Along with Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, a roster composed of vets like Antoine Walker, Gary Payton, Alonzo Mourning and Jason Williams were exciting to watch while guided by head coach, Pat Riley.
Wade was special and a star was born in that NBA Finals.
The Heat’s fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by way of Marquette, Wade was the 2006 Finals MVP behind his 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals average in that series.
Before her role as Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development with the New Orleans Pelicans, Swin Cash had a successful WNBA career where she won three WNBA Championships, two NCAA National Championships and two Olympic gold medals.
She recounted her memory of Dwyane Wade with me recently via Instagram Live.
Check out my notes from our conversation below:
Swin Cash on Dwayne Wade:
“So D-Wade when I can remember, in 2004 we went to the Olympics in Athens. And so from that point on, to the time seeing how he was – we were all young at that time about a year or two in the League. The time when I go to Miami, they’re on their Championship run. Shaq’s there. And when I pull up and turn and I look, there’s this guy coming up with a suit and his hat is down like this with the brim and I can’t see and I’m like, “D, is that you? Wade?” and from that point on it was Flash! [laughs]… so I was just like the confidence level was like, ‘Hey, I’m over here.’- it’s just straight. It’s only about ball. I don’t see anything outside of ball’. He evolved not only as a basketball player but as a human. And then the whole ‘Flash’ aspect… It was really kind of nice to see, but I feel like everywhere that Shaq has gone, and where he’s played, there’s always a guard that has a personality with him, right?”
Swin Cash on D-Wade’s work ethic, his desire to get better and his greatness:
“D-Wade had that work ethic of ‘I’m going to keep adding to my game. Oh, I don’t have a jump shot? Ima make THAT happen. As I’m getting older, I can’t do this? I’m going to come here and do THIS. You don’t want me in the box or on the elbow? Ima do THAT’. So I think that’s where you see the good separating themselves from the great.”