Dwyane Wade Leaves a Conflicting Legacy
The Miami Heat of 2011-14 was the greatest superteam ever assembled through free agency. Dwyane Wade was the architect of it all, bringing superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh to South Beach in search of “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” championships. Well, in this scenario, they only win one.
Dwyane Wade becomes a two-time champion, once in 2006 with sidekick Shaq, and once in 2012 against the Thunder with LeBron by his side. There are two ways to perceive this.
First, some will readily say that Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson are very comparable. Both need the ball to win, and Wade could only do it without another superstar by his side. Shaq was a sidekick in 2006, and beating the Thunder was because the average age of Oklahoma City was just 26, and their core of Durant, Westbrook, Harden, and Ibaka were all unproven.
Those who say Wade needs the ball could then argue that he was simply not a team player and wanted to win for himself, not Miami. They would admit that he is one of the greatest shooting guards of all time, just not a true team player.
The other group would say that Wade is, well, a loser. His two Finals wins came with Shaq and LeBron James, two of the most dominant players ever. With LeBron, he lost three Finals, bringing his overall record to 2-3. This camp would be unimpressed with Wade’s career, refusing to put him in the same breath as Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, and George Gervin.
Wade is still a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but without this victory, his legacy is up for debate. Currently, Wade is probably the third-greatest shooting guard ever behind Jordan and Bryant, but with a losing record in the Finals, who knows where he’d slip to?