3 Reasons Why Dwyane Wade Must Lead the Miami Heat
Many fans out there have undoubtedly deemed LeBron James the best player in the game today, but ironically he isn’t the one his teammates should look to in their time of need. This may change down the road, but as of now, if the Heat want to win the championship this year, Dwyane Wade must be their leader.
Wade’s impressive career speaks for itself, yet it has been overshadowed by the self-proclaimed King's chase for a ring since 2003. Nevertheless, Wade was unselfish enough to have both James and Chris Bosh join him in Miami, the city he has made his own. Does this mean he doesn’t want to be the man anymore in Dade County? Not at all. It means he wants some help.
The bottom line is this: It's time to stop this talk of “LeBron James and the Miami Heat.” Trying to decide who is the closer or the leader should be left up to the media. As far as inside the Heat organization, it has to be known that Dwyane Wade is leading the team into battle if the Heat want to come out victorious.
LeBron has two regular-season MVPs. LeBron is the best player in the game. LeBron is one of the most unique players this league has ever seen. Blah, blah, blah.
The bottom line: Dwyane Wade has a ring and a pretty NBA Finals trophy to match.
Wade has shown us time and time again that he is not afraid of the moment. Now, now, I’m not saying LeBron is, I’m just saying would you rather drive the car that has already been tested on be the dummy in the test car. As good as LeBron is, he has yet to accomplish the ultimate goal of winning it all, and until he does so, it’s only right that he remains Robin playing alongside Batman.
Even though the Heat made it to the Finals last year, Bosh and LeBron are still swimming in uncharted waters while Wade knows what it takes to be a champion. That alone cannot be underestimated.
As much as professional athletes try and act like the media backlash they oftentimes receive does not phase them, there’s no way it doesn’t. LeBron is human just like the rest of us, just a bigger, faster, stronger version. Believe it or not, he has emotions and his feelings too get hurt.
Let’s just think about it. This guy has been beloved since high school. High school. Drafted to his hometown state and basically worshiped and praised as a basketball god during his tenure in Cleveland. Then came "The Decision," and, well, he’s not exactly NBA fans' favorite person anymore.
That being said, Wade may receive some hate mail here and there, but he’s still seen as one of the good guys throughout the league. Any mistake LeBron makes is magnified times a billion it seems, while Wade can have a similar blunder the next game and still escape with his superhero cape.
Coming into the playoffs the Heat have got to let Wade be the face of the team. LeBron doesn’t need to be distracted by the pressure of what the media will say if he misses his next shot. It’s time for the Heat players, including LeBron, to jump on Wade’s back like his team did in '06.
This 2012 Miami team might be slightly more talented, but you can never go wrong when the ball and decision making are in Wade’s hands.
Wade's the Big Brother
We don’t speak a lot about age in the NBA. Instead, we use words like "veteran" or "experience." However, at the end of the day that just means somebody is old.
Wade, LeBron and Bosh may have all entered the league together, but Wade is the only one in his 30s. He’s been through the most out of all three players. Wade has a ring, but has also been through a 15-win season. He’s very seasoned (another word we use for "old").
It was Wade who brought the Big Three together, and it’s going to have to be Wade who takes the Heat to the top once again. With Wade leading and LeBron co-signing, that’s when the Heat are at their best. Wade leading doesn’t mean he’ll put up the best stats—he probably won’t, LeBron is known for his monster stat lines—but what it does mean is that when his team is in need of a stop on D or a game-winning bucket Wade's teammates will look at him and he will be there to answer.
Where’s there’s a Wade, there’s a ring. No more deferring leadership responsibility evenly amongst the Big Three. It’s time for Wade to step front and center into the spotlight, just like he did at America Airlines Arena in July 2011 when Miami Thrice was introduced.