LeBron James Sends Strong Message to Former Heat Teammate Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade LeBron James Heat-Spurs

Getty Dwyane Wade is greeted near the Miami Heat bench by LeBron James during a 2014 NBA Finals bout with the San Antonio Spurs.

When Dwyane Wade’s name showed up on the list of nominees for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023, it was hardly a shocking event.

After all, the Miami Heat legend may be the best shooting guard in NBA history not named Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. And his list of awards and accomplishments is as long as any in league history. He’s a three-time champ, a Finals MVP, a 13-time All-Star, a multi-time All-NBA and All-Defensive Team pick, a member of the league’s 75th Anniversary Team and so on.

Setting all of that aside, though, this is just how the Hall of Fame process goes. A player becomes HOF eligible four years after hanging up the hi-tops — Wade called it quits in 2019 — and then the screening and direct-elect committees determine the nominees.

Despite the business-like nature of the nomination process and the open-and-shut nature of his HOF case, it’s still a big deal that Wade has finally reached this point in his fabled hardwood journey. And his former Heat running mate, LeBron James, made a point to shout it out on Thursday.

LeBron James Shows D-Wade Some Love

After Wade was announced as a 2023 nominee, James took to Twitter with a strong and heartfelt message for Miami’s favorite son (with whom he spent four years in South Beach, followed by an additional half-season in Cleveland as a member of the Cavs).

Tweeted the Los Angeles Lakers star:

“Congrats to my brother @DwyaneWade on being on the eligible candidate HOF list!! I mean he ain’t no candidate, he’s IN!!!!! Hahaha!”

The same could also be said of a handful of the other nominees. Wade’s 2006 NBA Finals rival — Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki — is also on the HOF ballot. So, too, are 2013 and ’14 rivals Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs fame. WNBA star turned coach Becky Hammon is also a first-ballot shoe-in.

Wade wasn’t the only member of the Heat family among the nominees. Shawn Marion, who spent parts of two seasons with the club from ’08 to ’09, is also up for induction. Basketball Reference‘s HOF probability measurement gives Marion a 75.6% shot of getting in at some point.

B/R Lukewarm on Heat Rookies So Far

Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley just did a deep dive on all the first-year players in the Association, evaluating them as the midway point of their rookie years approaches. And while the hoops scribe liked some of what he saw from Nikola Jovic and Orlando Robinson, neither rated highly for him.

Jovic received a C- grade for his effort through December 23, while Robinson got a C.

“You see why the Heat wanted him in South Beach. There aren’t a ton of 6’10” players with his blend of handles, vision and creativity,” he wrote of Jovic. “You just wish the skill set would yield better results. So far, he’s matching his 0.8 assists with 0.8 turnovers and shooting just 39.3 percent overall and 22.6 percent from range.”

Regarding Robinson, Buckley added: “He’s not an elite athlete, nor the most nimble defender, but he has given Miami a paint presence when it has desperately needed one. That’s a decent return for such a minimal investment.”

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