“This isn’t a diss song, it’s just a real song.”- Sean Carter
Success is fleeting. It’s never meant to be permanent or everlasting. All things eventually come to an end. Empires are created only to one day crumble into the rock of which they were first formed, and even we humans with our grand design, all must return to the primordial soup of which we were created. No living organism, creation or enterprise will ever stand the test of time. The only things that live forever cannot be touched or seen, your reputation, your legend, your impact, these are the only things that can truly last forever. This brings us to Dwayne Wade, the other members of the big three and the Miami Heat. When Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James rose from the stage 1 day after all signing 6 year contracts with the Miami Heat and said they would win 6 or 7 championships the reaction was rapid, but splintered. All of the LeBron James Sycophants and worshipers really believed that this newly formed trio would go on to win a fist full of rings easily, but most people knew better. The fate of this Heat team wouldn’t rest on the greatest physical specimen in the history of sports, rather it would rest on an injury prone 6’4 two guard who had convinced the best player in the NBA to leave the only home he’s ever known and join him in South Beach. Dwayne Wade, James and Chris Bosh were never a seamless fit like the big 3 in Boston, but their talent has overwhelmed their competition to the tune of 3 straight NBA finals appearances. But, for those expecting 3 more consecutive finals appearances with this group should put the Molly Water down and realize that 2013 might be their last Finals trip. Not only have the Heat had the good fortune to see their biggest threat in the west prematurely break their team up, but their conference semi-finals and finals opponents were also decimated by an innumerable amount of injuries. But the biggest reason for skepticism going forward is the unhappiness of Chris Bosh and the physical decline of Dwayne Wade.
Dwayne Wade used to be THAT dude. He was a beast going to the rim and you knew he was going to get to the free throw line at least ten times a game as well. In 2006, Wade led the heat to their first ever championship averaging about 35 points a game. Look at him now; does he even resemble that guy anymore? Granted he went to the free throw line a TON in that series in 2006 and Mark Cuban will tell you how the refs gave Miami that series, Wade still turned in an otherworldly performance. After that great 2006 run Wade had two straight years where he missed 31 games each year and you could start to see a little of the tread coming of the tire. To his credit, Wade did rebound and have his best all-around season, averaging 30.2 points, 7.5 assists, 5 rebounds and a Player Efficiency Rating of 30.4(Career High). But since that season his scoring has dipped year by year 26.6 PPG in 2010, 25.5 PPG in 2011, 22.1 PPG in 2012 and 21.2 PPG in 2013. Do you see where this is going? On a team built around 3 Max-level and 9 mid-level to minimum salaried players the onus falls on the 3 superstars to carry the load. Wasn’t that the entire reason they all “joined forces” in the first place? In the 2013 playoffs the Heat have been looking like the Miami Cavaliers because of how LeBron has to carry the team on his shoulders. You think he’s sticking around after 2014 to see what the twilight of Wade’s career is going to be like, if were not already watching it?
There is a large group of sports fans who see telling the truth as “hate”. If you say something negative about their favorite player then you’re dubbed a “hater”. So it’s someone else’s fault that Wade can’t elevate and finish in traffic anymore? It’s our fault that Wade can beat his man off the dribble or turn the corner anymore? It’s our fault that he hasn’t really added anything new to his game since 2005 and doesn’t have a jumper or post game to fall back on? Dwayne Wade is averaging 14.3 PPG during the playoffs because “he’s just picking his spots?” It’s not that Dwayne Wade is a bad guy or people just hate him, he’s been AWFUL in the playoffs and it’s taking a toll on LeBron James, who looks worn down from carrying the Heat on his back. I’m sure Dwayne Wade is hurt and will need some sort of procedure(s) on his knee once the season ends, and you can turn on First Take and listen to Stephen A. and the Skeletor rant about how now that he’s healthy it will be “Wade’s team” again. So let me get this straight, a 32 year old shooting guard with chronic knee problems is going to come back as good as new? If I wanted to read fairy tales I would crack open a children’s book. The numbers back it up and so does the “eye test”, Dwayne Wade is over the hill, it’s almost time to send him the Glue Factory. This is why people always say enjoy the moment while it lasts, because you never know when your time is up.
I’m sure Dwayne Wade will average around 18-20 PPG next year, not hard to do when you have the scariest creature on the planet balling right next to you, and his fans will say “He’s Back!!!” But come playoff time, when he has to deal with the Chicago’s and Indiana’s of the world, he will struggle to score. What Wade is going through happens to all great players at some point or another, whether it happens precipitously or incrementally. The individual that should be paying close attention to this is LeBron James, because he has the chance to opt out of his current deal in 2014 and sign a Max contract with another team, most likely the Cavs or Lakers. But he doesn’t want to stick around in Miami if they’re going to be structured as they are currently constituted, he already said that he is going to where the best Roster can be assembled. Plus, do you think he’s going to want to be carrying around Dwayne wade into his 30’s? SO all you Miami “Fans” should get ready to buy some new hats around July 2014, don’t say the professor didn’t warn you.