For four seasons and two NBA championships, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James teamed with former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade. On August 12, Wade will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
His two-time teammate, fellow 75th Anniversary Team member, and long-time friend, James, had sent out a message of celebration over Wade’s accomplishment. It came in a quote tweet of a video from the Heat featuring several of Wade’s (and James’) former teammates also congratulating him on joining the more than 400 players inducted in the Hall.
“YESSIR!!!!! HEAT NATION, STAND UP!! STANDING OVATION, James tweeted on August 10. “CONGRATULATIONS @DwyaneWade LOVE YOU BROTHER!!”
James and Wade played 285 regular season games together with the Heat and won 200 of them, per Statmuse.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Pushed Each Other
Now friends of two decades, James and Wade have praised each other for helping each other get to the heights they have.
“To accomplish what I really wanted to accomplish in this league, and that’s winning at the highest level, I needed him,” James said, per Tania Ganguli for the LA Times in 2018. “That’s why I made the jump. I appreciate more than I can express in words what he did for me when I went down to Miami.”
Wade told James, “Thank you for pushing me to be greater than I knew I was” in an autograph on his game jersey from their last time facing each other.
That Heat team reached celebrity status from its inception amid promises of multiple championships. But Wade’s rise preceded those teams, beginning in earnest in 2007 with a run to the Finals as the head of the snake for a different Heat iteration.
That was when he earned the nickname “Flash”, a moniker bestowed upon him by Shaquille O’Neal with whom Wade spent three-plus seasons and won 105 of 166 games together. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade was a 13-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA selection, and three-time All-Defensive Team member on top of being a three-time champion.
He has a scoring title and Finals MVP to his credit as well.
“Dwayne Wade reminds me of a superhero movie,” O’Neal said about Wade, per Khristian Davis of Inside the Heat in April 2022. “He does not know he has the power until he meets a powerful figure, and they tell him, ‘Hey, you just like me.’”
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Face Similar Debate
James has been a mainstay in the debate over the NBA’s greatest player of all time. But the G.O.A.T debate also trickles down to positions, and Wade has found himself compared to Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden.
Former NBA guard Jeff Teague says Harden’s impact has been more visible than Wade’s.
Harden is a former league MVP, which Wade can not lay claim to being, and is also a member of the 75th Anniversary Team on top of his numerous other individual accomplishments.
Whether or not one player’s style is greater than another’s is subjective. But Wade’s accomplishments on the team level, in particular, give him a distinct edge in comparison to Harden who is still playing and has time to add to his legacy. Much like the debate between James and others in the overall G.O.A.T. debate, this could rage on for quite a while.