The Miami Heat lost the 2011 Finals to the Dallas Mavericks in what was LeBron James’ lowest moment of his NBA career. The King essentially choked versus the Mavs and not even Dwyane Wade’s brilliance was enough to save the Heat.
Former New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale was an assistant on that Heat team. By now, everyone familiar with Miami basketball knows that Wade talked to James before the start of the 2011-12 NBA lockout year and told him that the franchise was his team to lead.
On the latest episode of Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Fizdale gave further context as to what Wade told James.
"This is your team. I’m here to help you now."
David Fizdale retells the story of Dwyane Wade giving LeBron James full permission to take over the Miami Heat.pic.twitter.com/Yj6D9mZLK3
— 12up (@12upSport) August 11, 2020
The Heat won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 after coming up short in 2011. James was the best player in the NBA during that stretch, winning the MVP and Finals MVP in ’12 and ’13.
Wade, meanwhile, was an elite “Robin” to James on the Heat. Miami went to four straight NBA Finals during the Big Three era. James, Wade and Chris Bosh finished 2-2 in the Finals. They defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder (2012) and San Antonio Spurs (2013) and lost to the Mavs (2011) and Spurs (2014).
Win-shares-wise, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are the two best players in Heat franchise history. Wade’s No. 3 jersey is already retired by the Heat, as his Bosh’s No. 1.
With that said, all signs point toward James’ No. 6 jersey getting retired by Pat Riley one day as well.