Over his sixteen year career in the NBA, Dwyane Wade has inspired many players in the league as they came up the ranks, including two-time finals MVP Kevin Durant. The two have played in numerous all-star games since Durant was drafted second overall by the Seattle Supersonics in 2007. The pairing has also won a couple gold medals with Team USA Basketball as well.
Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant were able to meet in the NBA Finals once back in 2012, Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder took the first game of a best of seven series. Unfortunately for the Thunder, it would be the only victory of the series for them as Wade along with LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and the rest of the Miami Heat would go on to win the next four games. Ending the series and capturing the Larry O’Bryant trophy in five games. With the victory, Dwyane Wade collected his second championship as a member of the Miami Heat organization. Back in 2006, Wade was named the Finals MVP, but in 2012 the honor went to LeBron James. The Heat would go on to win back to back championship by beating the San Antonio Spurs, in 2013 and James was once again named the Finals MVP.
Recently, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors were in town to face the Dallas Mavericks, and after the game, I spoke briefly with Durant about what the NBA will miss about the future Hall of Famer’s competitiveness and leadership.
“Real Hoopers and students of the game will realize what D Wade brought to the game, while he was in his prime everyone stopped to watch him. D Wade is going to be on that mountain of greatness when comes to retired players, and he will sit up there for the rest of his life, and he will know he is one of the best players to step foot on the floor. I think Dwyane Wade has put himself on that Mountain of great players, and not a lot of players are on it. In my opinion,” Kevin Durant told me.
Before the 2018-2019 season, Dwyane Wade announced on his YouTube page, that his sixteenth season in the NBA would be his last dance. Just like his mentor Kobe Bryant, Wade has used his final season in the NBA as a farewell tour. Taking photos with numerous players in the league, signing autographs, and exchanging jersey with those who ask him.
Dwyane Wade will be voted in as a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2024 after he hangs up his basketball shoes at the end of the season.