A Farewell to the Flash


Jerry Humphrey III, theScore Lead Reporter

Before the Marquette Golden Eagles reached the 2003 Final Four, their starting shooting guard Dwyane Wade was just that, Dwyane Wade. After leading Marquette to victories over Holy Cross, Missouri, Pittsburgh, and top-seeded Kentucky, Wade then became the “Flash”.

The historic run gave him national recognition and a high draft profile and led to Wade being selected fifth overall by the Miami Heat, in the star-studded 2003 NBA Draft. To date, Wade is still Marquette’s highest overall selected player from that school.

In his first two seasons, Wade made his presence known in the league. He led the Heat to the playoffs his rookie year and earned an All-Star berth as well and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in his sophomore year.

In the 2005-2006 season, Wade had developed into one of the league’s most prominent players in the NBA. He was an Eastern Conference All-Star starter this time around, as he averaged 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.95 steals per game. He led the Heat all the way to their first NBA Finals appearance.

When the Heat infamously went down 0-2 in the series to the Dallas Mavericks, “Flash” took over and dominated the rest of the series scoring 42, 36, and 43 points in games three, four, and five.

The Heat went on to win Game 6 behind Wade’s 36 points, taking the series 4–2, and Wade was presented with the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy. He became the fifth youngest player in NBA history at the time to capture NBA Finals MVP honors and recorded the third highest scoring average by a player in his first NBA Finals with 34.7 points per game.

After battling knee and shoulder injuries from 2006-2008, Wade bounced back into the scene in the summer of 2008 by helping lead Team USA (commonly known as the ‘Redeem team’) to its first gold medal since the 2000 Olympics.

In the 2008-2009 season, Wade averaged a league-high 30.2 points per game, earning his first NBA Scoring Title and he finished third in the MVP race.

In the 2010 offseason, the Heat added two other all-stars from the 2003 draft class in former No.1 overall pick LeBron James and former No.4 overall pick Chris Bosh. Collectively,  they were dubbed as the ‘Big Three’.

In their four seasons together, they played in four consecutive finals from 2011-2014 and won the 2012 and 2013 NBA championships.

In 2016, Wade signed with his hometown Chicago Bulls after 13 years in South Beach. Wade spent one season there and then signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers after being bought out by the Bulls before the 2017-2018 season. Wade was traded to back to Miami at the trade deadline and he retired at the end of the 2018-2019 season.

As fans reflect on Wade’s career, many will argue that he is one of the best to ever play the game.

The reason many NBA fans refer to Dade County as “Wade County” isn’t just for his on court attributes, but his charitable efforts. Wade purchased a new home for a South Florida woman whose nephew accidentally burned down the family home on Christmas Eve in 2008 and donated money from his foundation to keep the Robbins, Illinois public library from having to shut down.

The Heat’s all-time leader in points, assists, steals, and games leaves the game as quick as he came in. With gas in the tank, the “Flash” is leaving on his own terms.