Monday 10th December 2018

John Jones – UCFB Multimedia Sports Journalist 2018

On Saturday night Miami Heat shooting guard, Dwyane Wade completed his 1000th career game in basketball as the Heat produced a 121-98 victory over the LA Clippers with Wade topping the scoring chart with 25. The veteran announced it would be his last season in the NBA this off season after a stellar career including three NBA titles, NBA Finals MVP, 12 NBA all star appearances and two time All-NBA first team appearances.

Back to the early beginnings in the guards’ career it may have been American football he turned to instead of basketball as in high school Wade was finding success as a wide receiver but after a summer of growth before his junior year, he earned more playing time for the basketball team which saw him begin to flourish in the sport. The following year was when Wade came into his own as he averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game ( During that season he set school records for amount of points scored (676) and number of steals (106) taking the team to the Class AA Eisenhower Sectional. Wade struggled academically at high school and only received three college basketball offers Illnois Stat, DePaul University and Marquette University where he decided to join.

The start of his college career did not go to plan as Wade was ineligible to play due to him falling short of the NCAA’s Proposition 48 academic standards. After Improving academically Wade earned his eligibility and led the side in scoring and to their best record since 1993-94 season. The following season in 2002-03 went one step further winning the colleges first and only Conference USA Championship. Wade gained huge publicity when he recorded the fourth ever triple-double in NCAA Tournament history when Marquette beat top-ranked Kentucky. Wade decided to enter the NBA draft.

Dwyane Wade’s NBA career started 15 years ago in the 2003 NBA Draft when he was selected by Miami Heat as a fifth overall pick the same year as Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony were also drafted. Wade’s rookie year saw him quickly emerge as a key player for the Heat where he was to go on and only improve.

His first championship win came in 2005-06 season winning finals MVP as well proving how Dwyane Wade became one of the most important players in the NBA. The Heat faced Dallas Mavericks with Wade bringing the team back from 0-2 to win the series 4-2 in game 6. Earning his MVP trophy after great performances throughout the series becoming the fifth youngest plyer in history to win the Finals MVP.

Fast forward to 2010 where the famous “Big three” era begun when Chris Bosh and Lebron James joined the Heat with Wade also resigning and extending his stay with the franchise. In the first year of the new era the Heat did make the finals, but this time lost to the Mavericks in six games. The following season Wade would win his second title and the first in the ‘big three’ era comfortably beating Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 after trailing from game one in the series. The following season in 2012-13 injury hit again as the shooting guard underwent left knee surgery and his playing time became limited however this did not stop Wade as he was able to win his third title and back to back championships when defeating the San Antonio Spurs 4-3 in a seven-game series. That was the end of the ‘big three’ era as Lebron moved on and headed back to Cleveland after four seasons with Wade.

 2016 saw a change for Wade as he also moved on and headed to the Chicago Bulls, his hometown team. Joining up with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo the three players gained the title of the ‘three alphas’ but this relationship did not go well and eventually the Bulls and Wade reached a buyout agreement where he would go to partner up at Cleveland Cavaliers with ex team mate Lebron James. This also did not go to plan as Wade struggled and volunteered to have a bench role with the side for the benefit of the team.

February 2018 saw Wade return to the Heat on NBA trade deadline day after the Cavaliers made numerous changes to their roster giving youth a chance. Wade collected another milestone after his return when he became the ninth player ever to score 20,000 points and 5,000 assists with one franchise joining legendary names such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant. This off-season Wade announced this year would be his last when he re-signed with the Heat for the 2018-19 season.

The farewell tour for three-time champion Dwyane Wade continues as they face Los Angles Lakers tonight with Wade and Lebron James facing off for one of the last times in the players career.