Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
This one's been brewing for a while, but it's time to make it official: Dwyane Wade is sick to death of doubters, and he's ready to take on the world.
Whether that's an inspiring story or merely the tale of a cranky player uncomfortable with his own decline doesn't really matter. The point is that Wade has adopted a defiant attitude this year that feels positively Jordan-esque.
Unlike Jordan, though, Wade hasn't had to create imaginary critics in an effort to motivate himself. His naysayers are very real.
First, there were the critics who piled on during the 2012-13 postseason as Wade struggled with knee injuries. Then Kevin Durant chimed in, saying he'd rate James Harden ahead of Wade as a shooting guard.
Miffed, D-Wade posted a note on his Instagram account that indicated he was ready to prove both pundits and peers wrong.
Full disclosure: It's hard to know whether the Wade-Durant feud is anything more than a publicity stunt. But, there's no getting around the fact that Wade is facing more doubters than ever, and he's not happy about being written off as an elite player.
In what could be the final season of the Big Three era in Miami, Wade is coming out swinging.