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Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. (/dweɪn/ dwayn;[1] born January 17, 1982) is an American former professional basketball player. Wade spent the majority of his 16-year career playing for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful college basketball career with the Marquette Golden Eagles, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Heat. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team, commonly known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring and helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to Miami in February 2018. A 13-time NBA All-Star, Wade is Miami's all-time leader in points, games, assists, and steals, shots made and shots taken.[2]

Dwyane Wade
Personal information
Born(1982-01-17)January 17, 1982
Chicago, Illinois
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High schoolHarold L. Richards (Oak Lawn, Illinois)
CollegeMarquette (2001–2003)
NBA draft2003 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Miami Heat
Playing career2003–2019
PositionShooting guard
Number3, 9
Career history
20032016Miami Heat
2016–2017Chicago Bulls
2017–2018Cleveland Cavaliers
2018–2019Miami Heat
Career highlights and awards
  • 3× NBA champion (2006, 2012, 2013)
  • NBA Finals MVP (2006)
  • 13× NBA All-Star (2005–2016, 2019)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (2010)
  • 2× All-NBA First Team (2009, 2010)
  • 3× All-NBA Second Team (2005, 2006, 2011)
  • 3× All-NBA Third Team (2007, 2012, 2013)
  • 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2005, 2009, 2010)
  • NBA scoring champion (2009)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2004)
  • Consensus first-team All-American (2003)
  • Third-team All-American – SN (2002)
  • Conference USA Player of the Year (2003)
  • No. 3 retired by Marquette
Career statistics
Points23,165 (22.0 ppg)
Rebounds4,933 (4.7 rpg)
Assists5,701 (5.4 apg)
Stats [195] at Basketball-Reference.com

Early life

Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. was born the second of two children to JoLinda and Dwayne Wade Sr. in Chicago, Illinois, on January 17, 1982. There was a spelling mistake on his birth certificate, but his parents, having warmed to it, kept his name as "Dwyane."[3] JoLinda had already had two children when she married Wade's father, having two more with him, Dwyane and his older sister, Tragil. The pair separated when Wade was only four months old. Wade has described his early childhood in the South Side of Chicago as trying.[4]

When his parents divorced, JoLinda was given custody of the two children. She moved with them into her mother's house. Around this time, the family experienced their worst financial straits, and JoLinda began dealing drugs. Addicted to alcohol, heroin, and cocaine, she got high regularly at home and sometimes in the presence of her children.[5] At eight years old, his sister, Tragil, tricked him into thinking they were going to the movies, only to leave him to live with his father and stepmother. Wade would still visit his mother on occasion; a year later, however, his father relocated the family to Robbins, Illinois, after which Wade would not see JoLinda again for two years.[6] Wade's life thus took a turn for the better. The same was not true for his mother, who became a tester for dealers, was hospitalized and nearly died, and was sentenced in 1994 to almost a year in prison on drug charges.[7]

Wade turned to basketball and football to avoid the temptations of drugs and gangs; his new environment allowed him to play both with his father and stepbrothers in the park. About his upbringing, Wade has credited his sister, Tragil, as the person most responsible for pointing him in the right direction.[8] As a youth in Chicago, Wade grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and even modeled his game after the Chicago Bulls legend.[9] On October 14, 2001, as Wade's basketball career was on the ascendant, JoLinda vowed to turn her life around and to get clean once and for all. She says that she has been since 2003.[5]

High school career

Wade played both basketball and football for Harold L. Richards High School in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. He immediately excelled as a wide receiver but had to work extra hard to earn playing time in basketball games.[8] As a sophomore, Wade was overshadowed by his stepbrother who had established himself as the star of the basketball team. But having worked on his fundamentals and grown four inches by the start of his junior year, Wade emerged as the centerpiece for the Bulldogs. It was his breakout season as he put up averages of 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.[10]

Wade's dramatic improvement continued into his senior year, during which he averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds per contest.[11] He led the Bulldogs to a 24–5 record and to a Class AA Eisenhower Sectional appearance. Wade also set school records for both points scored (676) and steals made (106).[12] By his own account, his high school coach, Jack Fitzgerald, was a seminal and positive influence. Notwithstanding his achievements on the court, Wade was recruited to play basketball only by a handful of colleges (Marquette, Illinois State, and DePeaul) due to academic issues.[6]

College career

Wade committed to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a view to play college basketball under coach Tom Crean. In his freshman year, Wade was sidelined by the NCAA's Proposition 48, which sets academic eligibility requirements for participation in Division I sports.[13] But Wade redoubled his focus on his studies and sought tutoring to hone his writing skills;[14] as a result of his efforts, his academic standing improved so that he was able to suit up for Marquette by the start of his sophomore year.[15][16]

2001–02 season

After being cleared to play for the 2001–02 season, Wade led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 17.8 points per game (ppg) and led the Conference USA in both steals per game with 2.47 and 2-point field goals made with 205;[17] he also averaged 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists a night.[18] Marquette finished with a 26–7 record, their best since the 1993–94 season.[12]

