Dwyane Wade was supportive of longtime friend LeBron James after the bevy of criticism he has faced throughout this season as the Los Angeles Lakers are bound to miss the playoffs in the first year of his arrival in The City of Angels.

The Miami Heat icon knows his friend has had a bad year by his standards, but one that has been hurt by a combination of reasons, some of which go beyond his control:

“If this is a bad year for him — this is a bad year for him? MVP’s get this kind of year. He’s had an MVP-type of year,” Wade said of James, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. “I think he understands the scrutiny that comes with being LeBron James. Whether he comes out and talks about it or not, he’s driven by something different. That’s why he’s so great. He helps ratings for TV. He knows that. It doesn’t stop nothing. He continues to approach the game the way he approaches it.

“Having a year out there in the Western Conference, it is tough. You can’t miss time, you can’t miss games like he missed. So hopefully, going forward, he doesn’t have that.”

James missed 17 straight games due to a groin injury, which was by far the longest stretch of his 16-year career.

The Lakers went from being in control of the fourth spot following a Christmas Day beatdown of the Golden State Warriors to falling out of the playoffs altogether, making it all the more tough to regain the team's collective footing in a ruthless Western Conference.