- Report: Tyler Herro to miss Miami Heat’s next 3 games with latest injury
- Injury report released for Miami Heat’s Friday night game vs. Toronto Raptors
- Report: Miami Heat to use dogs to screen for COVID-19 as they begin welcoming fans back into arena
- Erik Spoelstra insinuates NBA forcing Miami Heat to play short-handed may have worsened Tyler Herro’s injury
- Andre Iguodala claims Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro have work ethics ‘just like’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson
- Kendrick Nunn discloses why he still thinks he deserved Rookie of the Year over Ja Morant
- Report: Miami Heat ‘really want’ Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal
- Dwyane Wade celebrates Kamala Harris making history as first female vice president
- Katya Elise Henry shares adorable pictures to celebrate Tyler Herro’s birthday
- Report: Multiple players remain out for Miami Heat’s Wednesday game vs. Toronto Raptors
Dwyane Wade Reveals Which Former Teammate Had Biggest Impact on His Career
- Updated: April 10, 2019
Yet Wade points to one former teammate as having had the biggest impact on his own career, Shaquille O’Neal.
O’Neal was dealt from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Heat in July 2004, following Wade’s rookie season. His acquisition was part of a continuing effort by team president Pat Riley to build a championship-caliber squad, which eventually became a reality when the Heat won the 2006 NBA title.
Wade had been the fifth overall pick in the 2003 draft and was named the 2003-04 NBA All-Rookie Team. His statistical averages as a rookie of 16.2 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game were notable, but O’Neal’s arrival led to a healthy increase in those departments.
During O’Neal’s first year in a Heat uniform, Wade averaged 24.1 points, 6.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds and would maintain similar numbers for most of the next decade. However, Wade truly entered the superstar stratosphere during the 2006 NBA Finals, when he led the franchise to their first-ever title.
In that series, the Heat battled back after losing the first two contests, with Wade leading the charge. He began the comeback with a double-double of 42 points and 13 rebounds in Game 3, then capped it with another double-double in Game 6 of 36 points and 10 boards.
O’Neal would be traded to Phoenix less than two years later, but his past success and leadership capabilities had rubbed off on Wade by that point. In 2010, Wade helped in persuading free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join the Heat.
Over the ensuing four seasons, the Heat reached the Finals every year and captured league titles in 2012 and 2013. Wade’s abilities and leadership were central components in the team’s success during that memorable span.