LeBron James Emulates Dwyane Wade’s Famous Pregame Ritual

2 Min Read

LeBron James began the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2019-20 season home opener with what appeared to be a nod to his recently retired buddy, Dwyane Wade.

Prior to tipoff of the Lakers-Utah Jazz game on Friday night, James hung onto the rim and pulled himself up a couple of times, imitating the well-known pregame ritual by Wade.

Most likely, this is a mini tribute by James to his friend, who retired at the end of the 2018-19 season. This is the first time that James is playing an NBA season without Wade as an opposing player or a teammate.

The two played together with the Miami Heat for four years (2010 to 2014), capturing the title in 2012 and 2013. They also teamed up on the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers squad until Wade was dealt to Miami at the trade deadline.

In his 16th and final season, Wade received tributes around the league and players exchanged jerseys with him as a sign of respect for one of the greatest players in league history.

Though he remained competitive, Wade’s performances over the last two seasons did not live up to the standard he established during his prime. Even so, the three-time NBA champion delivered moments of brilliance on the court, including an improbable game-winning 3-pointer against the defending champion Golden State Warriors in late February.

On the other hand, James, who’s playing his 17th season in the league, continues to stave off Father Time as he continues to be among the top players in the game. At 34 years of age, the 15-time All-Star may have a year or two more in his prime before there is a steep decline in his performance.

Share This Article
Omar is a freelance writer who has followed the NBA for more than 30 years. Prior to the Internet, he devoured every reading material he could find on the game from newspaper articles to books and magazines. He became a Heat fan the moment they acquired Tim Hardaway and his killer crossover, and lamented not seeing him and Alonzo Mourning win a championship. Seeing Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh play in Miami was a surreal moment for him and more so after they validated the Decision with back-to-back championships. He is ecstatic to cover Miami basketball for Heat Nation.