The debate to decide on who truly is the Greatest of All Time has resurfaced once again. It is a discussion that never ends. It is a discourse that has both irritated and captivated basketball diehards. This time around, Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade has offered another exciting dimension to the perennial question, which might finally let everyone sit down and appreciate the game.
For Wade, a player has to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack to be included in the coveted conversation. From his point of view, the likes of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant have achieved this mission throughout their careers. Interestingly, Wade admitted that he is not in these discussions.
"Michael Jordan separated himself. LeBron James separated himself. I'm not in the [greatest of all time] conversation with those guys. I grew up in Chicago. Michael Jordan was the lifeline for me and my brothers when we didn't even have food to eat," Wade said, per the Washington Post.
Wade may be referring to his stint with Miami, notably when his good friend LeBron James joined the fray. To recall, Wade famously acknowledged that the team belonged to James now. The one-time NBA Finals MVP accepted his role as second fiddle to James. It was an unprecedented move from a superstar who, in 2006, was on top of the world after he led the franchise to its first-ever title. It was an act of humility — something we rarely see in a dog-eat-dog world.
Wade did not just take his name out of the debate. He also offered another angle on how to approach the discourse. It will not exactly sit well with the likes of Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless.
"Michael Jordan is the first iconic figure in this game, the one who took this game to heights it had never been to," he further explained. "I feel like we all have generational GOATs. In my generation, that is my GOAT. It's going to be Kobe [Bryant] and LeBron as the new generation's GOATs, and that's okay. It's okay not to have one GOAT. Everyone doesn't have to be on the same page."
In reality, Wade's answer is a boring one by today's standards. People like to pit players against one another. They want to entertain the "what-ifs" and other questions that can never be answered. Perhaps that is just the mystique of basketball. As such, Wade's reading of who truly is the GOAT will probably be buried under the gregarious voices of Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless. Wade is used to this treatment — of working underneath the shadows. He even embraces it not because he has no choice. Instead, he accepts it because he knows he is right.