Heat Fans Need to Stop Thanking LeBron and Start Giving Dwyane Wade Some Credit
I'll never forget how regretful I was. In 1993, just six days shy of my 14th birthday, Michael Jordan abruptly announced his retirement from the NBA. I promised myself if he ever came back, I would watch every game intently and appreciate him for what he was -- a once-in-a-lifetime athlete. In 1995, Jordan returned to the NBA, and I got the chance to follow through on my promise. I made a point to watch every Heat game as well as every minute Jordan played, even if it meant recording Bulls games broadcast on WGN on a VHS tape and then watching them the next day after school while I did my homework. I didn't want to miss a moment of his greatness.
I tell this story because today I feel like some Miami Heat fans need to refocus, step back, and appreciate what matters.
I've read a thousand columns about LeBron James' departure from the Miami Heat. I've seen a million tweets containing the hashtag "#ThankYouLeBron." I've seen fans express how ecstatic they are to see Chris Bosh remain with the Miami Heat.
What I haven't seen is enough space dedicated to thanking Dwyane Wade for making it all possible. So I figured I might carve out a little myself. After all, when you trace back everything the Miami Heat was able to accomplish these past four years, it all leads back to the greatest player in the history of the franchise. None of it happens without Dwyane Wade.
So thank you, Dwyane Wade, for always believing in Pat Riley, the Miami Heat, and the fans. In a world where it seems like every star player is hell-bent on being the odds-on favorite NEXT YEAR, you've always shown you are committed to the bigger picture; no matter how pie-in-the-sky it may have seemed, you've always been patient with us and our team.
You're the reason I can dream of taking my son to a Heat game in ten years and pointing up to the championship banners in the rafters with pride. Somewhere a 10-year-old playing basketball will one day be on my Miami Heat and look up every game at what you accomplished. Hell, I hope the guy will be YOUR son. A guy can dream.