Longtime friends James, Wade prepare for final meeting as opponents | dayline.info
When Dwyane Wade and LeBron James meet tonight, Wade will be in a different uniform. Dwyane Wade might play. LeBron James probably. LOS ANGELES (AP) - LeBron James hit his first free throw to put the Lakers up by two. Dwyane Wade sidled up to him before the second shot. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James will meet on the court for the last time.
Then the teasing and bragging rights begin by text or call, almost instantly. This arrangement irked the old-school basketball culture, long cringing at the chummy ways of a new generation, believing that most if not all interaction should cease until the offseason, or even better, when careers are done.
Wade and LeBron then turned up the volume on that subject when they linked up as teammates with the Heat inangering the purists and creating, at least initially, a team to be despised as well as respected.
Dwyane Wade & LeBron James Will Meet For Dinner This Week
The chance to let their hair down well, Wade anyway and loosen up, away from the crowds and the media, is something they could keep to themselves.
Wade spilled a few friendship secrets the other day, with an ohmigod and a roll of the eyes. It helped that, in addition to being in the same sport, both LeBron and Wade became all-time greats, because like-minded and like-talented people tend to magnetize. It also allowed them to walk through the same exclusive doors together, for example, making a pair of Olympic teams and a batch of All-Star Games, therefore putting them in close company even before the Heat experience.
From those moments, a relationship tightened. And when life threw airballs in their direction, one was there to help the other. You lean on guys who have similar stories and have gone through similar things in their lives to help with advice or just be there to listen.
Curiously, one of their few awkward moments happened when they became teammates in Miami initially. The transition, Wade admitted, was friction-free but not totally smooth. It was a little hard because of that, but once we got through the first year it was easy.
And later you find out he had told other people, people he didn't even know as well as you, about his decision before he told you.
Editor's Picks LeBron readies for final matchup with D-Wade Asked why his bond with Dwyane Wade has stood the test of time, LeBron James said, "Some things you just can't explain, and that's why we have our brotherhood. What would happen to this relationship?
Would it hold but be damaged forever?
Dwyane Wade & LeBron James Will Meet For Dinner This Week
What are the chances the bond would actually grow stronger and tighter? Granted, it's hard to frame the experiences and situations NBA superstars face and compare them to anything else. Yet even when looked at through the lens of the NBA experience, what Wade and James have gone through together is unique. Monday night in Los Angeles, James and Wade will play against each other a final time.
It caps a winding, complicated and wonderful 16 years together that saw them team up and break up twice, win titles twice, bitterly lose a gold medal and gloriously win a gold medal. But perhaps the greatest accomplishment is that, after those 16 years, Wade's retirement tour -- deemed "one last dance" -- can include another happy spin around the floor with his most famous dancing partner.
The Wade-James relationship easily could've been badly damaged inwhen James elected to leave the Miami Heat and undid the partnership the two formed four years earlier. Wade, without knowing what James was going to do, opted out of his contract with some belief that his partnership with James would continue and they would both sign rich, long-term deals in Miami.
This time, LeBron James meets old friend Dwyane Wade in a different uniform
Had James done things differently, Wade could've just stayed in his deal or gotten an extension that could've benefited him significantly. Only James privately knows how much, if at all, Wade's injury history factored into his choice to return to Cleveland to join a younger and healthier team.
James has said several times the choice wasn't about personnel on either team but about a desire to return home. Of course, there's way more to the story.
Wade helped recruit James and Chris Bosh to Miami in and then took less money than the other two to help the Heat afford to add role players. But James played the worst playoff series of his career, dragging Wade down and perhaps costing the Heat the title.
James' eight-point Game 4 stands as maybe the worst night of his career. In a stat that is forgotten but telling, James actually ranked third on his own team in scoring during that Finals. They're both in their respective hometowns now, Wade pulling off in free agency this summer what James did two years ago. On the brink of their first meeting in the long-running Chicago-Cleveland series of NBA skirmishes, Wade was in an expansive mood Thursday in talking about his dear friend and spirited rival.
LeBron's Lakers edge Wade's Heat in final meeting - dayline.info
Wade and James have been great together. They've been great apart. Like it or not, their friendship surpasses their competitive natures, fiery as those are. It's been that way for a while now, it figures to stay that way well into the future.
And to think, it sparked from the most modest of circumstances back inin spite of some glaring differences in age 35 months and experience James fresh from high school, Wade with three years of college behind him.After Game, Wade met LeBron
The kid from Akron apparently jumped the training-room line at the Moody Bible Institute here in Chicago, site of the NBA's pre-Draft camp, and it was some form of like at first sight from there. We're very similar in a lot of ways. So you just hit it off with somebody. We kind of kicked it off from there. It's just something that happened — there's no way to really explain it. Yet he claims that isn't the case and says his style is along the lines of keeping friends close, best friends closer.
Obviously my teammates, I get to know them in that sense. But I don't want too many best friends. I'm in a couple group chats but not that many. I don't like my phone being blown up like that. The one thing I've never had to do, I've never had to play him in a playoff series before and he's never had to play me.
So we haven't had to really get too deep into 'Oh, what are the guy's weaknesses?
Those Miami days Wade took a deep trip down memory lane Thursday, talking about the time they spent together with the Heat, how their "Super Friends" project kinda-sorta might have happened in Chicago not really and the high regard he has for his bigger, brawnier, unofficial younger brother. He has a great ability to get his teammates in the game and still end up with a triple-double.
Even when you think you've got him contained. He's just one of those players where, this game was made for him.