For the Miami Heat, the past few days have been an exercise in maintaining perspective. On Thursday, the Heat acquired All-NBA point guard Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns. About 20 minutes later—as Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick reported—the Heat learned that teammate Chris Bosh had checked into the hospital to be treated for blood clots on one of his lungs.
It was fitting, then, that on a night when basketball truly seemed secondary in Miami, Wade provided a peak at his special edition sneakers with a message way bigger than the game: "Black Lives Matter" is written across the heel of each shoe.
Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald tweeted that he had seen the shoes before providing an up-close look:
Dwyane Wade's "Black Lives Matter" Edition Li-Nings. pic.twitter.com/G3NoRS8Tfi— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) February 22, 2015
While there's no word on whether Wade plans to sport them during a game, at least one of his teammates, Mario Chalmers, has taken notice.
,@JoeGoodmanJr Mario Chalmers was so inspired by the basketball shoes that he made Wade sign a pair for him that will go in a glass case.— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) February 22, 2015
Even in a frustrating season for the Heat, who are 23-31 and have lost five of their last seven contests, Wade—an 11-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion—continues to use his platform to call attention to social issues.
In December, he offered support to fellow NBA players donning "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts, including former teammate LeBron James and the Bulls' Derrick Rose. Wade told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel:
"Each and every one of us, we all have things that we feel strongly, want, things that we want to support. And I think one thing about sports, is in the past, it wasn't necessarily the popular thing to support political endeavors or to get into things so public and controversial. I was proud to see Derrick Rose and all those guys let their voices be heard by the shirts that they wore in the games. It was great.
"I think we all pick and choose the things we feel strongly, depending on how it affects us in our own personal life. So it was great. I think as a community, as a black community, a lot of things that have been going on have been hitting us in different ways. So it is great to have that support, the NBA, as a brotherhood, to take a stand and make that step."
He was very vocal a few years ago in the wake of Trayvon Martin's death as well. In March of 2012, Wade wrote a message on his shoes and tweeted a picture of himself wearing a hoodie with the caption: "#hoodies #stereotype #trayvonmartin".
One day later, James tweeted a team photo of 13 Heat players wearing hoodies in solidarity.
And in 2013, Wade posed with his two sons on the cover of Ebony with the tagline, "We Are Trayvon."
As for these latest "Black Lives Matter" kicks, Wade has not yet spoken about them, though Goodman notes they're courtesy of his Li-Ning brand, which has produced his shoes since he abandoned Jordan in 2012.
"It's way bigger than basketball," reads the description on Wade's Instagram page. Once again, he is proving to live by that mantra.