Tuesday , Jul , 15 , 2008 Oly Sandor

No ‘Flash’ in the pan: Why Miami’s Dwyane Wade is still a superstar like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

Some believe ‘Flash’ is no longer a superstar like Kobe, LeBron or even CP3. Sure, injuries took a toll, but critics focused on his poor fitness. Of course, in 2007, the Bulls swept the Heat and things bottomed-out last year when his squad was lottery-bound by January …

No 'Flash' in the pan: Why Miami's Dwyane Wade is still a superstar like Kobe Bryant and LeBron JamesTwenty-four months ago, Miami celebrated the Heat’s 2006 championship. Coach Pat Riley danced and Shaquille O’Neal rapped. Quietly, superstar Dwyane Wade enjoyed the party, knowing his playoff was the stuff of a basketball god.

Two years later, Riley is done coaching. Shaq is still rapping, only now he’s asking Kobe Bryant to sample his buttocks. And Wade is still quiet, except the league he once dominated is talking about him being mortal.

Some believe ‘Flash’ is no longer a superstar like Kobe, LeBron or even CP3. Sure, injuries took a toll, but critics focused on his poor fitness. Of course, in 2007, the Bulls swept the Heat and things bottomed-out last year when his squad was lottery-bound by January.  

However, the chatter about Wade slipping is premature. Things are looking up in South Beach.

Injuries ended Wade’s 2007-08 season five weeks early, giving him extra rest. It looks like he has taken advantage of the time off. At a recent charity game, the guard electrified the crowd by converting several lobs into athletic jams.

Playing for Team USA will help. Each day, he’ll practice with eleven other mega-stars and then suit up against the world’s best in China. And the coaching staff will likely preserve Wade for Miami’s regular season by using him as a sixth man.

He’s also got new teammates. Marion, if he’s not traded for cap space, should provide athleticism. James Jones is a deep threat, capable of spreading the floor and punishing double-teams, while Michael Beasley has impressed in summer league.

Look for Wade, if healthy, to enoy a rebirth. A second NBA Title is unlikely, but talk of him falling off is flat wrong.

Is Wade still a bonafide superstar? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA news.  Photo courtesy of photographer Killbucky’s on-line portfolio.