2002–03 season

In Marquette's 2002–03 campaign, Wade led the school in scoring again with 21.5 ppg,[18] and the school won its first and only Conference USA championship with a 27–6 record. That season, Wade helped bring the Golden Eagles back to the Final Four for the first time since its national championship season in 1977. Wade was subsequently named to the All-America First Team by the Associated Press, making him the first Marquette basketball player since 1978 to receive the distinction.[12]

Wade's performance in the Midwest Regional Final of the NCAA Tournament was highly publicized by the national press. Against the heavily favored, top-ranked and top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats, Wade recorded 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists;[19] this triple-double was only the fourth in all NCAA Tournament history.[20] The Golden Eagles finished the season as No.6 in the AP Poll, Marquette's highest ranking since its 1976–77 championship season. For his exceptional play that propelled Marquette past the Wildcats 83–69 and into the Final Four, Wade was named the MVP of the Midwest Regional. His strong performance during the tournament also brought him increased visibility in the national media and, consequently, a high NBA draft projection.[21] As a result, Wade elected to forgo his senior year at Marquette and instead enter the 2003 NBA draft. On February 3, 2007, some four years after his last collegiate game, Marquette formally retired his jersey at the halftime of a game against Providence. Although the university requires student-athletes to have graduated before their jersey can be retired, it made a special exception for Wade based on his extraordinary accomplishments since leaving Marquette; this in combination with the work ethic and dedication he showed while at the school, for which it is reasonable to assume that he would have graduated had he but stayed for his final year.[22]

On March 5, 2003, JoLinda Wade was released from prison. Three days later, she saw Dwyane play basketball for the first time in five years as Marquette beat Cincinnati, 70–61, at the Bradley Center to win the Conference USA regular-season championship. Dwyane finished the contest with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.

NBA career

Miami Heat (2003–2016)

Rookie year (2003–04)

Wade dunking the ball during the 2004 Rookie Challenge game for the Rookies team.

Wade dunking the ball during the 2004 Rookie Challenge game for the Rookies team.

Selected 5th overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Miami Heat, Wade became one of only four Marquette alumni to be picked in the first round of an NBA draft, with his being the highest draft selection in school history.[18][19] Wade quickly emerged as a productive player on a youthful Heat team, averaging 16.2 points on 46.5% shooting as well as 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. After a 5–15 start,[23] the Heat would gradually improve to finish 42–40 and qualify for the playoffs.[24] Wade further distinguished himself with outstanding performances in the postseason,[19] particularly against the Indiana Pacers during the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. As sucessful as it was, Wade's rookie campaign ended up being somewhat overshadowed by the success of fellow rookies Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Wade, however, did earn a unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie Team[19] and was third in rookie of the year voting (after James and Anthony).[19] He also ranked among the top five rookies in several statistical categories, including second in field goal percentage, second in steals, third in scoring, fourth in assists, and fourth in minutes played.[19] During the first game of round one in the season's playoffs, Wade hit a running jumper with 1.3 seconds left to give the Heat an 81-79 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Winning that series 4–3, the Heat advanced to the second round where they faced the Indiana Pacers, the top-seeded team with the best record in the NBA. In a memorable matchup, the Heat would nearly push the 61-win Pacers to the edge, only to eventually lose the series in six games. Wade became the fourth rookie since the shot clock era began to lead his team in averages of both points and assists per game in the postseason.[19]

Breakthrough year (2004–05)

Wade with the ball versus the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005

Wade with the ball versus the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005

Before the start of the 2004–05 season, the Heat had traded with the Los Angeles Lakers for center Shaquille O'Neal. Improving on their previous season's 42–40 record by 17 games, Miami went 59–23 in their 2004–05 campaign, an Eastern Conference-best.[24] The league's coaches selected Wade to be a reserve in the season's All-Star Game; during it, he put up 14 points in 24 minutes of play.

In the first round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Wade averaged 26.3 points, 8.8 assists, and 6 rebounds a night while maintaining a 50% field-goal percentage[19] as the Heat swept the New Jersey Nets.[25] He continued his high level of play in the second round by averaging 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists per game[19] as the Heat swept the Washington Wizards.[25] The Heat's playoff run was stopped after seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Detroit Pistons, the previous season's champions. In a remarkable feat, Wade scored as many as 42 points in Game Two and 36 in Game 3 of the series despite playing with sinusitis, the flu, and a knee strain. He also suffered a strained rib muscle in Game Five that prevented him from playing in the sixth game[26] and limited him in the seventh. The Heat would fall to the Pistons in the seventh game despite having led the series three games to two after Game Five and holding a lead with only three minutes left of Game Seven.[25]

NBA champion and Finals MVP (2005–06)

Wade at the free throw line

Wade at the free throw line

By the 2005–06 season, Wade had developed into one of the NBA's preeminent talents. He was elected to the All-Star Game for the second time but for his first time as a starter in 2006. During 30 minutes of play, he scored 20 points on 9-of-11 field goals[27] and made the game-winning put-back off of Allen Iverson's missed jumper, leading the East to a 122–120 victory over the West. Wade finished the 2005–06 regular season with averages of 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.95 steals per contest.[18]

