When was the last time two players on opposite teams joined each other for a workout hours before they were set to play each other? It’s a strange, but rare occurrence in sports that would typically not be respected by the fans of the game. However, when this occurred on Monday, everybody understood. Just hours before tip-off, Dwyane Wade joined LeBron James in the gym for one last exercise before their final matchup.
Nobody could complain about that, right? After all, Wade and LeBron have quite the history together. They went from entering the league together as two top-rated rookies, to end up being teammates for a few years, and now both back to being opponents as Wade is ready to hang up his sneakers and retire from the game. Monday night was unique, as the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.
Considering that the old era of NBA athletes is nearing an end, it’s always been a huge deal when players take their final tour. We’ve seen it be a massive deal in the past with guys like Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and now D. Wade. And typically when a star shows up in another teams arena, the home team’s fans give them a hard time. This season though, Wade is being embraced by practically every opponent and their fans.
It All Started with a Workout
As mentioned above, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were pumping iron hours before the game for the final time. Clearly, the two veteran stars wanted to feel like they were teammates one last time. Although they had that opportunity last year during Wade’s short stint with the Cavaliers, it just wasn’t enough for LeBron to leave the game satisfied with.
Nobody had a problem with the two opponents getting a small workout in. In fact, The Staples Center and the Los Angeles Lakers welcomed Wade into Los Angeles with open arms on Monday. Wade had it made in L.A. as the Lakers organization made it such a big deal that it was going to be Wade’s final trip to The Staples Center. Not only did they allow him to get an early workout with LeBron, but they held a nice tribute video for him during an intermission as well.
D. Wade Gets a Tribute in L.A.
As always this season, Wade came off of the bench despite being the man of the hour on Monday. His final night against the Lakers ended with 32 minutes on the court, where he notched a double-double by dropping 15 points and tallying up 10 assists. It was an average night at the office for Dwyane Wade. Unfortunately, his team did not come out on top as the Lakers defeated the Heat with a final score of 108-105.
Obviously, Wade was all smiles in the end as not much is going to bring him down this year. Being that it is Wade’s final season, he is just simply living it up. Sure, an NBA Finals win would be ideal for any player who would like to ride off into the sunset, but Wade must recognize at this point that the Heat just simply aren’t that team anymore. Besides, Wade has himself a few rings at this point anyway. It’s safe to say that he will be satisfied when he finally calls it quits.