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Dwyane Wade tells story about reaction to first hearing name in a rap song

Heat, Dwyane Wade, Jay-Z

Dwyane Wade has had plenty to reflect on in his final season with the Miami Heat. From jersey swaps to honorary All-Star selections, Wade has felt the love from the NBA community.

He has also been the subject of plenty of rap lyrics, cited in bars from the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.

But Wade recently described the first time he heard his name in a song, Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” In the 2009 hit, HOV raps “I got a plug, Special Ed `I Got It Made.’ If Jeezy’s payin’ LeBron, I’m payin’ Dwyane Wade.”

Wade told Shandel Richardson of the first time he heard the reference while out with family and friends and Chicago and symbolized it as a moment of arrival:

“That was it,” Wade said as he prepares for the final All-Star Game before his 16-year career ends. “I made it. I went to a different level. When you come in the league, I remember I was talking to Caron (Butler) and those guys, and I remember I was talking about, `Man, if we get our names in a rap song …’ I got a chance to do it not once but multiple times with some dope artists. It’s pretty cool.”

Hip-hop and basketball have always had a fairly tight relationship. Recent New York Knicks acquisition Dennis Smith Jr. even brought out North Carolina-born rapper J. Cole during the Dunk Contest last night. Cole shouted out DSJ in his verse on 21 Savage’s track, ‘a lot.’

Wade will compete in his 13th All-Star game on Sunday night, and is likely to go down as one of the top three shooting guards in the history of the game.