Drawing comparisons between players of different eras and time periods seems to be a common interest of sports fans. Supporters of the NBA in particular, find themselves constantly surrounded by debates regarding the historical significance of players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
The question that I keep asking myself is, what about Dwyane Wade? Where does the man known as 'The Flash' rank in history? A recent article, highlighting a writer's opinion on the top 10 shooting guards in NBA History, compelled me to give my personal take on Wade's place in history.
When identifying the greatest shooting guards in NBA history, it's relatively easy to pick out Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Jerry West as arguably the top echelon. Who follows after them? George Gervin or Allen Iverson? Clyde Drexler or Pete Maravich? Don't forget Earl Monroe, Joe Dumars and Reggie Miller!
In my opinion Wade is already a top-10 shooting guard of all-time, and will likely retire with career achievements that place him in the top-five. His placement within that top half will ultimately be determined by how many more championships he wins, and other significant personal accolades like Regular Season MVP Awards and Scoring Titles.
At this point in his career Wade has already achieved a list of awards. He's been an NBA Champion (2006), NBA Finals MVP (2006), NBA Scoring Leader (2009) and NBA All-Star Game MVP (2010). He also won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Games, and is Miami's all-time leader in points and assists.
What about selections? Wade has been selected to the All-Star Team six times, All-NBA Team five times, and All-Defensive Team three times. Most players would be quite happy to end their careers with all these accolades, but Wade will add countless more before his career is over.
So how does Wade stack up against the all-time shooting guards? At this point in his career he is undoubtedly one of the top-10, anywhere in the seven-to-10 range.
If past success is a measure of how the remainder of his career will turn out, Wade could well sit in the top three-to-five when he finally hangs up his jersey.
Until then we'll have to sit back and enjoy his displays of greatness. My only request, in an era where Kobe Bryant sits on the throne of shooting guards, is that Wade's legacy not go unnoticed.