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NBA Miami Heat

5 Reasons Why Miami Heat Fans Will Always Love Dwyane Wade

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5 Reasons Dwyane Wade Will Always Be Loved

DWade
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As Dwyane Wade struggles to maintain his health through the 2013-14 regular season, many people are beginning to question if the Miami Heat's superstar is entering the twilight of his illustrious career. Wade's knees and a variety of other injuries have not allowed him to play a full 82 game season in his entire career, and the 11 year veteran has already missed 13 games this season. Even though Wade doesn't always appear to be fully engaged in every game and he may not play in the second game of any back-to-backs, Heat fans understand and appreciate the indelible impact that the man nicknamed “Flash” has had on the Heat organization.

In a season that has generated numerous accusations of NBA teams tanking to improve their chances of receiving a top five draft position, Wade was the No. 5 pick in one of the most anticipated drafts in the league history back in 2003. This season, every team executive is agonizing over Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, but in 2003, the big names were Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Wade.

It's tough to believe that Heat fans were convinced that they would be getting a player that would develop into a first ballot Hall of Famer when Miami drafted Wade, but that is exactly what he has become in his time with Miami. Wade has arguably been the best pick from that much heralded draft class, and not many people would have expected for his career to pan out the way it has. Heat fans will be forever indebted to Wade for the memories he has given them, but for those who don't quite understand how great Wade has been during his career, here is a list of the five reasons Miami fans will always love Dwyane Wade.

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5. An Exceptional Defensive Guard

DWade
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Dwyane Wade has proven to be an elite defensive presence on the perimeter throughout his career. He has totaled 1237 career steals and 685 career blocked shots. Surprisingly, Wade has blocked more shots than LeBron James since he and his teammate entered the league together in 2003. Heat fans know how great Wade can be defensively, but he has only managed to be named to three NBA All-Defensive teams in 11 seasons.

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4. No Other Player Has Scored More Points In A Heat Uniform Than Dwyane Wade

Wade
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Every basketball fan loves a player that can put the ball in the basket, and nobody has done that more than Dwyane Wade. When you combine Wade's defensive prowess with his uncanny ability to get points in bunches, it's no wonder that he is, and forever will be, a fan favorite in Miami.

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3. Unselfishness Allowed Miami To Build A Legitimate Contender

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When the Miami Heat won their first title, it was largely due to Pat Riley's ability to acquire veteran players who would complement Wade and were extremely hungry to win a championship. People forget how many big name players were on the Heat's roster during the 2006 season, as they had players like Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning.

After 2006, the wheels completely fell off for the Heat and they were forced to rebuild, but Wade's unselfishness allowed the Heat to have enough money to sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010. If Wade hadn't taken less money in the offseason of 2010, we probably would not be talking about the Heat defending their NBA Title for the second year in a row. Heat fans know that was an incredible sacrifice, and the Heat are still reaping the benefits from that decision.

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2. First Player In Heat History To Win NBA Finals MVP Award

Wade
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With the recent success of the Miami Heat franchise, it's hard to believe that the Heat entered the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1988. While the Heat have won three NBA Championships now, they have never even appeared in a Conference Finals without Dwyane Wade on their roster. Not to mention that Wade put on one of the greatest Finals performances in NBA history back in 2006 when he averaged 34.7 points per game against the Dallas Mavericks. There's no better way to carve a special place in the hearts and minds of a fanbase than to lead them to championship glory before anyone else can.

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1. Won A Title Before LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony

Wade
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dwyane Wade was selected fifth overall by the Miami Heat behind LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, but Wade won a title before all of them. Then, Bosh and James both deemed it necessary to join Wade, so they too could experience the thrill of winning an NBA Title. I bet the overwhelming feeling among Heat fans is that they got the best player in that draft now. If they don't feel that way, they should.