Wade re-signed with the Miami Heat on a one-year deal and will retire from the NBA after the 2018-19 season. Wade will essentially get the Kobe Bryant treatment. During Bryant's last season, every away arena the Los Angeles Lakers played in honored Bryant at center court for his startling playing career.
Wade, a three-time champion and 12-time All-Star, will surely receive the same gesture.
O'Neal's last season in the NBA was in 2011 with the Boston Celtics. Shaq suffered a serious Achilles injury and only played in 36 games. The 15-time All-Star says every historic player in history deserves a farewell tour and, while he's happy Wade will receive one, O'Neal is still upset he wasn't able to join in on the fun, per the Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman.
“I'm jealous,” O'Neal said. “I'm jealous right now. I wanted the whole farewell tour.
“I remember watching Kareem's and Magic's and Bird's farewell tour. Every great, historic player deserves one. D-Wade is an historic player. And there's a lot barbershop talk of him being the second- or the third-best two-guard in the game. And when you bring his name up, there's nobody even close, as far as three, four, five, six and all that. So he is one of the top two-guards to play the game.
“I'm happy for him that he can have this farewell tour, especially here in Wade County.”
O'Neal and Wade won a championship together with the Heat in 2006, with Wade putting on a Finals performance for the ages. The Chicago native averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game during the 2006 Finals against the Dallas Mavericks and helped the Heat erase a 2-0 deficit to win the title. Wade won the Finals MVP.