Dwyane Wade’s veteran perspective


VIDEO: Derrick Rose takes another spill and tweaks both of his already tender ankles

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Dwyane Wade remembers those days when he was crashing to the floor on almost every other possession and he could bounce up like nothing happened, when his body allowed him to do things only the best of the NBA’s best could do.

It seems like a lifetime ago for the Miami Heat’s veteran superstar, whose stellar career has been marked by injury issues in recent years. Wade is still one of the league’s elite players, of course.

But his body hasn’t allowed him to be that player every night. So if anyone understands the plight fellow Chicago native Derrick Rose is living through now — trying to get back to MVP-level after two tumultuous years dealing with severe injuries, it’s Wade.

When Rose talks about taking things easy now because he’s thinking about the future, it produced chaotic reactions around the basketball world, including a parade of former players and pundits eager to indict him for not being true to the game.

But when Wade said it wouldn’t be wise to push it on a sore hamstring before sitting out a recent game against the Atlanta Hawks, no one blinked.

The Heat star talked about Rose, life after LeBron James, reinventing yourself in the second half of your career (like Kobe Bryant)  and the veteran perspective he has acquired over the years during a recent interview with NBA.com …

 NBA.com: I remember when you were a young player and throwing your body all over the place and other people were saying you needed to be careful. How cognizant are you as a young player, thinking about the future and worrying about your body?

Dwyane Wade: I don’t think it’s something that is on your mind until something serious happens. For me, when I had my shoulder surgery, that’s when I started thinking differently. A serious injury, a surgery shows you that none of this is promised to you. And that’s when it really sets in for you as a player.

NBA.com: A lot has been made of Derrick Rose and his comments recently about how he’s going to approach things. Some people took it as him saying he wasn’t going to go as hard. What did you make of his comments and the fallout?

DWade: When you have serious injuries the way he has, your mindset is going to be a little different. There’s no way around that. It doesn’t mean you don’t love the game and you are not going to give it your all. It just means that you know, if this happened to me once it could happen to me again. And you start thinking about things in that context all the time. It’s inevitable, at least in the way you think about things.

NBA.com: One day you’re 20 or 21 and invincible and the next day you wake up and realize you’re not Superman anymore. How hard does that hit you as an elite-level athlete?

DWade: At some point you have to put all of that in perspective. But I don’t ever think it’s going to be at 19, 20, 21 or when you are in your physical prime without any issues. We shouldn’t expect that. But at some point, you would hope that each individual comes through this game has a moment when they realize things have to be done differently. You don’t ever like to see guys you play with go through the struggles, on or off the court, there has to be a point when you slow down, recognize where you are in your career and make the necessary changes to do things in a way that allow you to be effective for whatever stage of your career you are in. You have to learn through the process of growing and maturing and learning how to handle yourself from being young to being a veteran.


VIDEO: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James formed one of the most dynamic duos in NBA history

NBA.com: There’s that word, process. Speaking of that, how has this process worked for you guys, trying to reinvent yourselves from the Big 3 with LeBron to the team you are now?

DWade: It has been interesting, this process, and there is that word that has been used and overused around here the past few years. But that’s the best word to describe it, really. It’s been a journey and for us it’s been a good change. But it’s still early. The frustrations haven’t set in yet. I don’t care who you are, when you go through a NBA season there are bound to be some frustrations and some adversity. And you don’t know what you have until you go through those things, deal with them and come out on the other side. It’s early still. Everything is still fresh. It’s good to have wins like we had in Dallas. But then it’s good to come back and have a tough home loss to Indiana. It is a bad loss. But that is the ebb and flow of a season. It’s different, though, especially for myself and Chris [Bosh], taking on a new challenge that we haven’t really had the last four years, and making it work.

NBA.com: One of the biggest differences has to be the glare of the spotlight you had compared to the one you’re dealing with now. Every practice and every shootaround doesn’t seem like a made-for-TV event anymore, does it?

