The announcement of Dwyane Wade’s retirement at the end of this NBA season brought about any and all memories of the Flash’s career. Whether it was posterizing your favorite defender, or hitting incredibly tough, yet clutch game-winners, he is no stranger to highlight reel plays that will forever be branded in NBA fans’ memories for years to come.
Here are 10 of D-Wade’s best moments during his storied career:
10) Wade Leads Marquette to Final Four
Marquette University has never been known as a powerhouse in NCAA Men’s College Basketball. Since 2003, the Milwaukee-based University has only made the Elite Eight once. In fact, the 2003 team was the last team to see the Final Four round.
Wade’s March Madness moment came during an Elite Eight matchup against the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcats were heavily favored to beat the D-Wade-led Golden Eagles. Wade would go on to post a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. This game would solidify his position as a lottery-pick.
9) The Flash gets his NBA Origins Story
Soon after falling just short in the Final Four, Wade decided to forego his senior year. The Miami Heat held the rights to the 5th overall pick in 2003. He would reward their investment as they struck gold in the drafting him.
D-Wade would go on to become the face of the Florida-based franchise. He is the all-time Heat leader in points scored and assists totaled. The city will forever be indebted to Wade as he brought them multiple championships, and memories to last a lifetime.
8) 2008-09 NBA Scoring Title
There is no doubt that Wade is one of the best all-around two-way guards in league history. Many, however, were shocked by the offensive performances Wade was pouring out in the ’08-’09 season. He even beat out his best friend, LeBron James, for the league’s scoring title.
The Flash had his penultimate scoring performance during a home game against the Knicks. Wade scored 55 points in a dominant win that night. He would go on to average 30.2 points per game that year. It was no wonder as he led the league in field-goals made.
7) A Moment at The Garden
Madison Square Garden is considered NBA holy grounds. It seems like every Hall of Fame player has had his moment in the arena. The GOAT, Michael Jordan, dropped 55 in his 5th game back from his first retirement. Knicks’ all-time great, Patrick Ewing, became the only player in league history to score 50 and grab 15 boards at MSG. In 2009, Kobe put up an astonishing 61-point performance in New York. Two days later, King James’s dropped 52.
Wade would have his “MSG Moment” in the ’05 season. He scored a game-high 24 points, despite coming off the bench. While the point total may not be as jaw-dropping as Kobe’s or LeBron’s, Wade’s moment arose with under five seconds to go in the 4th . With the game tied up at 96-all, Wade dribbled at the top of the key and hit an absolute dagger in front of a sold out New York crowd.
6) Rookie Season, Postseason Heroics
D-Wade has made the playoffs in all but three of his sixteen seasons. Wade had his first taste of the postseason in his rookie year. He led the Miami Heat to an Eastern Conference quarterfinals matchup against the 5th-seeded New Orleans Hornets. The Heat found themselves tied up at 79 a piece. Again Wade had the ball with under 5 seconds to go, almost foreshadowing his game-winner in New York just a year later. I’ll let the TNT crew finish. (See above).
5) Even More Playoff Heroics for The Flash
As I mentioned before, Wade is no stranger to the playoffs, which means he’s all too familiar with playoff heroics. Back in 2005, the Heat were facing off against the defending champion Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat had newly acquired Shaquille O’neal to aid the ailing and somewhat injury prone D-Wade.
By the start of the ECF, Wade was dealing with a strained knee, along with battling flu-like symptoms. Regardless of any aches and pains, he scored a whopping 76 points in Games 2 and 3 combined. Even though the Heat fell short and got knocked out in 7 games, the feat was no less inspiring and no doubt fueled Wade and the Heat for the following season.
4) The Flash’s First Finals Victory
Following their 2005 ECF defeat, D-Wade and Shaq were motivated and ready to lead the Heat to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. That first appearance would be all they needed as the Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks in six games.
3) Finals MVP
The former Marquette star knew he had to make the most out of his first NBA Finals appearance, and he did just that. Wade would average 34.6 points per game, scoring 42 points in Games 3 and 5 respectively. (See video above for highlights).
2) All-Time Poster
Sometimes you just have to let the highlight do the talking. (See above).
When best friends and draft-mates LeBron and D-Wade decided to link up in 2010, the Heat became one of the most vilified and hated teams in NBA History. Along with Chris Bosh, the “Miami Big Three” brought two more NBA Finals trophies to South Beach. It was clear that both Wade and LeBron benefited from each other’s play and looked at one another as a scapegoat when the other was having an off night. We may never see another duo as in-sync and as dynamic as the Flash and the King. They were the engine to one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history.