After 16 seasons in the NBA, Dwyane Wade Jr. played his swan song in the league on April 10 in Miami Heat’s road game against the Brooklyn Nets.
For his final game, Wade registered his fifth triple double: 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, in his NBA career during Heat’s 113-94 loss against the Nets.
As early as September 2018, during the NBA off-season, Wade announced his retirement from the league through a 10-minute video on Youtube. In the video entitled ‘One Last Dance’, the 37-year old player vowed to give it his all for his final season.
Days later, he signed a reported $2.4 million veteran’s minimum deal with the Heat, the NBA team that drafted him in 2003.
Wade played 72 games, two of which he was a starter, in his final season. He averaged 15 points, 4.2 assists, four rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game.
He played a total of 1,231 games, including the regular season and the playoffs, throughout his NBA career.
Upon being drafted 5th overall in 2006, Wade played for the Heat in 13 straight seasons. In 2016, basketball fans were surprised by reports that Wade left the Heat and signed a contract with the Chicago Bulls. However, his stint with the Bulls will only last one season as the NBA team reached an agreement on a buyout with Wade. The basketball star will then sign a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wade will then make his return to the Heat in 2018 after being traded by the Cavaliers in exchange for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick.
NBA CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Before his retirement, Wade won three NBA championships, all with Heat. He took home his first NBA championship ring in 2006 when Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks in a Finals series that lasted to six games. Wade, who averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.7 steals, and one block per game, was named the Finals Most Valuable Player.
Wade then won two straight championships alongside Lebron James in 2012 and 2013. During the finals of the 66th NBA season, the Heat defeated Oklahoma City Thunders, four games to one. Miami then successfully defended their title in the 67th NBA season against the San Antonio Spurs during a Finals series that lasted up to seven games.
Wade also made 13 NBA All-Star appearances, the first in 2005 and the last in 2019. For the 2019 NBA All-Star game, league commissioner Adam Silver named Wade and Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks as special team roster additions. Silver said that the two players ’embody the best of the NBA’ with their remarkable skill, drive, professionalism, and devotion ‘to strengthening their communities and growing the game around the world’. Wade played for Team Lebron, which won the 68th NBA All-Star contest.
Aside from NBA All-Star appearances and championships, Wade made a name in the league by being included twice in the All-NBA First team, thrice in the All-NBA Second team, thrice in the All-NBA Third team, thrice in the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, and in the 2004 NBA All-Rookie First team. The 6’4 shooting guard was also named the league’s scoring champion in 2009.
Wade is also the first NBA player in history to register at least 2,000 points, 500 assists, 100 steals, and 100 blocks in a season. Before ending his professional career, he also joined Michael Jordan, and James as the only players in the league’s history to record at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks and 500 three pointers.
En route to his retirement, Wade gave his jerseys to his teammates in Heat. He also switched jerseys with players, coaches, and a mascot of opposing teams. Here is a list of people whom he swapped jerseys with during his final season.
- Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers
- Karl Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves
- Devin Harris of the Dallas Mavericks
- Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee
- Khris Middleton of the Milawaukee Bucks
- DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs
- Wayne Ellington of the Detroit Pistons
- Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets
- Kevin Huerter of the Atlanta Hawks
- D’Angelo Russel of the Brooklyn Nets
- Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets
- Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns
- Ben Simmons of the the Philadelphia 76ers
- Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks
- Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors
- Frank Mason of the Sacramento Kings
- Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers
- Paul George Oklahoma City Thunder
- Tim Hardaway Jr. of the New York Knicks
- Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Marcus Morris of the Boston Celtics
- Benny the Bull, the mascot of the Chicago Bulls.
- George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks
- Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics
- Isaiah Thomas of the Denver Nuggets
- Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks
- Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards
- Delon Wright of the Toronto Raptors
- Jae Crowder of the Utah Jazz
- Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers
- Montrezl Harrell of the Los Angeles Clippers
- Jamal Crawford of the Phoenix Suns
- Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz
- Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans
- Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors
- Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks
- C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers
- David Fizdale, head coach of the New York Knicks
- Iman Shumpert of the Sacramento Kings
- Carmelo Anthony of the Houston Rockets
Wade also gave jerseys to his former teammates Jason Williams and Chris Bosh. The basketball star also swapped uniforms with players of the National Football League: Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears and Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers.