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Wade with the Heat in 2011
|Born||January 17, 1982|
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school||Harold L. Richards (Oak Lawn, Illinois)|
|NBA draft||2003 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall|
|Selected by the Miami Heat|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||23,165 (22.0 ppg)|
|Rebounds||4,933 (4.7 rpg)|
|Assists||5,701 (5.4 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. ( dwayn; born January 17, 1982) is an American former professional basketball player. Wade spent the majority of his 16-year career playing for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful college basketball career with the Marquette Golden Eagles, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Heat. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team, commonly known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring and helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008-09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade finished his playing career with Miami in 2018. A 13-time NBA All-Star, Wade is Miami's all-time leader in points, games, assists, steals, shots made and shots taken.
Wade was born the second of two children to JoLinda and Dwayne Wade Sr. in Chicago, Illinois, on January 17, 1982. A spelling mistake on his birth certificate eventually appealed to his parents, who kept his name as "Dwyane." JoLinda had already had two children when she married Wade's father, and had Dwyane and his older sister, Tragil with him. The pair separated when Wade was four months old. Wade described his early childhood in the South Side of Chicago as trying.
When his parents divorced, JoLinda was given custody of the two children. At eight years old Tragil, tricked her brother into thinking they were going to the movies, only to leave him to live with his father and stepmother. Wade visited his mother on occasion until his father moved the family to Robbins, Illinois, after which Wade would not see her for two years.
Wade turned to basketball and football. avoiding the temptations of drugs and gangs. Wade credited Tragil as the person most responsible for pointing him in the right direction. Wade grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and modeled his game after him. On October 14, 2001, as Wade's basketball career blossomed, JoLinda vowed to turn her life around. She says that she has not used drugs since 2003.
Wade played basketball and football for Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn. He immediately excelled as a wide receiver but success in basketball took longer. He grew four inches by the start of his junior year and emerged as the team leader, averaging 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Wade's improvement continued into his senior year, when he averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds. He led the Bulldogs to a 24-5 record and to a Class AA Eisenhower Sectional appearance. Wade set school records for points scored (676) and steals made (106). He credited coach Jack Fitzgerald as a seminal and positive influence. Wade was recruited to play basketball only by Marquette, Illinois State, and DePaul, due to academic issues.
Wade committed to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to play under coach Tom Crean. In his freshman year, Wade was sidelined by NCAA Proposition 48, which set academic eligibility requirements for participation in Division I sports. Effort and tutoring sufficiently raised his academic standing so that he became eligible by the start of his sophomore year.
Wade led the Marquette Golden Eagles in scoring with 17.8 points (ppg) and led Conference USA in both steals per game with 2.47 and 2-point field goals made with 205; he averaged 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Marquette finished with a 26-7 record, their best since the 1993-94 season.
Wade again led the school in scoring with 21.5 points and the Golden Eagles finished with a 27-6 record. Three days after JoLinda was released from prison, she saw Wade play basketball for the first time in five years as Marquette upset the Cincinnati Bearcats, 70-61, to capture the Conference USA title on March 8, 2003. He helped bring the Golden Eagles to the Final Four for the first time since their 1977 national championship season. Wade was subsequently named to the All-America First Team by the Associated Press (AP), making him the first basketball player from Marquette to receive the distinction since 1978.
Wade's performance during the Midwest Regional final drew national attention. Against a top-seeded Kentucky team, he delivered 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, including a memorable breakaway dunk, as Marquette upsetthe Wildcats, 83-69, and advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1977. Wade's triple double was the fourth ever recorded in NCAA tournament history. The Golden Eagles finished their season as No.6 in the AP Poll, Marquette's highest ranking since 1976-77. Wade was named the MVP of the Midwest Regional. His performance during earned him a high NBA draft projection. As a result, Wade skipped his senior year to enter the 2003 NBA draft.
Marquette retired his jersey on February 3, 2007. It ordinarily requires student-athletes to have graduated for jersey retirement, but made an exception for Wade.
Selected fifth in the 2003 NBA draft by the Miami Heat, Wade became the highest ranked of only four Marquette first round draft picks. Wade quickly emerged as a productive player, averaging 16.2 points on 46.5% shooting as well as 4 rebounds and 4.5 assists. After a 5-15 start, the Heat gradually improved to finish 42-40 and qualify for the playoffs. Wade served up outstanding postseason performances, particularly against the Indiana Pacers during the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Wade earned a unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie Team and finished third in rookie of the year voting (after LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony). He placed among the top five rookies in several statistical categories, including second in field goal percentage, second in steals, third in scoring, fourth in assists, and fourth in minutes played.
