5 important dates on Dwyane Wade's farewell tour
Dwyane Wade announced earlier this week that he'd be getting back to the league for one final dance, and the Heat officially announced his return for the 2018-19 season on a veteran's minimum contract 2 days ago. News of his anticipated return and ensuing farewell tour has caught the imagination of long-time basketball fans, who're already grieving the retirement of Manu Ginobili this past season - Manu, like Tim Duncan, retired without the farewell tour that the duo deserved so richly.
Wade's announcement has enabled NBA fans across America to pay their respects to the all-time great for one last time at their home court, like Kobe and Michael Jordan before him.
#5 Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets, 21st October 2018
The very first playoff opponents of Wade's Heat career, the Hornets have borne a fair amount of the brunt of The Flash's playoff performances.
In 2004, a rookie Dwyane Wade was already the Heat's best player as the #4 seeded Heat took 7 games to get past the #5 seeded Hornets, who also had Baron Davis in their ranks at that time. The Heat squad at the time also comprised of Lamar Odom and Caron Butler, who were provided great support by Eddie Jones who averaged 15 points per game in that series, one in which the home team won all 7 games.
It was in the 2016 playoffs that Wade had the last vintage playoff performance of his career. Against a young Hornets side that had Kemba leading the way, Wade turned the clock back to average 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game as the starting shooting guard, bearing the brunt of the playmaking responsibilities and shouldering added scoring responsibilities in Bosh and Stoudemire's absence.
The Hornets are not likely to forget this performance in a hurry, but Michael Jordan's franchise is sure to roll out the red carpet to bid farewell to an all-time great.