Monday, March 16, 2009

D. Wade - The Brightest Light on the Scoreboard

As you may have heard by now Dwyane Wade has become the leading scorer in Miami Heat history, surpassing former Heat great, Alonzo Mourning. The intriguing part of this all is that Wade is only in his sixth year in the NBA and has at least one more season with the Heat. In other words, it's going to be tough for someone else to come along and pass Wade's scoring record once he's done in Miami.

Wade, after the game versus the Philadelphia 76ers on March 15th, has a career total of 9,478 points. Now, this isn't about the individual statistics and franchise records. This is about the greatness of Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr.

This kid has shown signs of brilliance ever since his rookie season in '03-'04. Nobody knew of this 6'4 combo guard that was coming out of Marquette University at the number five pick in the 2003 draft. Everyone was hyped up about the high school phenom, known as LeBron James, and the prolific scorer out of Syracuse University, known as Carmelo Anthony. A few years later only one of these three has a championship ring: Dwyane Wade.

For three straight seasons Dwyane Wade's presence in Miami took the team closer to the ultimate goal. In '03-'04, after an abysmal start of 0-11, the Miami Heat made it into the playoffs and battled the New Orleans Hornets. Dwyane Wade took the team on his shoulders when he drove the ball in versus Baron Davis and scored the winning basket to send Miami into the second round of the playoffs.

The next season, the Miami Heat acquired Shaquille O'Neal and made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. After a host of injuries to key starters, the Heat lost to the Pistons, but D. Wade was left with a bad taste in his mouth and a fire inside.

Then came '05-'06, the magical season of destiny where not only did the "stars align" in Miami, but Dwyane Wade showcased some of the most amazing playoff performances since "His Airness." Dwyane Wade was credited the Finals MVP and became a world champion at the age of 24.

Despite the two-year drop off in the ensuing years, Wade is back for more and the league could see this coming since the summer of '08 in Beijing. Ask any of the superstars of Team USA's "Redeem Team" and they will attest to Wade's greatness and his importance in their path towards the gold medal. Wade was the leading scorer of the team and was playing the best basketball in the world - literally.

Now in the '08-'09 season, Wade has proven to the doubters that he's back and that his performance in Beijing was no fluke. As the leading scorer of the league, Wade is out to make a final statement and push his team to the limit. Whether he secures the MVP award or not, Wade just wants to win and to show the world that he's not just a forgotten memory of the past.

I think that Wade's accomplishment in becoming the Miami Heat's all-time leading scorer is much more than statistics; it is about heart and passion for the game.

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