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Dwyane Wade thinks the NBA featured “more of a thinking man’s game” back in the day

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade made a name for himself as one of the best shooting guards in NBA history throughout his 15-year-long career. When he entered the league as a member of the Miami Heat, Wade was known for his remarkable athletic ability, but he learned about other aspects of the game in the upcoming years. As time progressed, his basketball IQ was also on the same level, making him one of the best and unstoppable guards in the league.

In an interview with Sekou Smith from, Wade looked back on his illustrious career and the young and talented players in the league today. Wade made an interesting point that players today rely more on talent and athleticism than actually thinking about the game.

We're at a place right now in the league where if you have talent, you can succeed. And I'm not knocking it. It's just what it is. When I came in it was different. It was more of a thinking man's game. It was different rules to the game, you know, with hand-checking and everything. It was more of a man's league, per se. But now, if you have talent in this league, you've got one-on-one abilities, you can succeed. If you've got one talent, just one thing you do special, you can be great. If that talent is just setting the pick and roll and then jumping as high as I can for a lob, you can do it, and you can make $200 million doing it. It's just a different day. And there's nothing wrong with it. The game changes for every generation. So I hope my son can get a little of this NBA action because I think it's going to be a really fun era to play in and be a part of.

Dwyane Wade, via

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Wade also said there is a difference between the young players now and when he was growing up. He thinks it's a bit easier for the players nowadays because they have access to many things he couldn't back in the days. The game is evolving, and Wade sees that if you are young and talented, you have more tools to succeed than some previous generations.

Look, I knew who was in my district. And I barely knew that. But yeah, they get a global view of the game and what's going on all around them at all times. They get to compare themselves against this guy in Los Angeles when you live on the other side of the country. Or a guy from Canada or wherever. And they get to play against each other now with the grassroots circuit. It's so much different now compared to when we were growing up. So yeah, it's just a different time. And man, the talent these kids have way exceeds our talents at that same stage—just their skills. I mean, everybody's got a personal trainer and all of the moves. I didn't have all that. I learned in the backyard with my dad teaching me. I didn't learn with professional trainers and all that. But it's the culture now. That's where we're at. It's a different day. And that's what you see in the NBA right now."

Dwyane Wade, via

Wade made a good point about the existing environment for players to develop on a much greater level than before, which is a privilege the older generation didn't have. If you are young and talented, you have all the tools at your disposal to maximize your skillset and learn about a game in a way that will make you an All-Star or, even better, an MVP and one of the best players in the NBA.

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