Blog Entry

What's at Stake: Dwyane Wade

Posted on: May 14, 2011 7:34 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 8:58 pm
What's at stake for Dwyane Wade in the Eastern Conference Finals?

Posted by Matt Moore

It was easier for Dwyane Wade, for his peace of mind, at least. A championship in your third season takes the pressure off of your Build-A-Legacy workshop. The only problem is it robs the player of blissful ignorance. Dwyane Wade has suffered through the past five seasons having tasted championship champagne and never sipping it again. The pressure of watching your career unwind without that ring is greater, LeBron will be the first to tell you that, Garnett's the one who taught it to him.

But Wade remains driven by the memories of 2006, determined not to rest on his laurels. For Wade, this championship drive is deeply personal, but it's not because of some pre-ordained self-concept as is the case with LeBron James. James is incomplete without a title, his self-image not hollow as so many of his critics claim, but incomplete, as if half his face is missing. Wade does not approach winning as a badge to be earned, part of his fashion statement. It's inherent. Wade reflects Kobe Bryant in that regard, the drive a part of his makeup. The difference being that Bryant would never deign to allow a superstar equal in caliber. Things have to be done on his terms. That's Bryant's makeup. Wade's, on the other hand, is to win regardless of ego, within acceptable boundaries. He ceded iconic status to Shaq. He considered joining Rose's Bulls (and though from Chicago and a substantially larger star, refers to Chicago as "Rose's city"). Wade not only accepted but recruited James to join his team, to become the face of the franchise he'd taken to their first title. Wade's ego is considerable, but he manages to shape it around whatever situation is best for him. 

Eastern Conference Finals: Heat vs. Bulls
For Wade, the fashion and lifestyle is a significant part of his life, but he's always been driven by winning, career wise. Wade's never complained much about his exclusion from MVP consideration. The 2008 season was murder on him, watching his team fall apart while he had to sit by injured. Missing out on Rose was the icing on the cake. Wade suffered through two more seasons, trying to grow Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers. But his patience didn't allow for it. For all the talk of how players should try and "do it themselves," Wade can speak to the frustration of not having the roster to contend, and the experience of getting swept from the playoff seas by superior teams, like the Celtics.

Wade was central to this plan, to put together the Triad. Rumors put he and Pat Riley's machinations back years ago. Wade recruited the other two, sold them on the plan, got them to his city, not Chicago or New York. A failure this season, even with all the promsie of the future, means he sacrificed top billing for nothing. It means he may have been wrong in the plan. That all the criticism, the boos, the hatred, the hits to his popularity, was for nothing. That's a crushing blow, on top of what Wade hates more than anything: losing. 

Wade needs to succeed, but not only that, he has to make his statement known as far as his involvement. If Bosh steps up, it's about how Bosh surprised everyone. If it's James, well, that's a whole other set of issues. Wade has to succeed and yet somehow impress everyone. That's what this series is about. It's going to be difficult for him, heading into his hometown to ruin their hopes. Well, okay, no it won't. Wade knows this is a business. He's got his guys, they've got theirs. 

Wade has quietly had a stunning season, but a quick look at the All-NBA team rosters confirms how he's slipped in James' shadow, despite equal play. Wade needs to rise up beside James, showing their equals. That was the goal when this thing started. Wade has to finish the job, or his latter career will start to override the shine of that ring he received in that third year.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: May 15, 2011 8:19 pm

What's at Stake: Dwyane Wade

For all of us who watched with facination the 2008 Olympic Men's Basketball Tournament, Dwyane Wade was the best player on the planet. He has excelled in every level and yes, because he is not ego-centric he allows and even encourages others to overshadow him. Wade wants to win. He is the Heat's closer, not LeBron. When the Heat went through the losing string this year it was LeBron trying to be the closer. When the streak ended it ended with Wade resuming that role.

LeBron and Chris are vital to the Heat's success. Both bring a talent requiring attention by opposing defenses allowing Wade frequent one-on-one coverage. There is no player in the NBA who can continually cover Dwyane alone. This series with Chicago should be about Chicago's depth against Miami's stars. Perhaps the most important player on the floor at times for the Heat will be Mario Chalmers who guards Rose better than Bibby by a large margin. How long will Coach Spolstra go with Bibby? No more than 10 minutes per game if he can also get away with 5 minutes without a PG (Wade does this anyway). AP reports that this year when Chalmers is on the floor Rose shoots 43% and when off the floor, Rose shoots 50%.

This is an establishment year for the Heat. With having to play without depth and often because of injuries without shooters, the Heat stars have been learning how to work off each other and playing more minutes than desired. In subsequent years they can be expected to improve/ I am not concerned with Wade's legacy. He is a future HOF player already. Let the games continue.

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 15, 2011 5:46 pm

What's at Stake: Dwyane Wade

wade in chicago is synonymous to P H O N Y!

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