With Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade officially entering the Hall of Fame this weekend, Pat Riley has taken some time to reflect on the shooting guard’s iconic career.
Riley recently said Wade was the “greatest player on the planet” during the 2006 NBA Finals, and he isn’t stopping there. In Riley’s eyes, Wade was like Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan in some ways.
Pat Riley calls Wade "Jordan-like. He was a like a cat, he was like a cougar. We used to watch this on tape all the time, 'Look at how low he is to the ground….' That's Michael."
— Five Reasons Sports 🏀🏈⚾️🏒⚽️ (@5ReasonsSports) August 8, 2023
Any comparison linking a player to Jordan is sure to ruffle some feathers, but Wade is certainly deserving of being in the spotlight this week. As his Hall of Fame enshrinement has gotten closer, plenty of folks have had good things to say about him, including his former rival Dirk Nowitzki.
Wade won the Heat their first NBA title in franchise history in 2006 with an iconic showing in the championship series. Years later, he helped Miami earn its second and third championships when the organization’s iconic Big 3 went all the way in 2012 and 2013.
The 41-year-old finished his career as a 13-time All-Star and eight-time All-NBA honoree. He believes he’d still be playing today if not for injuries. Fans may never know for sure, but he certainly accomplished enough for a lifetime during his 16 NBA seasons.
Jordan, of course, owns one of the greatest resumes in NBA history. It includes six NBA titles and five MVP awards. His career never overlapped with Wade’s. Jordan’s last NBA season was the 2002-03 campaign, and Wade’s rookie year was the 2003-04 season.
Riley isn’t the first person to say that Wade had a little bit of Jordan in his game. The comparisons were there during Wade’s career, and they haven’t stopped since he retired.
Both players left major marks on the game during their respective eras of the NBA, and they’ve continued to do so (through the avenue of ownership) since hanging up their shoes.
Jordan recently agreed to sell his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets but will retain a minority stake. Wade, on the other hand, is now part of the ownership groups of both the NBA’s Utah Jazz and WNBA’s Chicago Sky.