In the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Miami faced the Chicago Bulls. During the serires, Wade shook off several injuries, such as a severely bruised hip incured in Game Five.[28] All but singlehandedly resurrecting his team, Wade scored 15 of his 28 points while suffering from intense pain to give the Heat a much needed 3–2 series lead. In the Eastern Conference Finals that followed, Wade led his team past the Detroit Pistons and to the 2006 NBA Finals, despite suffering flu-like symptoms in Game Six.[29] He put up a double-double in the series-clinching contest with 14 points and 10 assists, including his 8-point flurry at the tail end of the third quarter that put the game out of reach.[29]

Wade put on a memorable performance during his first NBA Finals, in which Miami faced the Dallas Mavericks. His 42, 36, and 43 points in Games Three, Four, and Five, respectively, helped the Heat go from a 0–2 deficit to a 3–2 series lead.[30] In Game Three, he tied his own playoffs-high by scoring 42 points and also grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds.[31] Wade scored fifteen of his 42 points in the fourth quarter as the Heat erased a 13-point deficit in the final six minutes and twenty-nine seconds through their 22–7 run; the flurry of baskets included a go-ahead jumper by NBA veteran Gary Payton that sealed the win.[32] The Heat went on to claim Game Six behind Wade's 36 points, taking the series 4–2, and Wade was presented with the Finals MVP trophy.[33] He became the fifth-youngest player in NBA history at the time to capture NBA Finals MVP honors and recorded the third-highest scoring average by a player in his first NBA Finals with 34.7 points per game.[19][34] His 33.8 PER in the NBA finals was ranked by ESPN's John Hollinger as the greatest Finals performance since the NBA-ABA merger.[35]

Injuries and missing playoffs (2006–08)

In the 2006–07 season, Wade missed a total of 31 games due to injury. He was elected to his third straight All-Star Game and received All-NBA honors. He became the first guard to earn All-NBA honors after missing at least 31 games in a season since Pete Maravich of the Utah Jazz earned Second Team honors during the 1977–78 season.[19] Despite Wade's play, the Heat struggled early in the season with injuries and were 20–25 on February 1, 2007.[36] But with Shaquille O'Neal healthy and Pat Riley returning to the bench after undergoing hip and knee surgeries respectively,[37] the Heat seemed poised to surge into the second half of the season.[38] However, during a game against the Houston Rockets on February 21, 2007, while attempting to steal the ball from Shane Battier, Wade dislocated his left shoulder and was assisted off the court in a wheelchair.[39] After the injury, he was left with the decision to either rehabilitate the shoulder or undergo season-ending surgery.[40] Wade later announced that he would put off the surgery and rehabilitate his shoulder with the intention of rejoining the team in time for the playoffs.[41] After missing 23 games to recover from the injury, Wade returned to the active roster in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Sporting a black sleeve to help protect his dislocated left shoulder, Wade played 27 minutes and recorded 12 points and 8 assists, in a 111–103 overtime loss.[42] For the season, Wade averaged 27.4 points, 7.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game shooting 50% from the field, and finished the season as the NBA's leader in PER (Player efficiency rating).[43]

In the playoffs, Wade averaged 23.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game, as the Heat were swept in the first round by the Chicago Bulls.[44] Following the playoffs, Wade underwent a pair of successful surgeries to repair his dislocated left shoulder and left knee. The knee ailment, commonly called "jumper's knee", prevented Wade from joining USA Basketball in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament over the summer.[45]

After missing the Tournament of Americas Olympic Qualifiers over the summer, Miami's eight pre-season games and first seven regular-season games to recover from off-season left knee and left shoulder surgeries, Wade made his first appearance of the 2007–08 season on November 14, 2007.[46] Battling pain in his left knee throughout the season,[47] Wade was elected to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game appearance.[48] However, with the Heat holding the worst record in the NBA and Wade still experiencing problems in his left knee, head coach Riley announced Wade would miss the final 21 games of the season to undergo OssaTron treatment on his left knee.[49] Wade averaged 24.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game for the season.[43]

Scoring champion and playoff defeats (2008–10)

Wade dribbling the ball in 2009.

Wade dribbling the ball in 2009.

After undergoing months of rehabilitation on his left knee and helping the U.S. Olympic team win a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, in which he led the team in scoring, Wade returned to the starting lineup at the start of the 2008–09 season.[50][51] Early in the season, Wade became the second player in NBA history to tally at least 40 points, 10 assists and five blocked shots in a game since Alvan Adams did so in the 1976–77 season.[52] With a healthy Wade leading the league in scoring and the Heat making a push for a playoff position, Wade was elected to his fifth consecutive All-Star game appearance.[53]

