Now I know everyone has to have that best friend you’ve known for at least half your life. I know I have one. He’s been my best friend for the last 15 plus years now, but I’m not here to talk about my friendships. I’m here to talk about one of the biggest friendships in the National Basketball Association.
That friendship is the one between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. It was a friendship that started the night they were both drafted in 2003. James as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school who went first overall to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. Wade was a 21-year-old college player who went fifth overall to the Miami Heat.
The two competed against each other for the first seven years of their careers. Those seven years saw James win rookie of the year and two of his four most valuable player awards.
Wade won his first NBA championship in Miami with Hall Of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal. Wade won Finals MVP after bringing his team back from a 2-0 deficit and winning 4-2. That title in 2006 was the first of three for Wade.
The following year, James led his team to the Finals, only to get swept 4-0 by the San Antonio Spurs. That started a lot of interesting things in the future.
That future is the big “decision” LeBron James made to “take my talents to South Beach.” If you weren’t aware, he was talking about joining forces with Wade in Miami, and winning not one, not two, not 3, but a lot of championships together. They also got former fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft, Chris Bosh, to join them. That decision was made in 2010.
During which time Wade, Bosh and James have planned on multiple Olympic teams together and also several different All-Stars which has helped them build their friendship bond to great moments like winning!
During their time together in Miami, James won two more MVPs and two finals MVP honors. But that only gave James two titles out of the four years he was there. Wade also benefited from James’ arrival, because they won two titles in four years, though they did make the finals in all four together. That was until James made another decision to leave Miami for his return home to Cleveland. Wade understood why, like all best friends do.
Sometimes the hard decisions have to be made. That was where Wade’s career took a turn.
The Break Up:
With James back in Cleveland chasing a title he promised the city, Wade was left with a Chris Bosh dealing with a lot of health issues and a young, inexperienced Miami Heat team. That was during the 2014 season. James made it to finals for the fifth straight year, but lost to the Golden State Warriors.
Wade had issues with how the Heat organization was treating him, so he did what nobody thought he would and left to Chicago to play with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo. Of course, that didn’t work out in 2015 for Wade. But he stuck around for another year and would eventually rejoin James again after James picked up his third title in 2015, beating the same Warriors team.
The two reunited in the 2017 NBA season in Cleveland for a brief period of time. That was before the Cavaliers traded Wade back to Miami, where he is currently. Wade returned this season to make it his last NBA season. We have just witnessed the last epic showdown between two of the greatest players of our time.
Although Wade doesn’t have the success James did with all the scoring titles, MVP awards and even having his name in the record books for a lot of different things, Wade still had a very successful career. Monday night was the last time we’ll ever see Wade versus the Lakers and James.
Final Game Against Each Other:
As a Lakers fan, the moment was one that will always be cherished. James and the Lakers beat Wade’s Heat 108-105. The Lakers gave Wade the standing ovation he deserved. Wade even had a chance to make the game tying three, but James wasn’t having it, as the two joked around in the final seconds of the game and hugged it out! They even exchanged jerseys. Much respect was shown between the two best friends, as Wade prepares to start a new chapter of his life this summer.
So with that, I would like to concluded by saying that you should cherish all the moments you can with your best friend. You never know what path they may take.