Savoring Dwyane Wade’s final performance in New Orleans
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 17, 2018
Dwyane Wade has created a lot of fond memories during his soon-to-be hall of fame career in the Crescent City.
After there being a question as to whether or not he would play, Wade entered the game at the 6:32 mark of the first quarter Sunday evening.
In his final visit to New Orleans, Wade found enough magic to give himself one more, as he scored 19 points to help lead the Miami Heat to a 102-96 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The victory gave Miami a season sweep of the series between the two teams.
Wade took the national stage when he led Marquette to the 2003 Final Four, held in the Mercede-Benz Superdome. The following year, his Miami Heat defeated the then-New Orleans Hornets in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, with Wade averaging 15.4 points and 5.6 assists in the series.
@DwyaneWade leaves New Orleans with a win after putting up 19 pts and 6 rebs in 23 minutes. After the game he talked about the role the city of New Orleans has played in his career. #flash #FinalFour #nba #playoffs #allstar #dwade #miamiheat #wadecounty pic.twitter.com/Cgd2LXoSU9
— David M. Grubb (@DMGrubb) December 17, 2018
Hundreds of fans waited for Dwyane Wade as he left the court. Even Cheick Diallo couldn’t contain himself as he rushed across the court to have Wade autograph his shoes.
— _cd13 (@cheick_diallo13) December 17, 2018
It was a fitting tribute for a player of Wade’s stature. Few have resumes that match his with: three NBA championships, a Finals MVP, a scoring title, 12 all-star appearances, eight All-NBA selections, and an Olympic gold medal.
He’s also been a huge influence on a generation of players, including Anthony Davis. Davis and Wade are both Chicago natives, and the Pelicans’ franchise player was inspired by his hometown hero to chase his dream.
“He had a huge impact on a lot of guys who have come out of Chicago,” said Davis. “He was somebody you grew up watching; what he did in the league and in Miami. Watching him while I was in high school and we see how he is playing and knowing where he came from, and where I come from, not everybody can make it out. He had a huge impact on my life from a basketball standpoint.”
If Davis can produce even a third of the team success that Wade has over the years, New Orleans can be his in the way Miami is synonymous with the man known as “DWade.” Hopefully, that inspiration can drive the Pelicans to higher heights sooner rather than later.
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David Grubb has more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. He began his career with KLAX-TV in Alexandria, La. and followed that up with a stint as an reporter and anchor with WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. After spending a few years away from the industry, David worked as sports information director for Southern University at New Orleans…