Former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade has just begun his first full month as a retiree, and it seems he’s already doing quite a bit of retrospection.
On a recent episode of the “Knuckleheads” podcast with former NBA stars Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Wade discussed which teammates influenced the three-time NBA champion most in his storied career.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the three players that came to Wade’s mind were Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, and LeBron James.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) May 3, 2019
First, Wade broke down how O’Neal helped Wade come out of his shell early in his career.
“The three individual players would be Shaq, Zo and LeBron,” Wade told Richardson and Miles. “From Shaq, I took the way the he was like, I was so quiet. I was an introvert. I didn’t talk much, I didn’t let me personality show. Shaq kind of opened me up, you know what I’m saying? When he give me the nickname ‘Flash,’ and he started opening me up so I started being more like, I started speaking for myself.
Wade then explained how Mourning stressed the importance of taking care of your body.
“Alonzo brought out the, ‘You got to take care of your body. You need a chef.’ At first I was young, I’m like, ‘I don’t need none of that,'” Wade said. “Once I started listening I was like, ‘Okay, if I make in investment of spending $500K on my body with all this stuff, it’s going to help me make millions of dollars later.”
Finally, he credited James with instilling a newfound work ethic.
“And then with ‘Bron, just being around him, I’ve never seen nobody work as hard as he did,” Wade admitted. “How he played in the games and how he practiced. I never was a good practice player. I ain’t even going to lie to you, I was terrible. If they gave us contracts out of being a practice player, I would have been the lowest paid person in the league.”
It’s pretty amazing to get some insight into the players that Wade learned the most from throughout his years in Miami.
Hopefully one day Wade’s former teammates will offer us some insight into what they learned from the surefire future Hall of Famer.