Following the All-Star game, Wade recorded 50 points on 56.6% shooting and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a blow-out loss against the Orlando Magic.[54] Wade became the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points while his team lost by at least 20 in a game.[54] The following game, Wade recorded a career-high 16 assists and added 31 points and 7 rebounds in a 103–91 win against the Detroit Pistons.[55] Wade became the second player to record 15 or more assists after scoring at least 50 points since Wilt Chamberlain did so in 1968.[56] Two games later, Wade tied a franchise record with 24 points in the fourth quarter, as he led the Heat back from a 15-point deficit in the final nine minutes of the quarter to secure a 120–115 win over the New York Knicks.[57] For the game, Wade recorded 46 points on 55% field goal shooting, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks.[57] Wade followed the performance with a second consecutive 40-point game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.[58] Playing against his Eastern Conference rival and good friend, LeBron James, Wade registered 41 points on 53% shooting, 9 assists, 7 steals, 7 rebounds and one block as the Heat lost 107–100.[58] The following game, in former teammate Shaquille O'Neal's return to Miami since being traded, Wade tied a career-high with 16 assists and added 35 points on 62% shooting, 6 rebounds, a steal and a block, as the Heat defeated the Phoenix Suns 135–129.[59] Wade became the only player in Heat history to have multiple games with at least 30 points and 15 assists.[59] Less than a week later, Wade tied his franchise record with his 78th consecutive game of scoring in double figures in a double-overtime thriller against the Chicago Bulls, in which he scored the game-winning three-point basket to secure a 130–127 win.[60] Wade finished with 48 points on 71.4% shooting, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks in 50 minutes.[60] According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wade joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only other player in NBA history to score that many points and have that many assists in a game, while having as high of a field goal percentage.[61] Two games later, Wade surpassed Alonzo Mourning and became the Heat's all-time leading scorer in a triple overtime classic against the Utah Jazz.[62] Wade finished with 50 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks in a 140–129 win.[62]

During the season, Wade became the first player in NBA history to accumulate at least 2,000 points, 500 assists, 100 steals, and 100 blocks in a season and was the first player of 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) or shorter to register at least 100 blocks in a season.[63][64] Wade also became just the fifth player in NBA history to reach 2,000 points, 500 assists, and 150 steals in a season.[65] After a 97–92 win against the Charlotte Bobcats, Wade helped the Heat clinch a playoff berth and become only the second team in NBA History to reach the postseason after winning 15 or fewer games the year before.[66] In a 122–105 win against the New York Knicks, Wade recorded a career-high 55 points on 63% field goal shooting and added 9 rebounds and 4 assists.[67] Wade recorded 50 points through three quarters and was pulled out of the game while he was one point shy of eclipsing the franchise record of 56 points set by Glen Rice.[67] For the season, Wade averaged a league-high 30.2 points per game, earning his first NBA scoring title, and added 7.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.[43] Wade finished the season with higher point, assist, steal and block averages than LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, who both finished ahead of Wade in the MVP race.

On November 1, in just his third game of the 2009–10 season Wade recorded his 10,000th career point in a 95–87 win against the Chicago Bulls.[68] On November 12 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade made a spectacular dunk over Anderson Varejão, considered by many to be one of the greatest of the season until then. LeBron James himself described the dunk as "great, probably top 10 all-time".[69] Two days later against the New Jersey Nets, with the Heat down by two in the final seconds, Wade hit a clutch three-point shot, giving the Heat the win by one point, 81–80.[70] On January 6, Wade scored a season-high 44 points in an overtime loss against the Boston Celtics, the most points scored by a player in a losing effort in the season until that point.[71] On January 21, Wade was selected to play for the East in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, which was his sixth overall All-Star appearance.[72] Wade was named the game's MVP after recording 28 points, 11 assists, 5 steals and 6 rebounds.[73]

In just his second game back from the All-Star Game on February 17, Wade strained his calf in the first quarter. He left the game with 8 points in 8 minutes of play, ending his personal and also Heat's franchise-record streak of 148 consecutive games with at least 10 points.[74] On April 2, Wade was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month and Player of the Week twice for his play in the month of March, leading the Heat to a 12–3, the team's best record since March 2006. It was his first Player of the Month award of the season and 5th of his career. He averaged 26.9 and 7.5 assists per game, which both ranked third in the Eastern Conference, and 2.3 steals per game, which ranked first. Wade recorded six 30 points games and had six double-doubles in the month, including a season-high 14 assists in an overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 4.[75]

For the season, Wade averaged 26.6 points on 47.6% field goal shooting, 6.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, while leading his team to a 47–35 record, clinching the fifth seed in the NBA Playoffs.[43] In the first round, with the Heat facing a sweep against the Boston Celtics, Wade recorded a career playoff-high and also franchise record 46 points, outscoring the entire Celtics team in the 4th quarter with 19 points versus 15 by Boston.[76] It was also Wade's sixth career playoff game with at least 40 points scored.[43] Despite averaging 33.2 points on 56.4% shooting, 6.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks, Wade and the Heat would lose to Boston in five games.[77]

The Big Three era and back-to-back championships (2010–14)

Dwyane Wade with his teammate, LeBron James.

Dwyane Wade with his teammate, LeBron James.

