After the 2018-19 NBA season, future NBA Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade decided to permanently end his NBA career. Wade had immediately made a huge impact from the time he was drafted as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, and in the 16 meaningful years he played, he managed to achieve numerous milestones, including winning three NBA championship titles. During the times he and the Miami Heat competed in the NBA Finals, Wade had played alongside other NBA greats. These include Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
The successful acquisitions of those superstars had undeniably given Dwyane Wade huge help in delivering three NBA championship titles to Miami. However, in an interview with Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, Wade made it clear that he “never had to pitch” Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team up with him in South Beach.
“I’ve never had to pitch a guy on Miami. I didn’t have to pitch Shaq, he came on his own. I didn’t have to pitch LeBron and Chris, it was more so about what we could do together, not necessarily where it was going to be at. If somebody reaches out to me, and asks me what I think, then I give them my spiel. But I’ve never had to pitch a guy on Miami. I think it’s just social media talk. It’s something for someone to write. It’s funny to me.”
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) August 11, 2019
It may be hard to believe that Dwyane Wade made no effort in recruiting big names to Miami, but compared to other players, he’s not aggressive in convincing superstars to become his teammate. When he parted ways with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2004, Shaquille O’Neal admitted that one of the major reasons he demanded a trade to the Heat was Wade, whom he called “Flash.” However, though they managed to win an NBA title, O’Neal and Wade’s final years of playing together were filled with drama and frustrations.
Meanwhile, in the 2010 NBA offseason, the Dwyane Wade-led Heat once again managed to turn themselves into a legitimate title contender when they acquired LeBron James and Chris Bosh in free agency. As Wade said, he didn’t pitch James and Bosh to sign with the Heat, but it was more a mutual decision among the three of them to play together in one team. The Heat’s “Big Three” of James, Wade and Bosh made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won back-to-back NBA championship titles in 2012 and 2013.