Draymond Green, Kevin Durant laud Dwyane Wade after final game at Oracle Arena
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant were encouraged to see longtime rival Dwyane Wade for one last time at Oracle Arena, trotting out a solid performance in 29 minutes, one that will be remembered for those present for that one last hurrah.
Wade, who will call it a career after the 2018-19 season ends, didn’t look like a man on his last legs, putting up a solid all-around performance with 10 points, six rebounds and nine assists in 29 minutes.
“Everything he has done for that organization, it’s been amazing,” said Green, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “And yet he’s still out there this year playing well. It’s good to see a guy, I think if you looked at D-Wade three years ago, you kind of worried, like, ‘Ahh is it over?’ And he’s battled back from that, and it’s good to see a guy who’s great as D-Wade was close out on a strong note. The way he’s playing this year, it’s great to see him go out like that. You kind of hate to see a guy limp out of the game, and there are some kids that will see some of these older guys and be like, ‘Oh man, he sucked.’ No, if you knew that guy five years ago, like — but that’s just the nature of the business we’re in. However, like I said, I think D-Wade is playing amazing this year. It’s good to see him go out on a high note.”
Wade’s countless falls during the early part of his career have finally started to take a toll on his body, yet he’s still strong enough to make one last go at it with the team that drafted him.
All of that was on display when he blocked a last-minute Kevin Durant fadeaway jump shot and raced up court for a two-handed finish, giving the Miami Heat the lead with only seconds left in regulation.
The play, while it didn’t result in a win for his team, brought back memories of his vintage self, a player capable of making things happen at both ends of the floor with an astute eye for creating havoc.
“I’m not surprised,” Durant said of Wade’s upcoming retirement. “I wouldn’t be surprised either way if he would have kept playing or if he would have retired. He’s done and experienced so much in this league, and he’s been really good as an older guy with all the younger guys as well. So I think he’s invested so much into basketball spiritually and physically that it’s just time to walk away and pursue what’s next in his life. As a hooper from day one, I can appreciate that about D-Wade, especially battling him in the Finals and throughout my whole career. It’s good to see guys go out the way they want to.”
Dwyane Wade will go into retirement with his best foot forward, still an idolized and adored personality of the modern game, and one that helped mold it into what it is today.