During the off-season, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted unanimously to rename the county "Miami-Wade County" for one week from July 1–7, 2010 in Wade's honor and to try and convince Wade to stay in Miami and sign with the Heat.[78] On July 7, it was announced that Wade would be re-signing with the Miami Heat, along with former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh.[79] The following day, LeBron James announced he would be joining the Heat to play with Wade and Bosh, causing a stir in the media and among fans.[80] The deals were officially announced on July 10; Bosh and James arrived via sign-and-trade deals.[81] The Heat finished with a 58–24 record in the first year of the Big 3 Era and earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference. For the season, Wade averaged 25.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game, shooting 50% from the field. After defeating the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls, the Heat reached the Finals but lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Wade averaged 26.5 points, 7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game for the NBA Finals and 24.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.4 for the entire playoffs.[82] Prior to the beginning of the 2011–12 NBA season, Bosh in 2012 opined Wade should take the last second shot instead of Bosh or James to win or lose a game based on Wade's past success.[83]

On February 26, 2012, at the All-Star Game Wade recorded what was only the third triple-double in the history of the contest, posting 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, joining Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players ever to record the prestigious stat (at the 1997 and 2011 games respectively). On March 10, 2012, Wade made the game-winning shot against the Indiana Pacers, giving the Heat a 93–91 overtime win. Wade finished the season averaging 22.1 points, 4.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. In the playoffs, the Heat defeated the New York Knicks in 5 games in the first round, then defeated the Indiana Pacers in 6 games in the second round. Wade heated up in Game 6 of the second round, recording 41 points and 10 rebounds.[84] The Celtics took the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Heat prevailed and advanced to the NBA Finals. They lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the finals but won the next four games, and Wade secured his second NBA title. Wade averaged 22.6 points per game in the series. The Heat became the first team in NBA history to win a championship after trailing in three different playoff series.

Before the start of the 2012–13 NBA season, Wade underwent surgery due to a left knee injury. He missed the 2012 Summer Olympics.[85][86] While Wade missed the Heat's first pre-season game against the Atlanta Hawks, he returned in time for the Heat's second pre-season game against the Los Angeles Clippers, which was held at the MasterCard Center in Beijing, China. Miami won the game 94–80.[87][88] On December 26, 2012, during an away game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Wade kicked guard Ramon Sessions in the groin. The following day, Wade was suspended by the NBA for one game.[89] Wade finished the 2012–2013 season with averages of 21.2 points, 5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.

In the playoffs, injuries limited Wade to a career-low scoring average of 15.9 points per game, but he upped his average to 19.6 points a game during the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. After the teams split the first two games in Miami, the Spurs blew out the Heat in game 3 to take a 2–1 series lead. In game 4, Wade scored 32 points on 56 percent shooting to go with 6 steals as the Heat defeated the Spurs 109–93. The Spurs would bounce back in game 5 despite Wade's 25 points and 10 assists. Wade scored 14 points in Miami's overtime win in game 6, followed by 23 points and 10 rebounds in game 7 as the Heat clinched their second straight championship and Wade's third title.[90][91]

In the 2013–14 season, Wade played in 54 games due to injury and the team's decision to rest him during back-to-back games. Wade averaged 19 points per game and posted a career-high 54 percent field goal percentage, and had notable games in victories against elite teams such as a 32-point outing against the Pacers on November 7 and 29 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 18. In the playoffs, the team increased Wade's minutes per game, noted by a 28-point performance in the closing game of Miami's second-round victory over the Brooklyn Nets and a 23-point outing in a crucial game 2 road victory against Indiana in the Eastern Finals. The Heat would go on to win the series in six games, advancing to their fourth straight NBA Finals. Wade averaged 19.1 points a game during the playoffs on 52 percent shooting, his best percentage in a playoff run since 2010. The Heat would once again face the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals. However, they would lose in five games.

Post-Big Three era (2014–16)

Wade making a lay-up for the Heat in 2015.

Wade making a lay-up for the Heat in 2015.

On June 28, 2014, Wade and teammates James and Bosh all opted out of their contracts in order to cut costs with the intention of all re-signing.[92] James announced on his website on July 11 that he was returning to Cleveland after four successful seasons with Wade in Miami. Four days later, Wade re-signed with the Heat[93] and was later joined by a returning Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen and Mario Chalmers as well as former rivals Danny Granger and Luol Deng.

After playing in the Heat's first eight games of the 2014–15 season, Wade missed seven consecutive games due to a hamstring injury. He returned to action on November 30 against the New York Knicks to score a then season-high 27 points in an 88–79 win.[94] On December 17, despite Wade's season-high 42 points, the Heat were defeated 105–87 by the Utah Jazz.[95] He was named an All-Star for the 11th time, however, on February 11, he pulled out of the game due to another hamstring injury and was replaced by Kyle Korver.[96] The Heat finished the season with a 37–45 win–loss record, as Wade missed the postseason for just the second time in his career.

