Dwyane Wade's been all kinds of busy in the weeks before Miami Heat training camp starts, traveling across the country making myriad public appearances (Hasselhoff-related and otherwise) to promote "A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball," the just-released book in which Wade discusses how the challenges he faced growing up in Chicago and on his rise to stardom have helped shape his philosophy on raising his own family. Wade's weeks-long media tour has included a number of book signings, including one held Saturday afternoon at famed Washington, D.C., bookstore Politics & Prose.
Several local news covered the event, including D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA-TV, whose anchor ... um ... editorialized, just a tad, following some general comments from Wade about why he wanted to share his experiences with readers.
"That is Dwyane Wade, the overrated NBA star, uh, who was in town for a book signing," the anchor whoopsed.
First off: We are not sure which anchor from the WJLA talent roster was in the big chair for the weekend broadcast — we'd love to know, if you do — but he probably regrets (to some degree) the hilariously blatant lapse in professionalism. You can tell by the laugh that immediately follows his "overrated" comment and that expert segment-closing gaffe-cover ("He aight") that he knew he'd goofed something fierce.
Second, and most obviously: C'mon, son.
The fact that Wade's no longer the best player on his own team doesn't mean that the reputation he's carved out — you know, the eight All-Star appearances, seven All-NBA selections, 2008-09 scoring title, two NBA championships and NBA Finals MVP award — is inflated. Plus, it's not like he turned into a pumpkin when he hit 30 this past January — guys who give you 24 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block per 36 minutes, plus good defense, capable offense initiation and routine big plays (which is what Wade produced last year en route to the league's third-best Player Efficiency Rating among dudes who played in more than three games; sorry, Kyrylo Fesenko) aren't exactly easy to come by. Every person's player rankings are subjective, but even in a clear second-fiddle role a season ago and All-NBA balloting aside, Dwyane Wade was probably the best shooting guard in the NBA. That seems like a difficult distinction to overrate.
That said, it's easy to understand why a D.C.-area broadcaster might have a bit of venom in his veins when the topic of Wade comes up. After all, since the Heat selected him fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft, Miami has gone 29-4 against the Wizards, including a four-game sweep in their lone postseason matchup following the 2004-05 season. (In the one game the Wiz won last year, which took place on the final day of the regular season, Wade played a whopping two minutes and 40 seconds.) We get it, dude; just tell us why you're mad, is all. And here's a pro tip from a man far wiser than I: Hate in your heart will consume you, too.
Reached for comment, Wade smiled wide and left for another title ring fitting. (Not really, but you get the point.)
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- Dwyane Wade