When legends of the game speak, we listen because they often have insights that shed light on aspects of being a superstar we don't really consider. We see a couple of hours of spectacular play, the thrills of winning, and the millions of dollars in their accounts. There's a lot of work and sacrifice that goes into that, and Dwyane Wade's latest comments reveal something we rarely consider.
DWade was on Inside and talked about the Utah Jazz. They've been playing great team basketball, and one of the major reasons why is the frontrunner for Sixth Man of the Year, Jordan Clarkson. Talking about Clarkson, Wade gave us an insight into the consequences of his career.
“If I could come back, in the NBA, I want to be Jordan Clarkson. I don't want to be a superstar because I want to keep my knees good & all that. I want to be Jordan Clarkson: come off the bench, shoot it anytime I want, ultra-green light, dress fly as hell, just go home after & chill.”
Dwyane Wade, Inside the NBA
- right hip pointer
- left hip pointer
- sprained left ankle
- sprained left foot
- sprained right ankle
- sprained MCL in left knee
- sprained right wrist
- dislocated left shoulder
- surgery on dislocated left shoulder and left knee
- surgery on left knee
- fractured right elbow
These are just the major injuries in Wade's NBA career - there are many games missed with bruised bones and soft tissue injuries connected to playing through all this. Yes, I know; he made around $200 million in his career and has a few rings with his name on them. I'm not suggesting we should shed a tear for Wade.
But his point is interesting - instead of $200 million and all playing through a lot of pain because he was the franchise guy, Wade would choose Clarkson's $50 million career earnings, a lot less pressure, and a lot more fun. What we don't see, and Wade has to live through on a daily basis, are the painful knees, back, and who knows what else that will follow him for the rest of his life. Every important moment in his life - kids graduating, getting married, chasing grandkids on the playground - will be accompanied with, at best, discomfort, more likely pain.
If he played it through again, I'm sure Wade would be Wade again. Champions win for a reason, a drive that can't be turned off. Still, his words surely echo amongst a lot of players. There's a lot of life after basketball, and you want to be as healthy as possible for all of it.