It took 10 seasons before Pat Riley finally copped an NBA championship for the Miami Heat. Little did he know it was a then-24-year-old Dwyane Wade who would lead the Heat to its first NBA title in franchise history in 2006. Of course, that season was monumental for D-Wade in more than one way.
Right place at the right time
As we can all remember, LeBron James was outright the most highly-touted player in the 2003 NBA Draft class. However, it was Wade who won the chip before his friend when he took off and had his breakout season in 2005-06, averaging then career-best 27.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game on almost 50% field goal shooting.
Needless to say, outside the MVP-worthy season in 2009, Wade’s 2006 run with the Heat is at the crest of the best moments of his career. And he still couldn’t help but be swayed by elation whenever he looked back at it.
“Being able to stay out to 5AM and still score 40 for noon game [laughing emojis],” Wade said on The Players’ Tribune’s “Text Message Talk Show with Dorell Wright” when asked about his “favorite or unknown” moments in the 2006 Heat season. “But for real, just being on a team with dudes I grew up watching. Like we played with Shaq, Zo, GP, AWalk [Antoine Walker], White Chocolate bro. Legends!!!!”
Nothing lasts forever
While the 2006 Heat championship run is still Wade’s pride and joy to this day, it didn’t sum up his illustrious career. In fact, “Flash” had a second episode of making history in Miami when LeBron and Chris Bosh joined him to form a legendary trio.
Some skeptics, or should we say some D-Wade fanatics, at the time thought pairing up with “King James” would dim his shine a bit. But instead of trying to prove he was the better player, Wade productively co-existed with LeBron. He showed us that passion for the game always beats ego.
If that was the case, why did, all of a sudden, “Flash” lose his drive during his twilight years in the league? Let’s hear it from the man himself.
“I love the game. That love never goes away,” Wade once explained. “My passion started to leave once it became more of a business than just the natural fun and the reason why we all started playing; it started to take more and more from me.”
We may have different takes on how we remember D-Wade, but we can all agree that at one point, specifically in 2006, he was the best basketball player in the world.