Dwayne Wade has been a cute baby-face of the NBA for some time now. Oh geez, I hope my wife doesn’t see my compliment regarding his looks or there will be some serious questioning at some point. I guess I could delete it, but obviously I didn’t. Who has time to scroll up anyway? Plus, it’s a fact he’s a decent looking dude or he wouldn’t have landed Gabrielle Union. What is also a fact is that I’m not really sure why she’s famous other than being married to Wade, and still am not sure if she’s a singer, actress, socialite, or just some normal woman. Again, who has time to Google that at the moment? I have a post to write and you have one to read. I’m sure it may come up again – just see Hated #7 (#14 Overall), but don’t skip ahead!
Anyway, D-Wade is one of the most talented basketball players on the planet and has been since his days at Marquette when he led the Golden Eagles to a Final Four appearance in 2003. The run really put him on the map and also helped me realize that people other than my friend and my aunt attended that university. His rookie campaign for the Miami Heat certainly helped his popularity grow, then that pre-big 3 championship was all right I guess, and if we’re going to praise the guy then I guess we can consider everything else on his resume like a few more championships, some All-Star appearances, and a gold medal.
Everything isn’t great in the life of Mr. Gabrielle Union, however, because there are some haters out there to go along with the lovers. Wait, I just realized Gabrielle was on Saved By The Bell! Never mind, that was Lark Voorhies. That was a good show.
15 LOVED: THE 2003 MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
The then Conference-USA Marquette Golden Eagles were a spectacular squad led by a great coach and an even greater player in Dwayne Wade. Tom Crean – the Harbaughs’ brother-in-low (Eesh, imagine those Thanksgiving dinners) – built a young crop of players into a contender, and there was only one senior on the roster that year (Robert Jackson). Wade was the star, but Travis Diener and Steve Novak were also drafted from that team after the NCAA season had ended. Who? Exactly. What an exciting time for all those kids to be playing with a future superstar. There were games where Wade put the team on his shoulders and just dominated, including great performances in close matches against Missouri and Pittsburgh and a statement game against perennial powerhouse Kentucky in the regional final on their way to the Final Four. Then they got blown out by Kansas, but we don’t have to talk about it anymore.
14 HATED: SIOHVAUGHN FUNCHESS
Some say marriage requires a team effort. Those people are usually marriage counselors who judge just enough for the couple to keep coming back and give them money. Maybe Dr. Phil says it too, I don’t know. So you could claim that Dwayne Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funchess (what a name), were once teammates. They were high school sweethearts turned enemies. The usually he said/she said of a break up took place in the divorce – you know, basic things like infidelity, claims of abuse, STDs being tossed around like it’s nobody’s business. The ugly split lasted more than four years which is an insanely long time for an argument to take place. We don’t really know the truth and prefer to stay out of it (at least I do), but I will offer some gossip (I can’t stay out of it): Wade had a baby with another woman while he and Gabrielle Union (told you she would be mentioned again) were on a break. Reference Ross and Rachel. Wade and Union are happily married now. I don’t get the world.
13 LOVED: THE 2008 U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC BASKETBALL TEAM
There are some decent international players out there in the great big world, but basketball is dominated by the Americans. Long story short, the United States has 15 Olympic gold medals, including taking home the last three. To make a short story longer, it’s also why international players prefer to take their talents to the States. Dwayne Wade has been on two Olympic squads, earning a bronze in 2004 and achieving gold in 2008. The 2008 team was pretty much a collection of generational friends. Lebron James, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and the rest of the crew. No other country stood a chance really which makes the Olympic basketball tournament incredibly boring to follow. Case and point: in the preliminary round, the U.S. defeated Germany by 49 points – it was like a women’s college basketball game involving UCONN and whomever. Wade and the fellas had a great time playing together to say the least.
12 HATED: STEPHON MARBURY
Speaking of 2004 and the United States Men’s Olympic Basketball Team not living up to expectations, Stephon Marbury was on that team with Dwayne Wade. Maybe Marbury was a curse? The point guard had great potential and showed glimpses during his NBA career of Hall of Fame caliber play, but then also showed reasons of why he now plays in China and has a head tattoo. Wade and Allen Iverson were the better guards for that team which must have made Marbury a tad jealous; especially considering D-Wade was a fresh young superstar and Stephon was beginning to form his resume for the Far East. After the best stint of his career while playing for the Phoenix Suns, Marbury’s play began to decline, bouncing from the New York Knicks to the Boston Celtics to the Shanxi Zhongyu (wherever that is) Brave Dragons to the Forshan Dralions (whatever those are) to playing presently for the Beijing Ducks. With that being said, he’s probably jealous everyone knows what Wade is doing right now and no one even realized he’s still balling in China.
