Wednesday , Jun , 21 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

How good is Dwyane Wade?

(Sports Network) – Dwyane Wade has proved that he is a true superstar. The
24-year-old Wade led the Miami Heat to the 2006 title and was named the
NBA Finals MVP.

Originally selected out of Marquette by Miami in the first round (fifth
overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade was incredible in the championship round
against Dallas for the Heat, who knocked off the Mavericks in six games to
capture their first-ever crown in franchise history.

Wade, who scored 36 points in the series-clinching victory, averaged 34.7
points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.67 steals per game in the finals. A
three-year veteran, Wade has shined in the postseason during his short career.
He has hit game-winning shots, made big defensive plays in crunch time and has
shown that he can take a team on his back and lead it to victory.

“I don’t want to say I put this team on my back,” said Wade after Miami
defeated Dallas to win the championship. “You know, we did it together. Like
coach (Pat Riley) said, like we all been saying, it’s been 15 strong. Now they
gave me the opportunity about putting the ball in my hand, and my will, man,
to prove people wrong, to not worry about what people say about me; when I
came in the series, it was I can’t shoot. I don’t know where they got that
from. So I proved to them I can shoot and then after that, I proved to them I
can play and that’s all I tried to do was prove the people wrong all the
time.”

During Miami’s magical run in this year’s postseason, Wade led the squad in
scoring (25.7 ppg) and assists (5.7 apg). He made 49.7 percent of his shots
from the field, including 37.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

A two-time All-Star, Wade has already played in 50 playoff contests during his
tenure in the NBA. He has averaged 25.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists
in the postseason.

In his first postseason appearance, Wade showed signs that he was made for the
playoffs as he helped the Heat reach the conference semifinals where they were
eliminated by the Indiana Pacers in six games. The following season, Wade
teamed with fellow All-Star Shaquille O’Neal, who was aquired from the Lakers
in July 2004, to get Miami into the Eastern Conference finals against the
Detroit Pistons, who eliminated the Heat in seven games. And in just his third
year in the league, Wade has earned a ring.

“I’m a big dreamer,” said Wade. “I think you’ve got to dream in life to know
what you want. I remember when the Bulls won their first championship, sitting
at home on my floor watching the games. And then (Michael) Jordan did his
shot, famous shot, I went right in the backyard, turned the lights on and
couldn’t do it myself. I had no athletic ability, I was young. Every time I
seen Jordan or (Scottie) Pippen, my favorite players, do anything, I always go
in the backyard and act like I was part of the team or two, playing against
them guys.”

Wade was overshadowed by LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in the 2003 NBA
Draft class. James, who was selected No. 1 overall, appeared in the playoffs
for the first time this season and led Cleveland to the conference semifinals,
while Anthony, who was the third overall pick, has failed to get Denver past
the first round in his three postseason appearances.

The 21-year-old James is also a two-time All-Star and is already one of the
most talented basketball players to ever lace up a pair of sneakers and step
on an NBA court, while Anthony is on the verge of joining James and Wade as an
All-Star.

Anthony, James and Wade are all unbelievable talents. But, the one thing that
separates the three is the fact that Wade has already won an NBA title.

Wade’s athleticisim and prowess has made him one of the most exciting players
in the league to watch. He has the ability to take over a contest single-
handidly and shines when the game is on the line and his team needs a bucket.

As long as Wade is on its roster, Miami has a good chance to win more
championships. The 6-4 guard is that good!

MIA