On June 29, 2015, Wade opted out of his contract with the Heat to become a free agent.[97] On July 10, 2015, he re-signed with the Heat once again to a one-year, $20 million contract.[98] Wade hit just seven shots from beyond the arc during the entire 2015–16 regular season. However, the 2016 postseason saw a change in Wade's play. He converted on his first seven three-point shot attempts before missing his first one during a Game 3 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the conference semi-finals. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Wade had never made more than five three-pointers in a row during his career.[99]

Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers (2016–2018)

In July 2016, Wade joined his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, on a two-year deal worth approximately $47 million.[100][101] Initially, the Heat offered a two-year, $20 million contract,[102] before increasing it to a two-year, $40 million offer, both of which Wade felt were unacceptable.[103][104] The relationship ended on bad terms with Wade, team president Pat Riley and the Heat squabbling over his contract. Wade balked at the Heat's offer as he was seeking more money and another year, but the Heat did not increase its offer, leading to Wade looking at alternative options.[105][106]

Wade teamed-up with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo in Chicago, with the trio being coined the "Three Alphas".[107] In January 2017, the trio were all fined for criticizing their young teammates' effort, and in March 2017, Wade sustained a fractured elbow.[107] Wade returned in time for the playoffs,[107] but the Bulls were defeated 4–2 by the Boston Celtics in the first round despite going up 2–0 in the series. The chemistry of the team, which was one of the biggest question marks for the Bulls all season, was strong over the first two games, but dwindled over the final four games after Rondo missed all four with an injury.[108]

On September 24, 2017, three months after trading Butler and waiving Rondo, the Bulls reached an agreement on a buyout with Wade.[107] Three days later, Wade signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.[109] Wade took a chance at teaming up with LeBron James once again, but the union took a turn for the worse almost immediately, with Wade balking at coach Tyronn Lue's plan to bring him off the bench. Wade started for the Cavaliers in the first three games of season but struggled mightily, shooting 7-for-25 from the field. After a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic in the third game, Wade volunteered to demote himself to a bench role for the betterment of the team. Wade eventually took to the bench role and became the leader of the second unit.[110]

Return to Miami (2018–2019)

On February 8, 2018, at the NBA trade deadline, the Cavaliers committed to a massive overhaul of their roster.[111] After acquiring guards Jordan Clarkson, George Hill and Rodney Hood, combined with the youth movement of Cedi Osman, it was made clear to Wade that his role with the Cavaliers would be reduced.[111] Cleveland wanted to "do right" by Wade,[111] and as such, Wade was traded back to the Miami Heat in exchange for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick.[112] At the funeral of Wade's long-time agent Henry Thomas in January 2018, Wade mended relations with Heat president Pat Riley; less than two weeks later, Wade found himself back in Miami. Wade fully believed for many months that he would eventually return to the Heat, though he figured it would happen in a free-agent deal in the summer of 2018.[113] On February 9, in his return game for the Heat, Wade was introduced with a standing ovation from the crowd and came off the bench to score three points on 1-of-6 shooting with two assists, one rebound, a key late block, and four turnovers in 22 minutes of play in a 91–85 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[114] On February 27, Wade scored a season-high 27 points, the last of those coming on a jumper that gave Miami its only lead of the fourth quarter with 5.9 seconds left, as the Heat rallied to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 102–101. Wade had 15 of his points in the fourth quarter.[115] On April 3, in a 101–98 win over the Atlanta Hawks, Wade reached 5,000 assists in a Heat uniform, becoming the ninth player to score 20,000 points and collect 5,000 assists with one team, joining Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West.[116] On April 16, Wade scored 28 points to end the 76ers' 17-game winning streak and lead the Heat to a 113–103 Game 2 win over Philadelphia and even the first-round playoff series. He passed Larry Bird for 10th on the NBA's career postseason scoring list.[117] The Heat lost the series in five games.[118]

In the off-season, Wade announced his intentions to retire after the 2018–19 season,[119][120][121] re-signing with the Heat for one final season on September 18.[122] He missed seven games in mid-November due to the birth of his daughter.[123] On November 25, in a 125–115 loss to the Toronto Raptors, Wade scored a season-high 35 points, the most ever by a Miami bench player.[124] On December 9, he scored 25 points in his 1,000th career game, leading the Heat to a 121–98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.[125] On January 6, 2019, Wade became the third player in NBA history to record at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks and 500 three-pointers, while the Heat lost 106–82 to the Atlanta Hawks.[126] In recognition of his All-Star career, Wade was named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as a special roster addition for the 2019 All-Star game, thus marking his 13th All-Star appearance.[127] Wade had received the second-most fan votes for guards in the Eastern Conference.[128] On April 9, Wade played his last home game in Miami, scoring 30 points in the Heat's 122–99 win against the 76ers.[129] In his final game the following night, Wade recorded his fifth career triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 113–94 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.[130][131]

National team career

Wade was a member of the 2004 U.S. national team with fellow NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The team competed in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, in which Wade averaged 19.3 points per game.[132] The team won a bronze medal, which disappointed many United States' fans who had hoped for a return to the days of the original "Dream Team".[133][134][135] Wade was named to the national team from 2006 to 2008. He was named co-captain of the 2006 team, along with James and Anthony.[136] In 2007, due to injury, Wade was unable to compete at the FIBA Americas Championship, where the United States compiled a 10–0 record and qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.[137]

At the 2008 Summer Olympics, the United States went unbeaten and earned gold medal honors, defeating the 2006 World champion Spain in the final game. Wade led the team in scoring throughout the tournament and tallied a game-high 27 points in 27 minutes on 75% field goal shooting and added 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds in the game.[138] For the tournament, he averaged a team-high 16 points in 18 minutes on 67% field goal shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.3 steals, as the United States lived up to their Redeem Team moniker and captured gold medal honors for the first time since 2000.[138][139]

Wade withdrew himself from consideration for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London because of knee surgery.[140]

Player profile

Wade's pre-game ritual consisted of doing pull-ups at the rim.

