Heat's Dwyane Wade, left, drives as Toronto Raptors'
James Johnson defends during the second half of an NBA
basketball game on Jan. 22nd in Toronto.
Dwyane Wade already thinks about it.
he does. Why wouldn’t he at this point in his career? He
realizes he can’t play basketball forever, so thoughts
about the day he will retire cross his mind.
even more of an emphasis with Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe
Bryant calling it quits being the storyline of this year’s
NBA All-Star weekend.
about it because of I’m thinking, ‘Man, Kobe is going to
retire,’ ” Wade said Friday. “This is it for him and
then you realize at that moment, it’s real, that it comes
to an end.”
veteran, Wade is set on making the most of what’s left of
his career. Although the tank is far from empty, he knows
this is the time to soak in much as possible. Moments such
as playing in a 12th All-Star Game on Sunday at the Air
Canada Center are just more memories to add to the
why I told you guys I’m enjoying these moments a lot
more,” Wade said. “I’m enjoying the season a lot more.
I’m enjoying the All-Star Game a lot more. I know one day
I’m going to have to do the same thing as Kobe. I’m
going to have to say that I’m walking away from the
Wade used a
superhero analogy to describe life as a professional
athlete. Like Superman, no one expects their heroes to age.
Fans believe Wade will be able to dunk and hit the pull-up
his life isn’t a comic book. Even if so, his Hall of Fame
career is well into the final chapter.
In a few
years, Wade will experience a similar moment as Bryant, who
drew the largest media crowd throughout the week for his
said, Kobe was a superhero,” Wade said. “He’s supposed
to be able to just keep playing and keep playing but it
doesn’t happen that way.”
Wade is the
first to say he isn’t going to play another 12 All-Star
games. After years of fighting it, he now readily accepts
the “vintage” references each time he reverts to his
younger playing days. He’s in a position where the new
school stars of the game are looking to grab the baton.
watched D-Wade when he was in college and his early
years,” Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said.
definitely weird seeing him now. We’re all going to have
to be there one day. You just have to be ready for it. All
of the older guys tell the younger guys just to be prepared
for it and enjoy every single moment of this as you can.”
not to say Wade is willing to fade away quietly. He was
voted as an All-Star starter for the 10th time and has shown
flashes of the Wade of old.
his 18.7 points a game are his lowest average since his
rookie year, he still leads the Heat in scoring. A decline
in numbers across the board hasn’t prevented Wade from
having sort of a resurrection. He spent much of the past
four seasons battling nagging injuries, causing some to
believe his body was wearing down.
Wade has missed just two games due to health.
thing I’ve gotten a lot from the players is, ‘It’s
good to see you healthy. It’s good to see you doing what
you’re doing and stay healthy,’ ” Wade said. “First,
you think, ‘Man, was it that bad? But secondly, it shows
you the respect that I have from my peers.’ ”
refuses to speculate on how many years he has left. He’s
just not sure if he wants all the hoopla associated with
Bryant playing his final season.
can’t say I want that,” Wade said. “Whatever happens,
happens. I’m not the person to look and say I hope that
happens for me. I have my own path, my own journey. When
it’s time for me to stop playing, whatever comes. Maybe no
one even notices that I’m leaving. I don’t know. I
can’t care about that. At the end of the day, I know the
people of Miami are going to love me.”