There was almost no way Chris Paul was going to miss Dwyane Wade’s #OneLastDance against the Houston Rockets. The future Hall-of-Fame point guard will play in his team’s game against the Miami Heat on Thursday despite being scheduled to rest on the second leg of back-to-back. Why? It might be Paul’s chance to face off with Wade, one of his closest friends, before the Heat legend retires at season’s end.
“I don’t think I could keep him out if I wanted to — other than to cause some physical harm,” a jocular Mike D’Antoni said before Houston’s game against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, per the Houston Chronicle’s Hunter Atkins.
Wade and Paul entered the NBA in 2003 and 2004, respectively. They quickly became close friends, teaming with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to form a quartet of superstars who affectionately call themselves “The Brotherhood.” Paul explained the special nature of his relationship with Wade to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen.
“D-Wade, I mean he is a brother to me,” he said. “Everything, from the injury he had, we all went to Chicago and worked out with him, to my wedding, his wedding, birth of our kids. We say it all the time, but we’re not just NBA friends. There’s a lot of guys in this league that are just teammates or NBA friends. But we all are a lot closer than that.”
Wade and Paul, who’s played the best basketball of his season recently since returning from injury, plan to exchange jerseys after the game, as has become custom for the Miami superstar on his farewell tour.