Opinion: Goal should be to play for your country, not a paycheck

Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against the Utah Jazz during NBA action at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, November 9, 2010. (Charles Mostoller/Miami Herald/MCT)

Sean Blevins headshot

Dwyane Wade has indisputably had one of the best careers in NBA history. His loss is one that will reverberate both on and off the court, as he’s a walking legend who is undeniably a top-20 player of all time.

Wade was one of those rare, captivating players who was must watch TV for me. As a Cavs fan, it was an honor to witness Wade during his brief stint in the Wine & Gold. He was also lucky enough to make a short pit stop in his hometown of Chicago before heading back to Miami for his retirement tour. He has given us 16 marvelous seasons and a wonderful final year filled with countless memorable moments.

“The Flash” will go down as the third greatest shooting guard of all time, behind only Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. It might even be possible to make a case that Wade was better than Kobe, as he was far more efficient offensively and a slightly better defender. Wade has the most blocks ever by a guard, which is a record that probably won’t be broken for decades.

He won a scoring title in 2009, and is a three-time NBA champion with a Finals MVP to his name. One can only imagine how different his career would have been if his knees hadn’t given up on him. His career is still nothing short of amazing, but those knee injuries shortened his prime and probably cut his career short by a year or two.

The best and most defining moment of his career was easily winning the 2006 NBA Championship and Finals MVP in only his third season. My favorite Wade team was the 2012-13 Miami Heat that beat the Spurs to give Miami back-to-back Finals wins. Wade and LeBron were undoubtedly the deadliest and most exciting duo in my lifetime.

It’s a shame that they had to face such hard opponents in all four Finals they played in together, as without that they probably would have won the title every season they were together.

Not only was Wade one of the best to ever do it on the court, he was an even bigger star off the court, as he did so much for the people and community in Miami and beyond. He shined a bright light on social issues and gave a platform to people who didn’t have a voice. Wade is a generational talent we will never forget.

I just wish he would give us a few more seasons, I know he probably would have been able to, but he made the right decision in hanging it up. It’s better to retire a year too early than a year too late, surely Paul Pierce knows that now.

Thank you Dwyane for the infinite amount of joy that you brought to millions of people. I am excited to see what he does post-retirement; hopefully he gets a broadcasting gig with ESPN or TNT. I can’t wait until his son, Zaire Wade, continues his legacy by making it to the league.

Sean Blevins is a columnist. Contact him at sblevin4@kent.edu. 

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