In the first playoff game, Wade hit a running jumper with 1.3 seconds left in the final quarter to give the Heat an 81-79 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Winning that series 4-3, the Heat faced the Indiana Pacers, who were the top-seeded team with the best record in the NBA. The Heat lost the series 4-2. Wade became only the fourth rookie in the shot clock era to lead his team points and assists during the postseason.
The Heat traded with the Los Angeles Lakers for center Shaquille O'Neal. Improving on their previous season's 42-40 record by 17 games, Miami went 59-23, leading the Eastern Conference. Wade earned a reserve slot in the season's All-Star Game; adding 14 points in 24 minutes of play.
In the first round of the 2005 playoffs, Wade averaged 26.3 points, 8.8 assists, and 6 rebounds a night while maintaining a 50% field-goal percentage as the Heat swept the New Jersey Nets. In the second round he averaged 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists per game as the Heat swept the Washington Wizards. The Heat lost the Eastern Conference Finals 4-3 to the Detroit Pistons, the previous season's champions. Wade scored 42 points in Game Two and 36 in Game Three despite playing with sinusitis, the flu, and a knee strain. He suffered a strained rib muscle in Game Five that prevented him from playing in the sixth game and limited him in the seventh.
In the 2005-06 season, Wade was elected to the All-Star Game as a starter. During 30 minutes of play, he put up 20 points on 9-of-11 field goals. Wade finished the regular season averaging 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.95 steals.
In the first round of the 2006 playoffs, Miami played the Chicago Bulls. Wade incurred several injuries, including a severely bruised hip during Game Five. He scored 15 of his 28 points while suffering intense pain, to give the Heat a 3-2 series lead. Wade led Miami past the Detroit Pistons despite experiencing flu-like symptoms in Game Six. In the series-clinching contest he landed 14 points and 10 assists.
During the 2006 NBA Finals, Miami faced the Dallas Mavericks. Wade's 42, 36, and 43 points in Games Three, Four, and Five, respectively, helped the Heat go from a 0-2 deficit to a 3-2 series lead. In Game Three, Wade's 42 points tied his playoff-high and his 13 rebounds were a career-high. The Heat took Game Six behind Wade's 36 points, taking the series 4-2, earning Wade the Finals MVP trophy. He became the fifth-youngest player in NBA history to capture the Finals MVP award, and his 34.7 points were the Finals' third-highest among players in their first NBA Finals. His 33.8 player efficiency rating (PER) over the NBA finals was ranked by John Hollinger of ESPN as the best since the NBA-ABA merger.
In the 2006-07 season, Wade missed 31 games due to injury; even so, he was elected to his third consecutive All-Star Game and received All-NBA honors. He became the first guard to earn All-NBA honors after missing 31 or more games since Pete Maravich. The Heat struggled with injuries in general and were 20-25 on February 1, 2007. Playing the Houston Rockets on February 21, 2007, Wade dislocated his left shoulder and left the court in a wheelchair. Wade chose to delay surgery and instead rehabilitate his shoulder in time for the postseason. After missing 23 games, Wade returned to the active roster. Sporting a black shoulder sleeve, Wade played 27 minutes and notched 12 points and 8 assists in the 111-103 overtime loss. For the season, Wade averaged 27.4 points, 7.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals, while shooting 50% from the field; further, he finished the season as the NBA PER leader.
During the 2007 playoffs, Wade averaged 23.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per contest, but were swept in the first round by the Chicago Bulls. Post-playoffs, Wade underwent a pair of surgeries to repair his dislocated left shoulder and left knee, both of which proved successful. However the knee ailment, commonly called "jumper's knee", prevented Wade from joining USA Basketball in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament over that summer.
After missing the Tournament of Americas' Olympic Qualifiers as well as the preseason and the first seven games, Wade began the 2007-08 season on November 14, 2007. Despite battling pain in his injured knee throughout the season, Wade was elected to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game appearance. However, the Heat held the worst record in the NBA. Wade's knee problems led Riley sit Wade for the final 21 games to undergo long overdue OssaTron treatment. Wade averaged 24.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
After months of rehab, he helped the U.S. National Team win gold at the 2008 Olympics, leading the team in scoring. Wade returned to the starting lineup to begin the 2008-09 campaign. Early that season, Wade became the second player in NBA history to post at least 40 points, 10 assists and 5 blocks in one game since Alvan Adams in 1976-77. Wade was elected to his fifth consecutive All-Star Game.