DWade: [Laughing] It’s actually cool for me. Listen, we didn’t run from the spotlight or anything when we had it. We took everything that came with it and owned it. Now that it’s off of us, it’s fine. We understand that it’s been shifted, the spotlight has been shifted and let them [Cleveland] enjoy that right now. Besides, you never know how things might change in this league. One minute you can’t get out of the spotlight and the next it’s gone anyway.

NBA.com: It’s funny you mention how quickly things change. I was telling someone the other day about covering the Heat in the playoffs your rookie year when you played point guard. And they argued me down that you never played point guard …

DWade: I might not have been a “point guard”, per say, but that’s what I played then. It was fun to come into the league and find my way.

NBA.com: Does it seem strange to you know, at 32, being on the other side, so to speak, and looking back at where your career has taken you from experimental point guard back then to where you are now?

DWade: I came in as a point guard and now I’m a post-up player [still laughing] … I mean, I do pick and rolls now, but I came in as a point guard and we run most of our post-ups now for me. So you have to understand that the the game evolves, the world evolves, the world around you evolves.

NBA.com: That’s spoken like an old(er) and wise man. You’re only 32, right?
DWade: It’s just the reality of the world we live in, as professional athletes and people in general. You look at technology and how much it has changed from my rookie year until now. And it’s the same thing with sports. You have to look at all the different changes and how you can change and stay relevant. And I think of all of the players you don’t see around now, guys that you say, “man, they should still be playing,” and they’re not here. Then you look at a guy like Kobe Bryant, and he’s found a way after all these years to still be Kobe Bryant and evolve with the game and figure it out, through all of the injuries and ups and downs. You figure it out. And that’s how you have longevity.


VIDEO: Dwayne Wade’s still got it 12 seasons into his future Hall of Fame career

39 Comments

  1. Jay says:

    In that Dwayne Wade’s still got it video it looks like he missed that high five and slapped that dude right in the face at the end.

  2. ChuzzyChu says:

    Luke Duke you sound quite sad… Why would you wish that on a player such as Wade.

    Ask yourself this, “Do players get residual payments on their memorabilia which fans keep purchasing even after they leave the league?? The answer is NO!

    They work their butts off to become great players and then become stars, now we all want to watch them and their names sell tickets, jerseys, products and even events that their teams host. The teams make money in so many ways off their players.

    Hey, do you remember ‘Brandon Roy’?? He was with the Trailblazers not to long ago, his injuries forced him to retire… So much talent, so much potential for greatest – he was a two time All star. His career is over, and you BET the NBA check are not coming through any longer, and he doesn’t get residual fees for jerseys and shoes being sold in his name right now. Stars should rest when its needed, they’ve earned it.

  3. Havokjd says:

    ok luke duke for one in the real world if your hurt or out for a period of time you still get paid because certain jobs offer benifts so you are paid while out of work. such as paid sick days or short/long term disablity. another thing how is not paying the player who sit out cuase of injury going to bring down the number of injuryed players due to not getting paid if u get injuryed ur injuryed no way around it. I would love to see you go the an entire nba season and not complain bout injurys. but then again your not your just a fan who thinks they know wat their talking bout. just watch the game and shut up

  4. Othneil Williamson says:

    That last statement Dwyane Wade made about Kobe Bryant and figuring it out and longevity was truly spoken like a wise man.

  5. Luke Duke says:

    Fair enough. Athletes should be able to sit out with bumps and bruises. Equally fair enough would be not getting paid for those games. The league would see a drastic drop in “injuries”. The fact that someone can get paid in advance for something he never produces, or never attempts to produce, is the only unfair part about this. Sure, everyone would love a paycheck whether they show up to work or not… unfortunately that’s not how it works in the real world. They get paid for their unique skills, if those skills are not being put to use, there should be nothing to pay them for.

