For four years, the Miami Heat, along with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, were an immovable force in the Eastern Conference. From 2010-14, the Miami Heat made it to four NBA Finals, winning two of them.
The Miami Heat drafted Dwyane Wade in 2003, and even before James and Bosh joined him in Miami in 2010, Wade had already won the NBA Finals in 2005-06. Wade had also won the NBA scoring title just two seasons before his fellow 2003 draftees joined him to form one of the best teams in NBA history.
The big three had been friends for a while, all being drafted in the same draft class, all in the first five selections. Wade, James, and Bosh had decided while they were all free agents to join forces in Miami and try to win as many rings as they could.
James made his decision on live television for the world to see, and apparently, even though Wade and James had talked about it beforehand, it still came as a surprise to Wade.
Dwyane Wade said in a recent interview on CNN:
“I didn’t hear from LeBron from July 4th till I signed on July 7th. I didn’t hear from him on July 7th. So, I am like maybe, it’s a tough decision to make, and maybe he woke up on July 8th and was like, ‘Ah, I don’t want to do it. So, I didn’t know, and I went to the TV just like everyone else to watch and make sure that everything we had discussed came through.”
Wade then goes on to jokingly say:
“I got ghosted for four days.”
One can only imagine the thoughts that would have been going through Wade’s head for those four days. It eventually did all work out for Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat with four years of an outstanding big three.
Dwyane Wade sacrifices a lot to make it work with James
Dwyane Wade is one of the best shooting guards in NBA history, but when James joined the Heat in 2010, it was a battle for the top dog. James eventually won, and Wade had to take a slight back seat.
Wade pre-LeBron James averaged 26.8 points per game with seven assists and five rebounds. He didn’t win an MVP, but he was in the running, winning one scoring title and his own NBA Finals with Shaquille O’Neal on his team.
In the first season of the big three, Wade tried to carry the team, averaging over 25 points per game, but in the NBA Finals, the Heat were upset by a Dirk Nowitzki-led Dallas Mavericks. The loss was a shocker, and Wade and the Heat took a new approach the following season. The offense ran through James as his scoring numbers went up, and Wade’s fell to 20.8 over the last three years of the big three. It worked, and the Heat won two of the following three NBA titles.
Wade, James and Bosh's big three was one of the best in the league. The way it happened it changed the NBA, giving more powers to the players to decide where they want to play.