After the All-Star break, Wade recorded 50 points on 56.6% shooting along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists during a blow-out loss to the Orlando Magic; making him the fourth in NBA history to score at least 50 points in a game that his team lost by at least 20. In the very next contest, Wade recorded a career-high 16 assists and added 31 points and 7 rebounds. Wade became the second player to record 15 or more assists after scoring 50-plus points since Wilt Chamberlain. Two games later, Wade tied a franchise record, scoring 24 points in the final quarter to secure a 120-115 win over the New York Knicks. For the game, Wade recorded 46 points on 55% field goal shooting, plus 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots. In the next game he banked 40-points versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wade put up 41 points on 53% shooting along with 9 assists, 7 steals, 7 rebounds and a block in the 107-100 loss. The following game, Wade tied his career-high with 16 assists and added 35 points on 62% shooting, 6 rebounds, plus a steal and a block, as the Heat beat the Phoenix Suns 135-129. Wade became the only player in Heat history to have multiple games with 30-plus points and 15 or more assists. Less than a week later, Wade hit the buzzer beater and tied his earlier franchise-record with his 78th straight double digit scoring game in double-overtime against the Chicago Bulls. Wade finished the game with 48 points on 71.4% shooting, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks in 50 minutes of play. Wade joined Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to record that many points and that many assists in a single game while having as high of a field goal percentage. Two games later, Wade surpassed Alonzo Mourning to become the Heat's all-time leading scorer in triple overtime versus the Utah Jazz. Wade finished that 140-129 victory with 50 points to go along with his 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks.
Wade became the only player to reach 2,000 points, 500 assists, 150 steals, and 100 blocks as well as the only player under 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) to block upwards of 100 shots in a single season. He became the fifth player to accumulate 2,000 points, 500 assists, and 150 steals in a season. Wade helped the Heat clinch a playoff berth and become only the second team to make the postseason after winning 15 or fewer games the season before. In a 122-105 victory over the New York Knicks, Wade recorded a career-high 55 points on 63% field goal shooting and added 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Wade recorded 50 points in only three quarters and was pulled out of the game, one point shy of eclipsing Glen Rice's 56-point franchise record. Wade averaged a league-leading 30.2 points for his first NBA scoring title. He added 7.5 assists, 5 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks. Wade wrapped up the season with higher point, assist, steal, and block averages than James and Kobe Bryant, both of whom finished ahead of Wade in the MVP race.
On November 1, in what was only his third game of the 2009-10 season, Wade recorded his 10,000th career point during a 95-87 win against the Chicago Bulls. On November 12, Wade made a spectacular dunk over Cavalier Anderson Varejão. James regarded the dunk as "great, probably top 10 all-time". Two days later against the New Jersey Nets, Wade hit another buzzer beater for a one point win at 81-80. On January 6, Wade scored a season-high 44 points during an overtime loss to the Boston Celtics, the most in a losing effort that season. Wade appeared in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Wade was named the game's MVP with 28 points, 11 assists, 5 steals and 6 rebounds.
On February 17, Wade strained his calf. He left the game, ending his personal and the Heat's franchise-record streak of 148 consecutive games with at least 10 points. Wade was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for the fifth time and Player of the Week twice for his play in the month of March. He averaged 26.9 and 7.5 assists, both of which ranked third in the Eastern Conference, and 2.3 steals per game, which ranked first. Wade recorded six 30-point games and had six double-doubles in the month, including a season-high 14 assists.
For the season, Wade averaged 26.6 points on 47.6% field goal shooting to go with 6.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks; doing so, he led his team to a 47-35 record and the fifth playoff seed. In the first round, down 0-3 against the Boston Celtics, Wade recorded a career playoff and franchise-record with 46 points; he outscored the entire Celtics team in the fourth quarter. It was Wade's sixth career playoff game with at least 40 points. Despite his averaging 33.2 points on 56.4% shooting, 6.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.6 blocks per contest, the Heat fell to Boston in five games.
During the off-season, the Miami-Dade County commission renamed the area "Miami-Wade County" from July 1 to 7, a week that coincided with the start of free agency, intended to help convince Wade to stay with the Heat. On July 7, it was announced that Wade would sign with Miami, along with Toronto Raptor star Chris Bosh. The following day, LeBron James announced he would join the Heat.
