Dwyane Wade - The NBA's 3rd Greatest Shooting Guard EVER
The shooting guard (SG) also known as the two guard is one of the five positions a player can play in a basketball game. The other four being a point guard, small forward, power forward and center. Shooting guards usually range between 6' 3" (1.91 m) to 6' 8" in the NBA. Two of the greatest shooting guards to ever play the game would be Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. In the current game, James Harden, Klay Thompson, CJ McCollum and Victor Oladipo are some of the best shooting guards right now.
A shooting guard is usually someone whose primary goal is to score points for his team. Most shooting guards are good shooters. The ones who aren't are usually supremely athletic and can get to the rim with ease. Most shooting guards are also the backup ball handlers for their team and end up having a decent amount of assists by the end of the season.
More often than not, shooting guards are taller than point guards. In the modern game though, height varies a lot. We see point guards like Ben Simmons, we see players like Jimmy Butler who were shooting guards and end up playing small forwards. The game has changed a lot but the shooting guard position still inherits some of the best players in the league.
Good shooting guards often end up playing point guard too. A lot of the time they have the ball in clutch situations and are expected to make a play for the team. For many teams, the point guard may end up becoming a spot-up shooter to assist the shooting guard who is the "scorer" for the team.
In this article, I talk about the 3rd greatest shooting guard to ever play the game.
While many people may have Allen Iverson or Jerry West at this position but for me, it is Dwyane Wade. Known as "Flash" in his younger days, Wade in his prime was unstoppable. With nuclear athleticism along with incredible footwork and skill Wade was a scoring machine. Having said that Wade has never been selfish with the ball and is a great passer.
He won his first NBA championship in 2006. This was when he single-handedly led a Miami heat team to victory against the Dallas Mavericks after they were 2-0 down. He was named the Finals MVP of that series.
Wade would go on to have his best season in 2008 when he ended up winning the scoring title. After watching Kobe Bryant win his 5th Championship in 2010, Wade really wanted to win another championship. This led to him persuading LeBron to join Miami. He had to not only take lesser money but also play Robin to Batman which was a role which he really disliked.
In the 2011 Finals, Dirk Nowitzki was named NBA Finals MVP as the Miami Heat lost in 6 games but Wade was the best player on the floor. He averaged 26.5/7.0/5.2/1.5/1.5 over six games while LeBron James averaged 17/8/7. In 2012 and 2013, Wade added 2 more rings to his cabinet. While he was overshadowed by LeBron but Miami would not win those titles without his performances. His game 6 performance versus the Indiana Pacers and his game 4 performance in the 2013 NBA Finals was stunning, to say the least.
Injuries and age would go on to slow Dwyane down but he would go on to adapt his game. Wade would post up more and work more on his jumper. There would be days when we see the "flash" but he would go on to lose quite a bit of his athleticism. Wade never lost his clutch gene though. In the playoffs when it was time to win a game Wade would do exactly that. The Charlotte Hornets got that treatment in 2016.
Wade would then have a rift with the Miami Heat and would go on to play for the Chicago Bulls for a year. Followed by that he would go to the Cleveland Cavaliers until he finally returned "home" back to Miami.
Perhaps my favourite Dwyane Wade moment was when he announced his return to Miami Heat by scoring a last-minute jumper over Ben Simmons and winning the game for the Heat. It showed everyone that even at 36, Wade still had some magic left in him. It solidified Miami as Dwyane Wade's city and the Heat as Dwyane Wade's organization. It was a gentle reminder to the world that they were witnessing the 3rd greatest shooting guard to ever play the game. If Wade retires now he does so having won 3 NBA Championships, an NBA Finals MVP, and a Scoring Title. While being a huge Dwyane fan I do not want him to retire but if he does so all I have to say is -
Thank you, Flash.
Published 20 Aug 2018, 11:33 IST