Memo to D-Wade: Shut Up and Play!

Jon ReinContributor IJuly 15, 2009

ATLANTA - MAY 03:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts late in the fourth quarter while taking on the Atlanta Hawks during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Philips Arena on May 3, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks defeated the Heat 91-78. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

I'll start this out by getting something out in the open:  Dwayne Wade is easily one of the top five most talented players in the NBA today.  There's no denying that his body of work with the Miami Heat is worthy of a maxed-out deal.  He's done a great deal for the city of Miami with the Dolphins in the Saban/Cameron era, the Marlins doing their routine 6-year rebuild & the Hurricanes in a state of mediocrity through shoddy recruiting.


That being said: Shut up and play.


By coming out and playing a game of "Chicken" with Pat Riley, Wade is basically feeding the media (and anyone else willing to listen) with an endless rumor mill of where his next destination will be, assuming he doesn't resign or sign an extension before the season begins.  If I had a dollar for every time I've heard a "Dwayne Wade will be a Chicago Bull by next season," I'd be able to give Wade the maxed-out deal out of my pocket!


If he really cared about making the Miami Heat a perennial championship contender, he wouldn't call out his teammates and question their talent.  Considering the fact that the Heat were working with two rookies (2nd overall selection Michael Beasley & 2nd rounder Mario Chalmers), a revolving door at Small Forward (Marion/Moon/James/Cook/Diawara), an undersized Power Forward (Haslem) and a very iffy Center situation (even with the addition of Jermaine O'Neal), the team achieved much more than anyone could have possibly imagined.  Add to that a new head coach in Erik Spolestra and it's damn near a miracle.


Your job as a player is to do the best to win with the teammates you're given.  While upgrading the team is definitely a must, let that be someone elses problem.  Namely, the guy who brought you & a championship team together in the first place.  You might know him; he's the guy you're currently playing chicken with.


Pat Riley has assembled a championship team in South Beach before and sure as heck can do it again.  He hasn't been afraid to pull the trigger on deals to "win now" (anyone remember the Butler/Odom/Grant/Draft Picks for a guy named Shaquille O'Neal?).  Granted the man has made some iffy trades that have led to sub-par results (Ricky Davis), but show me one GM or Director of Personnel who wouldn't take back a trade or draft pick and I'll show you a guy whose an analyst for ESPN and NOT currently employed by an NBA team (yes, that includes the Clippers & Bobcats).


If the man thinks there's not a deal to be had, then so be it!  Do you really think Carlos Boozer helps this team?  Allen Iverson?  While there's not doubting that both are talented in their own right, neither brings anything to the table as they either serve a purpose that's already been filled (undersized Power Forward) or would hinder the development of a current player (Chalmers).


So what should Wade do, you ask?  Simple: Play the game.


If you want to sign an extension, go right on ahead.  You want to let it ride this season and see what Riley can do?  That's fine, too.  What's not fine is trying to cause drama a-la LeBron James and give every person with a voice (including myself, a lowly blogger) ammunition to ponder ridiculous scenarios that aren't even there!  You've already started the damage control, but it's going to take a lot more to smooth things over with the fans in Miami.  The best way to do it is to do what you do best; play the game.