On Tuesday night Dwyane Wade played his last game in the NBA. I could say how it is the end of an era or all the cliche things but that would be displaying my bias. I was always a fan of Wade not just for being a great player but for how he presented himself. He was known as a professional basketball player but he was also valued for his qualities as a person and what he did for his communities.
His 16-year career was full of ups and downs like many players careers but he also had a way he presented himself and that quality is what will be missed with Dwyane Wade.
Before I began writing this article, I looked up Dwyane Wade to make sure I had my facts correct and the first article that popped up stated: "Dwyane Wade will always be Miami's favorite son." While this was an article from Deadspin it could not be more spot on. Miami loves Dwyane Wade and D Wade loves Miami. In the summer of 2010 when Wade was set to become a free agent Miami Dade county was renamed to Miami Wade county for a week to honor him and convince him to stay in Miami.
It worked and Wade gave back to the community by winning two NBA championships with the help of LeBron and Chris Bosh. Even with these additions, the team was still Dwyane Wade's, and while he might not have been the main voice of the team everyone who paid attention to the Miami Heat since 2003 knew the Miami Heat was Dwyane Wade. Even though I am not from Miami I guess that might have been the hardest part of having to see D Wade leave for his hometown team.
Athletes always find a way to get back to the team that made them who they are or who had a big impact on their career. Jerry Rice went back to the 49ers to retire, Michael Jordan retired three times but he made sure that he retired as a Bull. I knew that it would only make sense for D Wade to retire in Miami and I was glad that last year he returned to the place that started his stellar career. Dwyane Wade always belonged in Miami and now that he is retiring it will be a little different to watch the NBA.
D Wade has been in the NBA since I was 7 and as I get older it becomes more and more strange that these players are close to my age or younger than I am. D Wade paved the way for this generation of players and they grew up watching him. Being able to play with someone so much like Wade must be a dream but watching him play his final game well that must be up there too because there is not a word to describe it.
To say watching the NBA next year will be different is a massive understatement. I watched someone who I remember winning his 1st NBA championship retire by going off into the sunset. I know D Wade will be around and I know that the respect he has garnered will not disappear but there is just something about the NBA without Dwyane Wade that I can't fathom. Thank you for a great 16-year career D Wade. You will always be Miami's son but most importantly you will always be many basketball players' role models.