11 LOVED: JIMMY BUTLER
No one has benefited more from Dwayne Wade’s arrival in Chicago than Jimmy Butler. Butler also played at Marquette and also has a gold medal, and now they are teammates. His numbers as an NBA player have increased every year and he will compete in his third straight All-Star game this season. The Bulls received an upgrade from Derrick Rose when Wade joined the squad this offseason so Butler was ecstatic. Nothing against Rose, he’s a great player – if it wasn’t for the injuries and rape charges and what not – but Wade has the championships and the experience to mentor and shape Butler into one of the league’s best players. The duo has combined to lead the sub-par Bulls, but they know they will need some help to maintain playoff position and make some noise in the postseason. It will take two Golden Eagles to once again bring basketball glory back to the Windy City. Spoiler Alert: it’s not looking great.
10 HATED: JUSTISE WINSLOW
This is kind of a complicated relationship. Justise Winslow was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2015 with the 10th overall pick and was supposed to learn under the tutelage of Dwayne Wade, eventually replacing the superstar as the leader of the Heat. Since then, it appears Dion Waiters has taken on that role - minus the learning. Wade and Winslow only played one season together, and though the young player praised the veteran’s leadership, he must have been a little bitter that D-Wade decided to leave for Chicago. On November 10th, 2016, Wade and Winslow did get into a small scuffle during the Bulls-Heat matchup. Who are we kidding? A scuffle in the NBA is just some threatening stares and an exchange of slang with no action whatsoever. It’s not like the old NBA fights – I think the New York Knicks and Miami Heat’s playoff brawl from 1997 is still going on. Those were the days, and the days before that were even better, now there’s no walk to the talk.
9 LOVED: MARIO CHALMERS
Here’s a fun fact about Mario Chalmers: he was born in Alaska and didn’t move until he became a Kansas Jayhawk. I know what you’re thinking, but there is more to the Last Frontier other than polar bears, igloos, and a view of desolate Russia. He’s most-known for his three-pointer against Memphis in the 2008 NCAA Championship, and is second most-known for his role as the point guard who passed the ball to the Big-3 – or sometimes just stood on the court and out of the way. He had to have loved Dwayne Wade as a teammate because he’s not that great of an NBA-player, but still had a successful career riding on the shoulders of three of the best players in the world. Unfortunately for Chalmers, he’s been battling a bad Achilles injury – Wade even kept the guy healthy I guess. There are rumors he may be traded from the Memphis Grizzlies (I don’t know how they stand him down there after what he did to the university) to a more legitimate contender so perhaps he will be reunited with one of the greats.
8 HATED: SHABAZZ NAPIER
Shabazz Napier was supposed to be the piece that kept LeBron James in Miami. He was supposed to finally get the Heat that third Championship James so desperately cried for – or those million that he promised during that lame introduction to Miami production in 2010. James is again whining about how the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t doing enough to repeat as champions even though they have the highest payroll in the league. Whatever, some people are greedy. Anyway, back to Napier and Dwayne Wade; there was never really a blossoming relationship between the two because of bitterness. Wade was pouty because James left, Napier was not reaping from any leadership benefits, and now the ex-UCONN star plays for the Portland Trail Blazers after a stint in the minors and a season with the Orlando Magic. What was the point of any of that? Not the article, this is obviously good stuff, but the complaining and the reaction afterwards. Poor Shabazz. I know an East Indian woman named Shabazz… I think.
7 LOVED: LAMAR ODOM
Is this the guy that Khloe Kardashian is married to? Or was? Or whatever. I believe Sportscenter’s Scott Van Pelt had a piece on Lamar Odom after the player’s near-death experience and explained how it was unfortunate that that is people know him, but don’t realize that he was an excellent basketball player as well. When are those girls just going to leave the world alone? Odom joined the Miami Heat in 2003 to provide leadership to the struggling franchise and he did exactly that. Dwayne Wade was the budding talent and Odom was the savvy veteran and the two led the team to the playoffs as the 4th-seed in the Eastern Conference. Of course in classic NBA hump ‘em dump ‘em (how inappropriate, but a good Wheatus song) fashion, Odom was traded to the Los Angles Lakers after the season. He and Wade had a good relationship in Miami, but also joined forces to win the bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics.
