As the 38-year-old Wade explains, it had everything to do with defense. When Wade first got into the league, defenders would let him touch the ball around the three-point line. They were happy to let him take that shot.
But something changed as Wade proved himself in the NBA. During a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Wade noticed Kobe Bryant was guarding him differently. That’s when Wade realized he had Bryant’s respect.
Instead of allowing Wade to touch the ball around the three-point line, Bryant started to defend Wade down the entire court. While Wade never developed into an elite three-point shooter, he proved to be extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. Bryant wasn’t necessarily trying to prevent the three, he was trying to prevent Wade from touching the ball at all.
Many defenders tried that strategy against Wade over the years. It’s telling that the one he remembers most is Bryant. That moment clearly had an impact on Wade.
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