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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra reveals the first time he knew Dwyane Wade was something ‘different’

Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade

There are few in the NBA who can claim to have been a firsthand witness to virtually the entire NBA career of Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade. One such man who has had the honor is no other than Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

The 48-year-old coach recently spoke with Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated and reminisced on some of the most memorable moments he had with Wade. For Spoelstra, he remembers the exact moment he realized that the former Marquette standout was going to be special:

“It was a swing pass, and he picked it off. It happened so fast—he came from the middle of the paint, stepped into the passing lane and took one dribble and dunked it,” says Spoelstra, perhaps exaggerating a bit. “Eddie Jones, Brian Grant and a few other veterans just looked around. Everybody could sense that this guy was a little bit different.”

What’s amazing about this narrative is the fact that this happened more than 15 years ago when Spoelstra was still an assistant coach with Miami. It must have been such a remarkable play for Spo to have remembered every detail to this very day.

Spoelstra and his Heat side are currently sitting in the eighth spot in the East, with the Orlando Magic just half a game behind at ninth. For the sake of extending Wade’s illustrious career — even for just a little bit — we’re hoping Miami will somehow hold the final playoff spot so we can see the three-time NBA champ have one final postseason run.