  6. HoopsFanatic says:

    DWade one of the greatest point guards and so humble! He is the heart and soul of the Heat.

  7. Benjie says:

    Dwade is better than Kobe in there prime. Quicker and not selfish. For shooting guard in order I’ll take 1. Jordan 2. Wade 3. Kobe 4. Ginobili.

  8. Rhedz03 says:

    It’s really hard not to be able to do things you usually do back when you don’t have any health issue…I hope DRose gets better…He is still young and could possibly be the face of the nba in few years to come…

    As for wade..Well he is a true champion and a fighter…A hall of famer in the making…And yes Lbj and Dwade are one of the most electrifying duo/tandem that the nba has ever had/seen. There can never be anything like Drose and Lbj combine. But yeah, Wade is getting older but he still got some gas left on his tank…compared to kobe…Kobe is nearing the end…he had reinvented his game but kobe is almost done…It’s James era now…And in less than 10 years it will be Durants Era or Drose or davis..Which ever comes out alive uninjured…Then it’ll be kyries and walls turn to carry the torche

  9. fee says:

    dwade no matter what will go down as top 5 BEST SG OF ALL TIME

  10. Lebron is the best all round player ever. Leave the man alone!

  11. Hey “SMART”? NBA FAN. How even is the league these days. I can’t believe all u guys still talking down king James. And good on ya wade awesome player

  12. Hey “SMART”? NBA FAN. How even is the league these days. I can’t believe all u guys still talking down king James. And good on ya wade awesome player. Lebron still the best all round player ever. Give him a break once and for all !!!

  13. JoshKing says:

    lol@all the bitter HEat fans throwing salt on LBJ when the article is mainly about Wade.
    Get over it…you all had your time. now its time to wait another 10+ years for a title. Get used to it.

    • Maiela says:

      And you’re talking from experience of course! But no matter how long, it will never be as long as you guys have been waiting. How long? Oh yea, 44 years and counting!! Haha
      Heat are 18 years younger – since 1988 vs 1970 – with 3 titles (first one without LBJ, in case you wanted to throw that back)

  14. lbj says:

    The King salutes Dwyane the Boy Wonder. You have served my legacy well.

    Although you like flailing your body parts into opponents groins and breaking their limbs “unintentionally”, we have seen that you are a good teammate–Unlike some other all-time great shooting guard who no one wants to play with.

    • "Smart" NBA fan says:

      do you remember everybody burning your mans jerseys on ESPN live tv? LOL thats beautiful to you huh? your boy lebron choking year after year. now he won 2 champs and he thinks hes somehting special? gimme a break sit down and please shut up. Kobes already been there done that. wheres lebrons 81? 12 3s pointers? is he on his 5th ring yet? how is he king? MJ got 6 and bill russel has 11 so cmon lebron you got along ways before i ever call you king james. 2 is not 11 kids. learn to count correctly.2 isnt even half of 5.

      • I'm Right says:

        not to protect the trolling against kobe because kobe is phenomenal… but only rings where you are the MVP should count in an argument for greatness. Robert Horry has 7 rings… is he better than Kobe? Is Bill Russel better than Jordan!? He played in an entirely different league and calibre of competition. Kobe definitely was the Pippen to Shaq’s Jordan on the Lakers team that won the first 3 rings. All 4 of them are all-time greats but its unfair to compare to Lebron because he has never been on a team where he was the second-best player…. you can only imagine what a Lebron and someone better than him would have accomplished together. Kobe has won 5 rings but only 2 of them where he was the best player in the series. In that respect Lebron is very close to him… and still has plenty of years to go in his career.

