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Forget LeBron James, Why is No One Talking About Dwyane Wade?

Baruch LandaContributor IMay 30, 2010

BOSTON - APRIL 20:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat does a pull up on the basket before the game against the Boston Celtics during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at the TD Garden on April 20, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  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 Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

It was the summer I'll never forget. In 2003 a star was born. The NBA was still going through drastic changes and so a star was needed. Fortunately for the NBA, many stars entered that year's draft. However, it was only one that the media singled out to be the next biggest thing, the next prodigy child, the next MJ—LeBron James.

Dubbed "The Chosen One" or "The King," some could make the argument that LeBron James has lived up to the hype. There is almost always one particular moment in every game that he plays in that leaves you speechless with your hands folded on the back of your head, in disbelief.

The problem with the 21st century is that the media has evolved for the worse. Too much emphasis is tossed around too easily and they tend to over-exaggerate everything. LBJ received these nicknames even before coming into the league; before accomplishing anything. There are many highlights of him in high school—years before he entered the NBA Draft.

While they were spectacular athletic maneuvers, there was another young star who was completely forgotten about who also filled up the stat sheet, the highlight reel, and took a college with no one on his team to the NCAA Final Four.

Dwayne Wade entered the 2003 Draft along with some other big names (LBJ, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, etc.). The comparisons from these overly-giddy media outlets, including ESPN, were being made mainly between LBJ and C. Anthony.

While Wade had significant accomplishments himself, he still went practically unnoticed. Seven years, ridiculous stats, and one NBA championship later, he is still going somewhat unnoticed in the biggest free agent summer in the history of the NBA. Why is no one talking about Wade?

We can start by analyzing the statistics of these three players: LBJ, DW, and CA (most probably the top three guys out of the 2003 Draft).

LBJ Career: 47.5 percent shooting, 74.2 percent FT, 1.7 STL, 0.9 BLK, 3.3 TO, 7.1 REB, 7.0 AST, 27.8 PTS
D. Wade Career: 48.2 percent shooting, 77 percent FT, 1.8 STL, 1.0 BLK, 3.7 TO, 4.9 REB, 6.6 AST, 25.4 PTS
C. Anthony Career: 45.9 percent shooting, 80.1 percent FT, 1.1 STL, 0.4 BLK, 3.1 TO, 6.2 REB, 3.1 AST, 24.7 PTS

D. Wade's numbers are essentially identical to that of LBJ's. However, here's the difference: Wade had his best statistical year during his championship run in 2005-06 at almost 50 percent shooting. This runs parallel to James, who shot a bit over 50 percent this year while his Cavs were the heavy favorites to win the title.

The other statistics between them are identical as well (REB, AST, STL, etc.). The sole differentiating factor is that Wade capitalized on his improved team while LBJ squandered his chances two years in a row (let's not forget they were the favorites to win last year as well).

LBJ had his best two teams in the past two years and did not capitalize on it. The bottom line is that if you surround D. Wade with a good supporting cast he will will his way to a title, whereas LBJ (disappointingly) hasn't shown this. Where is the "killer instinct" gene in LBJ that resides in D. Wade?

Which brings me to my next point: at 6'4", 220 lbs how is it that D. Wade's stats are similar to that of LBJ's, whose physical build (6'8, 275 lbs) is far superior than Wade's? Wade is, simply put, a beast—for his size .

It's unfathomable to think that Wade averages as many blocks as LeBron, yet it's true. LeBron had his best year so far and while his shooting percentage was outstanding, his rebounding should have been far better. With a body and a vertical leap like that, not to mention his speed, he should have averaged more rebounds (and blocks). There were not too many opponents (SF's) who had a height advantage, leap ability, or quickness on him.

Take, for example, Wilt Chamberlain back in the day. He had a whopping half a foot on almost everyone in the league at his time. His strength/physicality was far superior to the other league players...and he capitalized on it.

The point is this: Wade knows how to capitalize and this should not be overlooked by teams looking to sign a premier free agent. He is hands down one of the most complete players in the NBA today. However, due to all of the LeBron James hype, Wade yet again lurks in the shadows. One thing is for sure: it will be the summer that Dwayne Wade never forgets.

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