Wade's pre-game ritual consisted of doing pull-ups at the rim.

Listed at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall and weighing 220 pounds (100 kg), Wade was a shooting guard that was also capable of playing point guard as he did during his rookie season and in subsequent seasons with smaller lineups. On offense, he has established himself as one of the quickest and most difficult players to guard, as well as one of the best slashers in the NBA. Wade's signature one-two step allows him to dash past bigger defenders and occasionally get the extra foul shot.[141] Wade was able to get to the free throw line consistently; he ranked first in free-throw attempts per 48 minutes in 2004–05 and again in the 2006–07 season. He has proven himself an unselfish player, averaging 5.4 assists per game throughout his career.[18] After winning the NBA Finals MVP Award in 2006, Wade developed a reputation as one of the premier clutch players in the NBA.[142] He has gained a reputation for being capable of hitting game-winning baskets and potential game-winning free throws.

David Thorpe, an athletic trainer who runs a training center for NBA players in the off-season, also cites Wade's developing post up game as one of his strengths.[143] "Watching Wade operate on the left block is literally like watching old footage of MJ (Michael Jordan)", comments Thorpe.[143] Thorpe goes on to say that Wade's best moves from the post are his turnaround jump shot,[143] double pivot,[143] and what Thorpe terms as a "freeze fake",[144] a pump fake Wade uses to get his opponent to jump, so that he can then drive around him to the basket.[144] The main weakness cited in Wade's ability was his lack of three-point range; he has averaged .293 on three-point field goal attempts for his career.[18]

Wade was best known for his ability to convert difficult lay-ups, even after hard mid-air collisions with larger defenders.[141] As crowd pleasing as his high-flying style of basketball may be, some have expressed concerns over the dangers of playing in this manner,[141] as Wade has already hurt his knees and wrists after mid-air collisions with larger players. Wade has also established himself on defense for his ability to block shots and accumulate steals.[145] He became the NBA's all-time leader in blocks for players listed 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and under, which he achieved in only 679 games, over 400 games less than the previous record holder: Dennis Johnson (1,100).[146]

Career statistics

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per gameBoldCareer high
Denotes seasons in which Wade won an NBA championship
Led the league


Regular season






Awards and honors

  • 3× NBA champion: 2006, 2012, 2013

  • NBA Finals MVP: 2006

  • NBA scoring champion: 2009

  • NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2010

  • 13× NBA All-Star: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019

  • 8× All-NBA: First Team: 2009, 2010 Second Team: 2005, 2006, 2011 Third Team: 2007, 2012, 2013

  • 3× All-Defense: Second Team: 2005, 2009, 2010

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2004

  • NBA Skills Challenge champion: 2006, 2007

  • Gold medal with Team USA: 2008 Summer Olympic Games

  • Bronze medal with Team USA: 2004 Summer Olympic Games

  • Bronze medal with Team USA: 2006 FIBA World Championship

  • Miami Heat all-time leading scorer

  • Miami Heat all-time assists leader

  • 2005 Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award

  • 2006 Best NBA Player ESPY Award

  • 2006 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year

  • 2006 Sporting News Sportsman of the Year

  • Wade won the 2012–13 season-long NBA Community Assist Award[147]

Personal life

Wade at a party with then-teammates Udonis Haslem (second from left) and Antoine Walker (far right) in 2005

Wade at a party with then-teammates Udonis Haslem (second from left) and Antoine Walker (far right) in 2005

Wade married his high school girlfriend Siohvaughn Funches in 2002. He filed for a divorce in 2007, which was granted in 2010 after a lengthy and acrimonious court battle.[148] In 2011, Wade was granted sole custody of his two sons with Funches.[149][150] Wade also raises a nephew, who is the son of Wade's sister Deanna.[151][152] Wade began dating actress Gabrielle Union in 2009.[153][154] According to Wade, he and Union briefly split up at some point early in 2013 due to career demands.[152] During that time, Wade and longtime friend Aja Metoyer conceived a son.[155][156] Wade and Union became engaged in December 2013,[157] and married on August 30, 2014, in Miami.[158] On November 7, 2018, Wade became a father for the fourth time, when he and Union welcomed the birth of their daughter who was born via surrogate.[159]

Wade has spoken out about violence in Chicago, in part due to his own family's experience with it. His nephew, Darin Johnson, was shot twice in the leg in 2012 but recovered. Wade's first cousin, 32-year-old Nykea Aldridge, was fatally shot on the afternoon of August 26, 2016, while pushing a stroller in Chicago's Parkway Gardens, when two men exchanged gunfire nearby, hitting her in the arm and the head. A mother of four, Aldridge was pronounced dead at the hospital. The child in the stroller was not hurt. Wade, who had recently spoken publicly about the area's problem of violence, reacted by tweeting, "Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough".[160]