In the first year of the Big 3 Era, the Heat finished with a 58-24 record and earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Wade averaged 25.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 50%. After defeating the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls, the Heat reached the NBA Finals but ultimately fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Wade averaged 26.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists for the Finals and 24.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists for the playoffs.
On February 26, 2012, Wade recorded the third triple-double in the history of the All-Star Game, posting 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, joining Jordan and James. On March 10, 2012, Wade made the game-winning shot against the Indiana Pacers, giving the Heat a 93-91 overtime win. Wade finished the season averaging 22.1 points, 4.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. The Heat defeated the New York Knicks in 5 games and the Indiana Pacers in six games. In Game Six of the second round, Wade recorded 41 points and 10 rebounds. The Heat prevailed in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. Wade averaged 22.6 points. The Heat became the first team in NBA history to win a championship after trailing in three playoff series.
Before the start of the 2012-13 season, Wade underwent left knee surgery, missing the 2012 Summer Olympics. On December 26, 2012, playing the Charlotte Bobcats, Wade kicked guard Ramon Sessions in the groin. The following day, Wade was suspended by the NBA for one game. Wade finished the 2012-2013 season with averages of 21.2 points, 5 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
In the playoffs, injuries limited Wade to a career-low scoring average of 15.9 points per game, but he upped his average to 19.6 points during the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. After the teams split the first two games in Miami, the Spurs took Game Three. In Game Four, Wade scored 32 points on 56 percent shooting to go with 6 steals as the Heat won 109-93. The Spurs took Game Five despite Wade's 25 points and 10 assists. Wade scored 14 points in Miami's overtime win in Game Six, followed by 23 points and 10 rebounds in Game Seven as the Heat clinched their second straight championship and Wade's third title.
In the 2013-14 season, Wade missed 28 games from injuries and the team's decision to rest him during "back-to-back" games. Wade averaged 19 points and posted a career-high 54% field goal percentage. In the playoffs, the team increased Wade's minutes, highlighted by a 28-point performance in Miami's second-round victory over the Brooklyn Nets and a 23-point outing in a road victory against Indiana in the Eastern Finals. The Heat won the series in six games, advancing to their fourth straight NBA Finals. Wade averaged 19.1 points on 52 percent shooting, his best playoff percentage since 2010. The Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals in five games.
On June 28, 2014, Wade and teammates James and Bosh all opted out of their contracts in order to cut costs, but intended to re-sign. James then announced that he was returning to Cleveland. Wade re-signed with the Heat, joined by Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen and Mario Chalmers as well as former rivals Danny Granger and Luol Deng.
In the 2014-15 season, Wade missed seven consecutive games due to a hamstring injury. On December 17, Wade droppeda season-high 42 points, losing 105-87 to the Utah Jazz. He was again named an All-Star but pulled out due to another hamstring injury. The Heat finished the season with a 37-45 record, as Wade missed the postseason for just the second time.
On June 29, 2015, Wade opted out of his contract, but then signed a one-year, $20 million contract. Wade hit just seven 3-point shots during the 2015-16 regular season. However, the 2016 postseason saw Wade convert on his first seven three-point shot attempts. Wade had never before made more than five three-pointers in a row.
In July 2016, Wade joined his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, on a two-year deal worth approximately $47 million. Initially, the Heat offered a two-year, $20 million contract, before increasing it to a two-year, $40 million offer, both of which Wade felt were unacceptable. The relationship ended badly with Wade and the Heat squabbling.
Wade teamed with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo in Chicago. In January 2017, the trio were all fined for criticizing their young teammates' effort. In March 2017, Wade sustained a fractured elbow, returning for the playoffs, but the Bulls were defeated 4-2 by the Boston Celtics in the first round.
On September 24, 2017, three months after trading Butler and waiving Rondo, the Bulls reached an agreement on a buyout with Wade. Three days later, Wade signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wade's relationship with James faltered, with Wade objecting to coach Tyronn Lue's plan to play him off the bench. Wade started for the Cavaliers in the first three games, but shot only 7-for-25. After a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic in the third game, Wade volunteered to take a bench role, becoming leader of the second unit.
