In addition to being in town for the NBA All-Star game on Sunday, where he will be making his seventh consecutive start for the Eastern Conference, Wade also spent part of his time giving back to the City of Orlando.
Dwyane hosted a luncheon today to raise money to support the Tangelo Park Program, which is a community-based educational initiative to benefit children and families living in the Tangelo Park neighborhood in Orlando.
I talked to Wade about what was special to him about the Tangelo Park Program, his favorite All-Star moments, who he is looking forward to guarding the most from the Western Conference All-Star Team, and the Miami Heat’s game with the New York Knicks this past Saturday.
Why do you care so much about this particular program (Tangelo Park)?
“You try to find a community that speaks to you,” said Wade.
“Understanding there was a need here. Being around those kids yesterday you could see it and sense it and feel they are awesome and all they is need continued support, so they can continue to reach their goals in life.”
Tomorrow you will be making your eighth consecutive All-Star Game appearance, the last seven of which have been as a starter for the Eastern Conference. Do you have any favorite moments from your past All-Star appearances?
“My first one will always standout, the first time getting voted in by the coaches to the All-star game is always special,“ said the former NBA Finals MVP.
Wade also mentioned the 2010 game in Dallas, in which he was named MVP.
“Also winning the MVP in Dallas that was special, being in front of hundreds of thousands of fans the first time, the largest number to ever watch an NBA game. So that was great.”
Is there one particular Western Conference All-Star you are looking forward to guarding during Sunday’s game?
“Nah, just enjoying all 24 All-Stars. Being an All-Star with all of those guys is an unbelievable accomplishment,” said Wade.
Wade also added: “If someone had told me when I was young I would be one of the best players in the world one day I would have looked at them like they were crazy. So to be amongst the greatest in the NBA from both the East and West is an honor.”
A lot of people said the Heat/Knicks game this past Thursday had a playoff type atmosphere. How did that Knicks game compare in atmosphere to the rest of your games this season?
“Most of the Heat/Knicks games goes back to the thick of the rivalry, the Pat Riley days, the Jeff Van Gundy Days, the Zo (Alonzo Mourning) and the Larry Johnson days and so forth,” said Wade.
“It’s always that way, obviously with the Knicks getting better. Their team being good and having marquee names, just like our team having marquee names, it’s there. For the media, for everyone to want to get a piece of it.”
“It was a great game, we enjoyed and it was a playoff atmosphere.”
Don't forget to catch D-Wade and the rest of the 2012 NBA All-Stars tomorrow night at 7:30 P.M. ET on TNT.