Dwyane Wade spent four years playing alongside LeBron James as teammates on the Miami Heat, leading the franchise to four consecutive Finals appearances and two titles. But when asked Wednesday which moment has defined LeBron’s career, Wade pointed to James’ heroics in last year’s Finals as the leader of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“That was special,” Wade said on Wednesday, via ESPN, before the Bulls’ 106-94 win over the Cavs. “That was incredible. We’ve seen a lot, we haven’t seen, obviously, teams come back from [being down] 3-1 in playoffs that much but especially in the Finals. And not having home-court advantage, that was really special what those guys were able to do, obviously led by Bron. I think for his career, that moment right there really put him where he probably wanted to be. Where everybody thought he was going to be one day when he was deemed as ‘The Chosen One.’ It was a defining moment for his career forever. So it was special.”
Tough to argue with Wade. James became the first player in NBA Finals history to lead both teams in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. He also derailed the Golden State Warriors’ chase for a second consecutive title to cap their record-setting regular season, helping the Cavs become the first team in Finals history to erase a 3-1 deficit.
Though they’re not longer teammates, Wade appreciates how far the two superstars have come and how their friendship has grown over the years.
“It just evolved 14 years ago as rookies and [we] just developed a brotherhood,” Wade said of his relationship with James. “But when it comes to sacrificing, you sacrifice for the greater good of the reason we play a team sport. Once you’re young and you get all the recognition and you get paid — you want to win championships. And I think I sacrificed to win championships. I don’t look at that as a sacrifice when it comes to minutes, numbers. publicity, all that, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, the goal was to win championships, and we were able to win two together and play in four [Finals]. That’s what you play the game for, and I’m happy about that.”