Jeremiah Short, Feature Columnist
Quick Player Bio: NBA player is 33-years old, 6’4,220 pounds and plays shooting guard. He’s a 12-year veteran whose game has never evolved, missed 18.9 games per season, had few memorable moments and rode the coattails of another superstar most of his career. Not to mention, he never won an NBA MVP.
Does that bio describe an all-time great? Most would say no.
But it’s the bio of Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr., the Miami Heat’s star player and ambassador.
Why is his greatness unquestioned? Your guess is as good as mine.
If Dwyane Wade or D.Wade were to retire tomorrow, he would go down as one of the greatest shooting guards of all-time, which would be fair. No one would argue that he isn’t one of the greatest players to lace them up at the 2.
But it should be questioned why Wade’s legacy is never questioned?
Every great player–especially wing players, outside of Michael Jordan have had their greatness questioned.
Kobe isn’t the best teammate, although he managed to win five NBA Titles.
LeBron doesn’t have the killer instinct but he’s won two NBA titles, appeared in the NBA Finals six times and was awarded the MVP four times.
T-Mac never could stay healthy and win the big one, but he’s easily one the most versatile, explosive wings of all-time.
Vince Carter isn’t excoriated but isn’t revered the way he should be for birthing basketball above the border in the early 2000’s.
But when it comes to D.Wade, there’s no vilification or admonishment.
I don’t believe should be hated on–as I don’t believe the criticism of the aforementioned players is entirely fair, either. But if you’re going to point out the faults of those great players, then point out the flaws of Wade, too.
They aren’t hard to find.
The reason Wade will go down as one of the all-time greats is the fact that he can score the basketball…like really score the basketball. He did lead the league in scoring during the 2008-2009 season after-all (30.2). But due to his fragile nature, he’s only been present for 75 percent of his team’s games.
If D.Wade’s healthy or When D.Wade’s healthy is more synonymous with Wade than his actually ability to score the basketball. There’s a reason the Heat have never won 50 games or advanced far in the playoffs with Wade as the lead superstar. He’s not on the court enough.
Wade never fully carried a team to greatness or close to it. He’s lived off the 2006 NBA Finals his entire career (34.7 ppg.), for which he won the Finals MVP. But it should be noted that Shaquille O’Neal was double-teamed the majority of 2006 Finals. Shaq getting double-teamed let him get off and dominate.
Does it take away from Wade’s performance? Not necessarily. But it does add some perspective to series of games that Wade’s entire legacy has been built upon.
If those series of games are taken away, what is D.Wade’s legacy?
Is there a memorable shot, game or playoffs that we can dial up in our memory banks?
I know that Kobe has made countless game-winners and scored 81 once in a game. I know that T-Mac has 13 in 33. I know that Vinsanity dunked over a fully-grown man and effectively took his soul. I know that LeBron has Detroit 2007, Boston 2012 and the no head-band San Antonio 2013 performances. But I don’t know what D.Wade has.
What has D.Wade done that I can sit up talk with my buddies about 20 years from now? There’s no oh, remember when D.Wade did this or did that.
Numerically, Wade is one of the best of his era. He’s averaged 24.1 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 5.9 apg. over his career. Those are impressive numbers…great even. But was he transcendent?
When Wade was a free agent in 2010, 2014 or this year, were there any teams trying to aggressively pursue him?
Has anyone cleared cap space two to three in advance to sign him? No.
Why? Because no matter how great Wade’s numbers, he’s not a franchise-changer. He wasn’t or isn’t a transformative talent.
He’s a side-kick that has moonlighted as the lead attraction most of his career. He’s Robin, not Batman.
Man, why you hating on D.Wade? He’s brought South Beach three NBA Championships.
Correction: Shaq and LeBron brought Miami three championships. Wade played a huge role in those championships. But he’s not the primary reason that they won. A legitimate argument could be made that Wade was the third-best player on the Heat during the “Big 3 Era.”
The Heat were LeBron’s team and Bosh’s ability to protect the rim and hit big shots contributed more to the two championships won during their run than Wade’s exploits “when healthy.”
But that’s D.Wade’s narrative. Put up good numbers, “Flash” every once in awhile and receive more credit than you deserve.
Is D.Wade an all-time great?
It depends if you believe facts…
Catch me on the “SportsKrib” on Wednesday’s 8-9 Central and Thursday’s 8-10 Central. Follow me on social media @DaRealJShort or check out my facebook page JShortJournalist or my Google Plus page J.Short- Journalist. – See more at: http://www.locker-report.com/2015/06/25/what-is-racism/#sthash.c1mypASt.dpuf