On February 8, 2018, at the NBA trade deadline, the Cavaliers overhauled their roster. Acquiring guards Jordan Clarkson, George Hill, Rodney Hood and Cedi Osman, the Cavaliers traded Wade back to the Miami Heat in exchange for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick. At the funeral of Wade's long-time agent Henry Thomas in January, Wade mended relations with Riley. On February 9, in his first game, Wade was garnered a standing ovation and came off the bench in a 91-85 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. On February 27, Wade scored a season-high 27 points as the Heat rallied to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 102-101. On April 3, in a 101-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks, Wade reached 5,000 assists in a Heat uniform, becoming the ninth player to score 20,000 points and collect 5,000 assists with one team, joining Karl Malone, Bryant, Jordan, James, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. On April 16, Wade scored 28 points to end the 76ers' 17-game winning streak and lead the Heat to a 113-103 Game Two win over Philadelphia and even the first-round playoff series. He passed Larry Bird for 10th on the NBA's career postseason scoring list.
In the off-season, Wade announced his intentions to retire after the 2018-19 season, re-signing with the Heat on September 18. He missed seven games in mid-November due to the birth of his daughter. On November 25, Wade scored a season-high 35 points, the most ever by a Miami bench player. On December 9, he scored 25 points in his 1,000th career game. On January 6, 2019, Wade became the third player in NBA history to record at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks and 500 three-pointers. Wade was named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as a special roster addition for the 2019 All-Star game, thus marking his 13th All-Star appearance. Wade had received the second-most fan votes for guards in the Eastern Conference. On April 9, Wade played his last home game in Miami, scoring 30 points. In his final game the following night, Wade recorded his fifth career triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
On January 7, 2020, the Heat announced that Wade's No. 3 jersey would be retired on February 22.
Wade was a member of the 2004 U.S. national team. The team competed in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, in which Wade averaged 19.3 points per game. The U.S. national team won a bronze medal. Wade was named to the national team roster from 2006 to 2008; and, together with James and Anthony, Wade co-captained the 2006 team.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, the United States went undefeated and captured gold medal honors after beating Spain, the 2006 World champions. Wade, who led the team in scoring, tallied a game-high 27 points in 27 minutes on 75% field goal shooting and added 4 steals, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds. Wade averaged a team-high 16 points in 18 minutes on 67% field goal shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2.3 steals, as the U.S. lived up to their Redeem Team moniker and claimed gold medal honors for the first time since 2000.
Listed at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall and weighing 220 pounds (100 kg), Wade was a shooting guard who could play point as he did during his rookie season and with smaller lineups. On offense, he was one of the quickest and most difficult players to guard, as well as one of the best slashers in NBA history. Wade's signature one-two step allowed him to dash past bigger defenders and draw fouls. Wade ranked first in free-throw attempts per 48 minutes in 2004-05 and again in the 2006-07 season. Wade was an unselfish player, averaging 5.4 assists for his career. After winning the NBA Finals MVP Award in 2006, Wade developed a reputation as one of the league's premier clutch players.
David Thorpe, an athletic trainer who runs a training center for NBA players, cited Wade's post-up game as one of his strengths. Thorpe said that Wade's best moves from the post were his turnaround jump shot,double pivot, and what Thorpe termed a "freeze fake", a pump fake Wade used to get his opponent to jump, so that he could drive around him. Wade's main weakness was three-point shooting; he averaged 29% for his career.
Wade was best known for his ability to convert difficult lay-ups, even after hard mid-air collisions with larger defenders. His style drew concerns over the dangers of playing in this manner, as Wade had hurt his knees and wrists after mid-air collisions with larger players. Wade established himself on defense for his ability to block shots and accumulate steals. He holds the NBA record for blocks for players listed 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and under, which he achieved in only 679 games, over 400 games less than the previous record-holder: Dennis Johnson (1,100).
|+||Denotes seasons in which Wade won an NBA championship|
|*||Led the league|
Wade married his high school girlfriend Siohvaughn Funches in 2002. He divorced her in 2010 after an acrimonious court battle. In 2011, Wade was granted sole custody of his two children. Wade also raises a nephew, the son of Wade's sister Deanna. Wade began dating actress Gabrielle Union in 2009. According to Wade, he and Union briefly split up at some point early in 2013 due to career demands. During that time, Wade and longtime friend Aja Metoyer conceived a son. Wade and Union became engaged in December 2013, and married on August 30, 2014, in Miami. On November 7, 2018, Wade became a father for the fourth time, when he and Union welcomed their daughter, who was born via surrogate.
