We knew that change was inevitable, but did Wade have to end up like Rasheed Wallace? To today’s equivalent of a young Wade, Giancarlo Stanton, we offer a cautionary tale.
Like almost all Miami Heat fans since 2003, I quickly became a big Dwyane Wade fan. As the franchise moved on from the Hardaway and Mourning era, Wade was a great surprise. While he was the 5th player taken in the draft, so were Jonathan Bender and Nickoloz Tskitishvili. Plus he was a shooting guard with no jumper. Everybody thought it at the time, so let’s just put it out there … Harold Miner.
A good rookie year was followed by a breakthrough 2004 playoff series against Indiana. This guy was different. He just might be great. Someone who embraced, and then came to personify, the mental toughness brand instilled by Pat Riley on the franchise. He didn’t even have visible tattoo’s, this guy was the anti-Iverson.
That was then. Today, Wade’s lack of hustle — in the playoff’s, playoffs! — even made it into an Ira Winderman column. Here’s what Wade’s game logs would look like if he got every call he acts as though he deserves [basketball gods must be wondering what they created during the 2006 Finals]: