to snag one of the best picks in the legendary 2003 NBA Draft. He was a 13 time All-Star, 3 time All-Defensive team member, and three-time NBA champion. Today’s topic is “How Good Was Dwyane Wade?”
Before the NBA:
Dwyane Wade Jr. was born on January 17th, 1982. He grew up on the southside of Chicago and had a rough upbringing. His parents divorced when he was still a baby and his mother had a drug problem. He put all his focus into basketball and football and looked up to Michael Jordan as his role model. He was better at football before he became more successful in basketball. He improved on the court and going into his junior season he sprouted up four inches and was in a leadership position. He averaged 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds. He continued to improve and in his senior season he increased his average to 27 points and 11 rebounds per game.
He struggled in the classroom so he didn’t get much interest from a lot of schools, but out of the three that recruited him, he decided to commit to Marquette University. Wade didn’t meet the NCAA academic eligibility requirements so he didn’t get to play his freshman season. He raised his grades and was eligible by his sophomore season. In the 2001-2002 season, Marquette finished with their best record since the 1993 season going 26-7 and he led his team in scoring with 17.8 points per game.
Going into the 2002-2003 season, Wade led his team to the March Madness Final Four and was named to the All-America First Team. After his performance in the national tournament, he decided to skip his senior year and declared for the draft.
NBA Draft/Rookie Season:
Dwade was drafted 5th overall by the Miami Heat in the legendary 2003 NBA Draft. This draft was one of the best in NBA history with Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony being in it as well. He made an immediate impact on the Heat and averaged 16.2 points, helping them reach the playoffs.
Moving on to the 2004-2005 season, the Heat gained Shaquille O’Neal and they improved their record by winning 17 more games. He was voted to his first All-Star game as a reserve and scored 14 points. Him and Shaq led the Heat back to the playoffs, but took a devastating loss in Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the 2005-2006 season, Dwade finally got a taste of success and earned his first NBA title. He averaged 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds for the regular season. He also was the Finals MVP and became the fifth-youngest player to win a MVP trophy.
Things took a turn in the 2006-2007 season and he missed 31 games because of an injury. But although he missed almost half the season, he still earned All-NBA honors. He made it back in time for the playoffs and averaged 23.5 points per game, but the Heat were swept in the first round. He also was chosen to participate on the USA team in the summer, but his injuries prevented him from doing so.
He made it back to play in the 2007-2008 season, but still played through some knee pain. The Heat had the worst record in the NBA, but he still kept his numbers high and averaged 24.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
He participated in the 2008 Olympics on Team USA after months of rehab and led the team in scoring. In the 2008-2009 season, he was voted an NBA All-Star for the fifth time. He became the only player under 6’5 to block more than 100 shots in a single season, and also the only player to reach 2,000 points, 500 assists, 150 steals and 100 blocks. This season he earned his first scoring title averaging 30.2 points per game.
Going into the 2009-2010 season, he recorded his 10,000th career point. He participated in another All-Star game and won the MVP trophy. He scored 28 points, 11 assists and grabbed 6 rebounds. He averaged 26.6 points this season and shot 47% from the field. They fell short in the playoffs this season.
The following season was something special as the Heat formed their own Big Three. Along with Wade staying with the Heat another season, they signed Lebron James and Chris Bosh. The Heat finished second in the Eastern conference, and defeated the OKC Thunder in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat became the first team in NBA History to comeback from trailing 0-3 in the Finals. He earned his second title and averaged 22.6 points per game in the playoffs.
Before the 2012-2013 season, Wade had surgery on his left knee causing him to miss the 2012 Summer Olympics. This season he was limited because of his injuries, but with the help of Bosh and James the Heat clinched another championship, making it their second straight championship with the Big Three.
The following season, Wade decided to take it easy and he rested during the back to back regular season games. He missed 28 games, but that didn’t stop him from competing to the fullest. He shot 52% and averaged 19.1 points during the playoffs, and this was his best performance in the playoffs since 2010. But, the Big Three’s luck didn’t follow through this year, and they came up short losing to the San Anthonio Spurs in the 2014 Finals.
Going into the 2014-2015 season, Wade and Bosh decided to re-sign with the Heat, but Lebron left the Heat and returned back to Cleveland. He scored a season high 42 points, but suffered from a hamstring injury causing him to miss the All-Star game and the Heat missed the playoffs with a 37-45 record.
The 2015-2016 season, he opted out of his contract, but signed a one-year deal with the Heat. This season, he set a record for himself and made seven three-pointers in a row, which he’s never done before.
The following season, Wade left his roots and joined forces with the Chicago Bulls for the 2016-2017 season. He teamed up with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo, but they didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs. The Bulls ended up buying out Wade in the summer after this season, and Wade then joined forces with the Cavs. Tyronn Lue wanted to play Wade off the bench, which he didn’t like, but ended up becoming a leader for the second unit on the floor.
On February 8th, the NBA trade deadline was coming up, so the Cavs traded Wade back to Miami. On April 3rd, he reached another milestone of having 5,000 assists in a Heat uniform. He also became the ninth player to score 20,000 points and have 5,000 assists on one team.
Wade announced his retirement after the 2018-2019 season and re-signed with the Heat for the last time. He wanted to retire in Miami and they felt honored to have him make his last go-around wearing a Heat jersey. In his last and final home game, he recorded his fifth career triple-double scoring 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The Heat retired his #3 jersey on February 22nd, 2020.
So Dwade is a legendary shooting guard and there’s no question of how good he was in his NBA career. He’s a three-time NBA champ, 13-time NBA All-Star, scoring champ and he scored 23,165 points in his career. His career speaks for itself.