Wade's nicknames include D-Wade and Flash, which was given to him by former teammate Shaquille O'Neal who would sing, "He's the greatest in the Universe", in reference to the Queen song of the same name from the 1980 film Flash Gordon. The Heat's 2005 NBA playoffs run and Wade's performances while O'Neal was hampered by injury, led to media attention and rapid increase in Wade's popularity. During those playoffs, Wade's jersey became the league's top-selling jersey and remained so for nearly two years. After the Heat's success and Wade's memorable performances during the 2006 NBA playoffs, Wade appeared on several talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly. He also made a guest star appearance on Disney Channel's Austin & Ally as himself, who is an obsessed fan of Austin Moon.
Wade was featured in magazine articles and publications. In 2005, he was featured on People's 50 Most Beautiful People, and in 2006 he was named the NBA's best-dressed player by GQ. In 2007, Esquire named him to their 4th annual Best Dressed Men in the World list for the second straight year. Wade's endorsement deals included Gatorade, Lincoln, Staples, Sean John, T-Mobile (his TV commercials paired him with Charles Barkley), and Topps. He had his own line of shoes with Converse named "The Wade" and a series of Sidekick phones known as the D-Wade Edition with T-Mobile. During the 2009-10 season, Wade switched from Converse to Nike's Jordan Brand. Wade was chosen by Jordan and debuted the Air Jordan 2010 during the 2010 NBA All-Star break. During the 2011 NBA playoffs, Wade debuted his first signature shoe for the Jordan Brand, joining Anthony and Chris Paul, who had their own signature shoes. After his Jordan Brand contract expired in 2012, Wade signed with the Chinese athletic brand Li-Ning.
Wade is well known for his philanthropic involvement. In 2003, he founded The Wade's World Foundation, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations. He hosts a variety of community outreach programs in Chicago and South Florida. In 2008, he announced his partnership with former teammate Alonzo Mourning's charitable foundation and co-hosted ZO's Summer Groove, an annual summer event. On December 24, 2008, Wade purchased a new home for a South Florida woman whose nephew accidentally burned down the family home. In addition, Wade donated furnishings, clothing and gifts to the family.
After breaking his own Miami Heat single-season scoring record, Wade gave the jersey he wore in that night's victory to 8-year-old Michael Stolzenberg, an avid Heat fan who lost his hands and feet due to a bacterial infection. Wade stated that he knew Stolzenberg previously and wished to add to his collection of Heat memorabilia. Wade is known for visiting other sick children, usually in private to avoid the media spotlight.
In September 2009, Wade donated money from his foundation to keep the Robbins, Illinois public library from having to shut down. He handed library director Priscilla Coatney a $25,000 check in order to resurrect the building. In January 2010, Wade and Mourning co-founded The Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti", which raised money to help the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In the three days after the fund began soliciting donations from athletes, Wade announced that the "Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti" had already raised over $800,000. Wade stated, "I expected nothing less from my friends and colleagues in the sports community, our commitment to this cause knows no bounds, and we will continue to accept any and all donations throughout the days ahead." Wade is also an avid supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and served as an Ambassador for their Hoops for St. Jude basketball initiative.
Wade is a Christian and chose the number 3 throughout most of his career because it represents the Holy Trinity. He tithes 10% of his salary to a church in Chicago. His mother, Jolinda, strengthened her ties to Christianity in 2001 after years of drug problems. She served as a minister during her final prison sentence in 2002 and 2003. She was ordained as a Baptist minister in January 2007 and formed the non-denominational Temple of Praise Binding and Loosing Ministry in Chicago. In May 2008, Wade purchased a church building for his mother's ministry.
In 2019, Wade appeared as a guest judge on season 14 of America's Got Talent alongside wife Gabrielle Union.
My mom was on drugs and my family was in the gang environment," said Wade, "so it was a rough childhood.
In an interview with ESPN, Wade said, 'I've seen the needles laying around the house. I've seen my mother shoot up before. I've seen a lot of things my mother didn't even know I'd seen as a kid.'
I worked very hard," Wade said. "That first year was the toughest year of my life. I really had to adjust a lot. I had to really focus and bear down on education and the importance of academics.
Although the nature of Wade's retirement is unprecedented, Marquette faculty members reached for comment did not object to the decision. 'You look at everything he's done in the community, and with his ties to his church. I mean, obviously he was a worthy player. I think the time is right... If he was someone who I thought would never finish his degree, or someone who I thought didn't take his education seriously, then I would take issue with the jersey retiring,' said Paula Gillespie, associate professor of English.
...it was also unacceptable from Wade's viewpoint.
...and Dwyane Wade returned from a seven-game absence because of the birth of his daughter to score five points.