6 HATED: CARON BUTLER
Another member of that 2004 trade to the Los Angeles Lakers was Caron Butler (Pictured Far Right). Lamar Odom went on to win championships in L.A. while Caron stayed for a year and then had the privilege to play for the Washington Wizards. How unfortunate. Butler eventually earned his ring with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 against whom else, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat. This was kind of a payback situation because though Butler had a great rookie year in 2002, he was essentially immediately replaced by Wade in 2003 during the future star’s rookie campaign. Butler suffered through some injuries, his scoring average dramatically dropped, and though he was the initial block to rebuild the franchise, Wade took control. Two other reasons why 2011 was just kind of payback were that Wade had already earned his first title in the span since the two had been separated and Butler was injured and didn’t get to play in the finals. Everyone has a ring, everyone is happy.
5 LOVED: CHRIS BOSH
Considered the “3” in the Big-3, Chris Bosh was actually much more important than that. Actually, if he wasn’t part of that period for the Miami Heat then who knows if they would have been as successful. I mean, they didn’t win all those championships they promised – they actually even lost two! Plus, they struggled getting their two trophies. On the other hand, Bosh was given the opportunity to win by joining Dwayne Wade in Miami. They were friends before and they made excellent teammates, which was proven throughout their time together with the Heat and also while they earned gold in 2008 on the Olympic squad. Bosh was even in Wade and Gabrielle Union’s wedding party. Bosh technically is still a member of the Heat, the last remaining from the era of glory, but due to some health risks he’s been forced to sit out. An overhaul is ahead, and perhaps he will be moved before the end of the season - perhaps to rejoin forces with a certain someone.
4 HATED: RAJON RONDO
We can probably all agree that Rajon Rondo isn’t the most stable human being. However, he can certainly play basketball. He had a wonderful career in Boston as a member of the Celtics, including a championship, but since has struggled to find a suitable role. Man, think about the storied programs he’s played for: Oak Hill Academy, Kentucky, Boston, and now currently he plays for the Chicago Bulls. Recently, Dwayne Wade has come out and said that he’s disappointed in the lack of team effort and criticized the performance of everyone other than Jimmy Butler essentially. Of course, Rondo just had to express his opinion as well – as he should have – and redirected the criticism toward Wade and Butler, claiming veterans shouldn’t go to the media like that, but reach out to the team privately. It’s a team game; no one is winning a championship for a player, they are winning it for the franchise. Of course, everyone is acting like a child still.
3 LOVED: LEBRON JAMES
Speaking of acting like a child, maybe even a spoiled brat, LeBron James has worked very hard since leaving his Miami teammates to return to the town he once abandoned. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much done with seeing him in the NBA finals. The league is so unbalanced and scripted it’s ridiculous. I could probably stop tuning in, avoiding all NBA coverage across all outlets, and tell you in July that the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals this year. Of course, I’m saying this to jinx the outcome. Hopefully it’s more like the Washington Wizards defeat the Sacramento Kings or something ridiculous like that. James and Dwayne Wade have accomplished everything teammates could accomplish together: All-Star games, NBA Championships, Olympic gold, and so on. They even placed World Series bets when their hometown teams met. Thank goodness neither jinxed the series… maybe that’s not what people in Cleveland think though.
2 HATED: SHAQUILLE O'NEAL
Is there a superstar that Shaquille O’Neal hasn’t created a feud with? After his lover’s spat with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in the aforementioned 2004 deal that sent Lamar Odom and Caron Butler to the Lakers – and Brian Grant, but who cares, he hasn’t been mentioned until now. Shaq said two things in 2004: he wanted to be traded to Miami to bring them a championship and to play with Dwayne Wade. Oh how things change after actually playing together. The Miami Heat won the NBA finals in 2006 as Shaq promised, but when he left South Beach in 2008, he was quoted saying things with Wade were not “all that good” after an incident between the great center and Pat Riley sparked comments by D-Wade, defending the man he would later also have a feud with. What is with all these guys? When superstars are together they’re just as dysfunctional as a normal family during a reunion, or characters on a soap opera, or sisters on reality-television. Sports is a crazy passionate beast.
1 LOVED: UDONIS HASLEM
Be honest, you forgot about Udonis Haslem, didn’t you? Haslem was there for all of Dwayne Wade’s trips to the Finals which obviously include the three victories. He always stepped up when the team needed him, was never an All-Star, but was such an important catalyst to a team that struggled to find their identity throughout the years. He and Wade were the constants in the chaos. Haslem was Wade’s power forward, setting screens, receiving assists, and building a bond that is still unbreakable today. Wade made it public by claiming the hardest part of his decision to leave Miami for Chicago was that he would be leaving Haslem. I believe the word love was used, but I swear it’s more like a brother-from-another-mother type of statement rather than the other thing you so inappropriately thought about. They grew up as NBA players together and would like to retire together as NBA players, remembering their success in rocking chairs and lemonade and whatever 40-year old retirees do.