If you've turned on your television at any point over the past few days, there's a decent chance you've seen Dwyane Wade smiling and laughing right alongside a who's who of TV chat-show hosts. The Miami Heat star has been making the media rounds to promote his new book, "A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball," joining the esteemed panelists of "The View," rocking yellow and blue (Pacers colors!) on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and appearing on "CBS This Morning," "Fox and Friends," CNN and (probably) UHF.
On Wednesday, Wade's whirlwind TV tour took him to ABC's "Good Afternoon America" for a sit-down with hosts Josh Elliott and Lana Spencer, where the two-time NBA champion took part in a word association game called "What's the Word?," in which the hosts showed the guest a picture and he had to say the first thing that came to his mind. First up: The flip-up sunglasses that Wade wore to his postgame press conference after Game 4 of the 2012 NBA finals, which elicited a one-word reply: "Swag."
The second picture: Noted thespian and, apparently, young Wade role model David Hasselhoff.
"See, that's why I like wearing watches, because I think of him, I think about the watch, when he talked to it," Wade said, referencing the radio wristwatch that Hasselhoff's "Knight Rider" character, Michael Knight, used to talk to and control his artificially intelligent talking car, KITT. (Not sure if you've caught this yet, but Dwyane Wade really likes "Knight Rider.")
After reiterating the story he tells in "A Father First" about how watching "Knight Rider" was a big part of the time he spent with his grandmother and "away from the streets I grew up in and all the negative things that was going around," Spencer asked what Wade would say to Hasselhoff if he got the chance to meet him, apparently unaware that the two have actually interacted in the past. Just then, Hasselhoff and Wade met again through the magic of Skype, so that the 'Hoff could offer D-Wade a deal.
"Dude, if you send me a copy of your book, I'll send you a copy of my 'Knight Rider' license plate," Hasselhoff said.
"I need that," Wade replied, before ratcheting up his asking price: "Can I get the car?"
Through some Skype choppiness (bloggers everywhere feel you, "Good Afternoon America"), Hasselhoff said he appreciated Wade's love of "Knight Rider" and praised his efforts to be a positive role model for fathers.
"It makes me feel real humbled, because the theme of 'Knight Rider,' one thing was to make a difference, and Dwyane Wade is making a difference," Hasselhoff said. "He's going out there talking to the dads. I mean, I went through a lot of those same problems myself as a dad. It's a very honest book and he's an honest guy. It's hard to find that in show business and in sports."
Saying that the first time he met Hasselhoff, "he probably thought I was like a crazy stalker, because I was so excited," Wade talked about how Hasselhoff's portrayal of Michael Knight influenced him as a kid.
"It gave me a vision and a dream of what I wanted to do and what I wanted to become when I was a kid. So I appreciate that," Wade said. "I mean, everybody knows how impressionable we are to kids. We are role models and he's a role model of mine, so I thank him."
Again: David Hasselhoff is a role model of Dwyane Wade's, Michael Knight was Dwyane Wade's vision of what he wanted to do/be when he grew up, and 2012 is the type of place where these kinds of sentences are not only proven to be facts, but reinforced on national television using consumer-strength video conferencing solutions. I know the offseason sucks, but sometimes it's worth remembering that the weirdest things ever happen basically every day.
Along those lines, another important revelation from the book, as shared by Elliott: "You write, and I do quote, 'To this day, birds freak me out.'" Wade's response? "I've been attacked a few times."
"Like, seriously, if I'm walking outside and birds are flying around, they are coming for me," Wade said. "And everybody think I'm playing, but they come back for me. Like, they fly and go, 'Oh, there go Dwyane,' and they'll go [around]."
"Are you worried that some of your partners in the NBA [NOTE: It is way more fun if your brain translated this as "pot'nas," as mine did] are going to prank you now?" Spencer asked. "Like, you're going to open up your locker and ...?"
"No, that's not — that's not right," Wade replied. "That's cruel. They shouldn't do that."
No, they shouldn't. But keep on yelling at him all the time, Dwyane, and Mario Chalmers won't be responsible for what happens next. No self-respecting top-10 point guard would stand for such treatment.
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