  15. Flex says:

    D-Rose is hurting (mentally) he will get back and it will take some time. Fear is a very terrible thing and it can make life scary especially when it involves a person’s health. Right now D Rose is afraid but like all things his mental healing will take time, we just need to hope that he heals before he turns 32 thus its too late

  16. Scott says:

    I don’t understand what Derrick Rose thinks he’s gaining by not playing even though he is my second least favorite player in the NBA. He is only 26, and he’s treating his body like he’s 36. Derrick Rose is not even close to the best point guard in the NBA, and he treats the game like he’s the greatest to ever step on a court. Derrick Rose will never be an all time great because all the greats have had to play through something tough, and it doesn’t look like Derrick Rose is willing to even play through a broken nail.

    • shou says:

      then would you perhaps say that lebron will not be on the list of all time greats because he never play through cramps?just because he said stuff like that doesn’t mean he is weak or soft. when you have a major injury and set for the rest of the season and when you came back and injured yourself again and set back back and then now playing for this season and then injured again, of course there would be something on his mind that bothers him. derrick rose if healthy and if he will be healthy throughout his entire career like LBJ was i can say to you that i don’t think LBJ would have won 4mvp and 2rings on his resume IF Drose was healthy. don’t compare him to someone like MJ or KB perhaps.. coz he’s not them and he will not be. his derrick rose. and you said hes not even close to the best point guard on the NBA that was an insane one. iknow its your opinion but no one would even agree with that xcpt for yourself. coz if Drose is healthy i can’t think of anybody on the league be better than him.

      • shaaa says:

        also what you all said was all opinion bro, LBJ destroyed youre bulls 4-1 remember? stop riding and know facts before posting a comment, dont let yourself to be ignorant also no one will agree to youre statement keep dreaming LOL

  17. mabster says:

    D-Rose is too fast and too quick for his own good, I hope i am wrong but another B-Roy in the making…sad…

  18. AllNet says:

    Age 32 is the “Magic” number… get it:-) Definitely feel the evolution of the game, even at my level of basketball (playground) at the age of 32. Shooting with my left and right hand has gave me an edge over this youngest.-00

  19. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Rose needs to learn how to play and take a different appoarch to his game, People are not going to question Wade, because he has more accomplished then Rose, a Finals MVP in his third season. I believe Lebron left Miami because of Wade not being able to be a elite player for 48 mins and 82 games and the playoffs. Wade is truly one of the best to ever play the game. Rose right now is not mentally over the injury’s, that will come with time Rose he’s young, Wade is older and not playing with recklessness like he did early in his career, more in the post, that’s the same thing Rose needs to do, but that will come over time.

  20. Jim says:

    Dwade is a good guy and a great basketball player. But I’ll always believe he was on the juice (and still is). His bloated muscles and especially his bloated head is too Bonds and McGuireesque. Premature health problems too.

  21. Nicklas says:

    D Wade is an example for all players, he is so humble and hes a superstar who doesnt look for attention but is there to win.

    A big difference from Lebron who is the most self-centered athlete of all times, that is why D Wade will always be better in my eyes and a true heat.

  22. Kishore says:

    Best shooting guards of all time: Jordan, Bryant, Wade, in that order.

    • Carl says:

      I agree.

    • Mandeep says:

      I agree, but when both Kobe and wade in their primes, wade is a lot better, better defender, more athletic, best at blocking shots ever at his position, more clutch, better shot selection, better team player. And he can lead a bad team a lot further.

  23. Davante says:

    Atleast he understands Drose

  24. Zack B. says:

    Totally agree! People should lay off DRose. He has to do what is best for him. He never said he would stop trying, or giving his all, but just approach the game slightly different.

    P.S. In the second to last question asked by NBA.com there is a typo. It says, ” Does it seem strange to you know…”. I believe it should say “now” instead of “know”!

  25. jeremy lin is a beast says:

    jeremy lins career was better tho

  26. Ari says:

    Great article but who’s proofreading these before posting them online?

  27. HEATFANSINCEWADE says:

    True Hall of Famer! Get em Wade!

  28. verysadokcfan says:

    Dwayne Wade is probably happy that the spotlight is back on him, and his own team. Not mad at him. It’s a trade-off.