Tuesday , Dec , 16 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Does Dwyane Wade deserve LeBron James and Kobe Bryant respect?

In dominating the Olympics, Dwyane Wade showed injuries and sub par play were a thing of the past. Now, after winning gold in Beijing, his sights seem set on the MVP hardware. Yes, Flash has rediscovered his inner phone booth and confidence. The superstar (superhero) is averaging 29 points, 7.5 assists, and 5 rebounds, while his Miami Heat, after finishing 15-67 in 2007-08, is holding firm in the Eastern Conference with a 12-11 record …


Does Dwyane Wade deserve LeBron James and Kobe Bryant respect?

This summer, he put us notice. The superstar would return.

In dominating the Olympics, Dwyane Wade showed injuries and sub par play were a thing of the past. Now, after winning gold in Beijing, his sights seem set on the MVP hardware.

"My play is MVP caliber. I know I’m playing as well as anybody in the league, that’s no secret. But I’ve got to continue to help this team win, to get over that hump, where we’re not battling .500, where we’re in the discussion at the end of the year of being one of the top-tier teams in the league. If we do that, then I’ll be in the discussion." (Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com linked to HoopsVibe’s news service)

Yes, Flash has rediscovered his inner phone booth and confidence. The superstar (superhero) is averaging 29 points, 7.5 assists, and 5 rebounds, while his Miami Heat, after finishing 15-67 in 2007-08, is holding firm in the Eastern Conference with a 12-11 record.

Why the turnaround?

Wade finally hit the weight room. While sitting the final stretch of last season with various ailments, the guard realized he needed to strengthen his frame. With more muscle, the electric guard can better sustain the inevitable contact that comes from attacking the basket.

No more distractions. After winning an NBA Title, Wade became a basketball player and everything else, too. Suddenly, he was an actor, model, and producer; the machine or brand was too big. The last two seasons forced him to refocus and reprioritize. Today, Wade is back to being an athlete-first and everything else second.

Miami mortgaged the future to win the 2006 championship. Instead of rebuilding or even retooling, Pat Riley continued to blindly chase over the hill veterans ‘to help’ his squad contend. Everybody, except Wade, aged. The club became an unstable soap opera.

Today, a rebuilding plan, albeit a somewhat limited one, exists. Wade leads inconsistent rookie Michael Beasley, temperamental Shawn Marion, and first-year coach Erik Spoelstra. Still, some plan is better than having no plan. And most importantly, stability has returned to South Beach.

After taking a two-year ‘sabbatical’, Wade is officially back. And he can once again be mentioned in the same breath as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Is Wade back on par with superstars like Bryant and James? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of killbucky.