Top 5 Reasons Why Dwyane Wade is Greatest Miami Heat Player of All Time
Dwyane Wade is Best Miami Heat Player of All Time
There was an ESPN Classic series that aired called "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame" which took a look at bad sports decisions like Babe Ruth being sold by the Boston Red Sox or Bill Buckner for losing the 1986 World Series for the Red Sox to the New York Mets and tried to shift the blame off the main culprits towards another source of equal amounts of blame for the wrongdoings that occurred.
This countdown has none of those parts in it. Instead, I will try to convince you that Dwyane Wade is the greatest Miami Heat player of all time.
To some, this looks like a trivial countdown worthy of an ESPN segment on First Take (which there probably has been ad nauseam).
To others, with LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining the Heat, Wade has been somewhat overshadowed by LeBron and his spectacular three seasons in South Beach. James' play has shifted the momentum of this discussion towards LeBron as the best to have ever donned a Miami Heat jersey.
Although there are plenty of more reasons why Wade is the best to ever play for the Heat, I have dwindled my list down to the top 5 reasons why Dwyane Wade is the greatest Miami Heat player of all time.
For those crying foul about the fact that the Heat get too much coverage or more than they deserve you are correct in theory, but that point is inconsequential here as the Heat and Wade, whether liked or not, always move the needle and stir up the emotions when it comes to coverage and discussion.
Here is what my reasons look like; what are yours?
5. Reinvigorated a Floundering Franchise
From a period between 2000 and 2003, the Miami Heat were long absent from the playoff days of Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway. The franchise was in a minor rebuilding mode as Jamal Mashburn and P.J. Brown, stalwarts of the first Pat Riley era, were traded for Eddie Jones and Anthony Mason to name a few of the pieces involved.
Mourning, the team's best player in the 1990s, would retire for the first time with a kidney infection and the Heat were in a state of disarray.
When Wade was drafted in 2003, excitement was brought back into the organization as Wade and the Heat won a first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets. The next year, Shaquille O'Neal would be traded to the Heat and everything changed.
4. Led Heat to Postseason with Zero Supporting Cast in 2009-10
Similar to the early 2000s, after the 2006 title run, the Heat were in the same place of mediocrity. With a supporting cast that included draft bust Michael Beasley, a washed up Jermaine O'Neal and a young Mario Chalmers, Wade basically carried the Heat to the 2009-10 postseason, ultimately losing to the Celtics in five games in the first-round.
It was a slight miracle that Dwyane Wade could pull this off, and being so frustrated with the lack of support, Wade and Riley would put together the plan to bring in the Big Three the next offseason.
3. Came Through in Clutch to Help Defeat Spurs in 2013 NBA Finals
Late in the legacy-defining series that was the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Wade came through when it mattered most.
Wade had 32 points and six steals in a must-win Game 4 in San Antonio, and in Game 7 Wade had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Heat won the second of their back-to-back titles and saved the legacy of the Big Three in Miami.
2. Brought Heat Back from 2-0 Defecit in 2006 NBA Finals
The 2006 NBA Finals was Wade's coming out party. With the Dallas Mavericks already holding a 2-0 advantage in the series, Wade would not allow the Heat to lose.
Wade led the Heat to four straight victories and a Finals MVP award, averaging 34.7 points per game on the biggest stage of the NBA.
1. Was the Catalyst for Bringing Big Three Together
I chose Wade's role in binging the Big Three together as my No. 1 reason why Wade is the best Heat player of all time over the first title run in 2006.
Along with Heat executive Pat Riley, Wade was able to convince both LeBron James and Chris Bosh to not re-sign with their original teams and instead go to Miami.
So far, this "decision" has worked out pretty well. In three full seasons together, the Heat have reached the NBA Finals all three times, winning two out of three and vaulting the Heat franchise to one of the best in the NBA today.
While the 2006 title was a one and done year, the Big Three run will be looking for the Heat's third championship in four years.