Wade's nicknames include D-Wade and Flash, which was given to him by former teammate Shaquille O'Neal who would sing, "He's the greatest in the Universe", in reference to the Queen song of the same name from the 1980 film Flash Gordon.[161][162] The Heat's 2005 NBA Playoffs run and Wade's performances with Shaquille O'Neal hampered by injury, led to an explosion of media attention and rapid increase in Wade's popularity. During those playoffs, Wade's jersey became the top selling jersey in the league and remained so for nearly two years.[163] After the Heat's success and Wade's memorable performances during the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Wade was further elevated into the public's eye and appeared on several talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly.[164] He also made a guest star appearance on Disney Channel's Austin & Ally as himself, who is an obsessed fan of Austin Moon.[165]

Wade has been featured in a number of magazine articles and publications. In 2005, he was featured on People's 50 Most Beautiful People,[166] and in 2006 he was named the NBA's best-dressed player by GQ Magazine.[167] In 2007, Esquire named him to their 4th annual Best Dressed Men in the World list for the second straight year.[168][169] Wade has endorsement deals with companies such as Gatorade, Lincoln, Staples, Sean John, T-Mobile (his TV commercials feature him paired with NBA legend Charles Barkley), and Topps.[170] He had his own line of shoes with Converse named "The Wade" and a series of Sidekick phones known as the D-Wade Edition with T-Mobile.[171][172] During the 2009–10 season, Wade switched from Converse to Nike's Jordan Brand.[173] Wade noted that the partnership ended on good terms, stating, "When I came into the NBA, I didn't have a lot of exposure and Converse gave me an opportunity to head a brand and be the face of a brand. I'm really thankful for six long, good years. I've gotten five shoes out of the deal and my dream came true at the Converse brand because they put my name on a pair of sneakers."[173] Wade was hand-chosen by Michael Jordan and debuted the Air Jordan 2010 during the 2010 NBA All-Star break. During the 2011 NBA Playoffs, Wade debuted his first signature shoe for the Jordan Brand, joining fellow players Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, who have their own signature shoes for the brand. After his Jordan Brand contract expired in 2012, Wade signed with the Chinese athletic brand Li-Ning.[174]


Wade is active in encouraging youth to develop their talents as seen in this talent search at the Chicago Theatre.

Wade is active in encouraging youth to develop their talents as seen in this talent search at the Chicago Theatre.

Wade (right) giving a present to a U.S. Army reservist during a March 2, 2009, pregame ceremony

Wade (right) giving a present to a U.S. Army reservist during a March 2, 2009, pregame ceremony

Wade is well known for his philanthropic involvement in various organizations. In 2003, he founded The Wade's World Foundation, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations.[175] He hosts a variety of community outreach programs in Chicago and South Florida.[175] In 2008, he announced his partnership with former teammate Alonzo Mourning's charitable foundation and co-hosted ZO's Summer Groove, an annual summer event.[176][177] On December 24, 2008, Wade purchased a new home for a South Florida woman whose nephew accidentally burned down the family home.[178] In addition, Wade donated some furnishings, clothing, and gifts to the family for the holiday.[178]

After breaking his own Miami Heat single-season scoring record, Wade gave the jersey he wore in that night's victory to 8-year-old Michael Stolzenberg, an avid Heat fan that had his hands and feet removed surgically due to a bacterial infection.[179] Wade stated that he knew Stolzenberg previously and wished to add to his collection of Heat memorabilia.[179] Wade has been known for visiting other sick children, usually in private to avoid placing himself in the media spotlight.[179]

In September 2009, Wade donated money from his foundation to keep the Robbins, Illinois public library from having to shut down.[180] He handed the library director Priscilla Coatney a $25,000 check in order to resurrect the building, which brought Coatney to tears. He called the donation a "small contribution", and reminisced about the difficult experiences he faced as a child, stating that he sometimes did not know how he would find his next meal.[181][182] In January 2010, Wade and Alonzo Mourning co-founded The Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti",[183] which raised money to help the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In the three days since the fund began soliciting donations from athletes, Wade announced that the "Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti" had already raised over $800,000.[183] Wade stated, "I expected nothing less from my friends and colleagues in the sports community, our commitment to this cause knows no bounds, and we will continue to accept any and all donations throughout the days ahead."[183] Wade is also an avid supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and has served as an Ambassador for their Hoops for St. Jude basketball initiative.[184]


Wade is a devout Christian and chose the number 3 throughout most of his career because it represents the Holy Trinity.[185][186] He tithes 10% of his salary to a church in Chicago.[9] His mother, Jolinda, strengthened her ties to Christianity in 2001 after years of drug abuse and dealing. She served as a minister during her final prison sentence in 2002 and 2003. She was ordained as a Baptist minister in January 2007 and formed the non-denominational Temple of Praise Binding and Loosing Ministry in Chicago. In May 2008, Wade purchased a church building for his mother's ministry.[187]


In 2019, Dwayne Wade appeared as a guest judge on season 14 of America's Got Talent alongside wife Gabrielle Union.[188]

See also

  • List of National Basketball Association annual scoring leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career games played leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career assists leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career steals leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career turnovers leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career free throw scoring leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association franchise career scoring leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff scoring leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff assists leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff steals leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff blocks leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff turnovers leaders

  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff free throw scoring leaders

  • List of Olympic medalists in basketball

  • History of the Miami Heat

  • 2002–03 Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball team


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