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Old 12-12-2018, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,835,064 times
Reputation: 4507

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This topic is here to discuss Wade's legacy, and his place in basketball history, as he ends his career after 16 seasons in 2019...

I heard an analyst today call him "the clear second best player" of his era, which I disagree with, and I've heard a lot of hyperbole regarding Wade that I disagree with. I do like Wade and I'm a fan, though...

So I think we have to start from this perspective. All of us basketball aficionados understand that the sport, sports in general really, evolved with each era, which while not cleanly broken along decade lines, generally changes by the decade---->the play of the sport here in 2018 and the 2010s is different than how they played the game in 2008 and the 2000s; the game was played differently in the 2000s than it was in 1998 and the 90s, and so on going backwards...

Dwyane Wade's career traversed two eras of the NBA. The league he entered in 2003 isn't the same league stylistically or operationally as the one he's leaving in 2019. There were different stars then, different rules, so I think this is an easy pre determination to go forth from...

There's no way he's the second best player of his eras, because he was neither the second best player of either half (the 2000s or the 2010s), so when you take his body of work in totality, he ain't sniffing that #2 spot. So before going in depth and reviewing his numbers, just remembering and reviewing his body of work and accolades compared to his peers, I sought to see where he ranked in either era separately, then where he ranked from 2000 to now combined...

There's three players he's not touching, and their order can be debated for another thread, but Wade isn't on the same tier as LeBron, Kobe, or Duncan. Any order, those are the three defining players of the last two decades of NBA basketball. There have been a lot of great players but those three earned their positions...

So off the top of my head, I said at best, Wade is #4 of the last 20 years. At best. But even that seems lofty and I'll go into a separate post to detail my rationale...
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,835,064 times
Reputation: 4507
For the era in which he came in (the 2000s), I think he fits somewhere in the #9-10-11 range. Which I think is more than respectable, because by default he didn't play the first four seasons of the decade, so to finish as roughly the #10 player of an era you missed 40% is nothing to sneeze at. Additionally, he had a two-year stretch late in the decade where he missed three-quarters of a season of action due to injury. And he's still a Top 10 guy for 99-00 thru 08-09, ten seasons of ball...

In that era he's in that 9-11 range jostling with LeBron and T-Mac and Nash and Kidd...

Then for the current era in which he's departing (the 2010s), I think he's higher but there's a wider net. I think he's in the #4-8 range, jostling with guys like Westbrook, Kobe, Harden, CP3...

So then, I looked at the greatest ballers of both eras combined. There is a cluster**** between #4 and #10, and I think he's absolutely worthy of being in the conversation, but he's also competing against some worthy legends in that range---->Shaq, Dirk, KG, KD, Steph, Iverson. These are the best players of the last 20 years, it would be foolish (and flat out wrong in my opinion) to assume that Wade is #4 or #5 of the last 20 years...

I've only been watching since 1999, so I don't have the memory of having seen All-Timers from older generations. But off the top of my head, if Wade was/is just barely a Top 10 player of the last 20 years, and the NBA was already around for 50 years at the turn of the century, I find it almost unbelievable that Wade is a Top 20-25 All-Timer. I heard a separate analyst say that this morning: "Wade is one of the 20 greatest players to ever play the game". Unbelievable. Even watching his entire career, never did I think I was watching one of the greatest 25 players ever, I never thought that, but some of the guys in his range I mentioned (Dirk, KG, Shaq, Durant, Steph), I definitely have thought that about them at times...

So, I haven't whittled down his position yet, but i feel comfortable saying he's probably around #10 of the last 20 years yet, give or take a spot or two. I'm still analyzing him, because there are a ton of metrics and variables to consider. No doubt to me that he's a first ballot HOFer, he is a legend and clearly legendary for the eras in which he played, no confusion at all there...

But how do you guys regard Wade? This is fascinating to me, as I think sports media in the recent week has some tunnel vision and fluffed his legacy slightly. Let the discussion commence!!
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:55 AM
 
960 posts, read 548,440 times
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2nd best player of his era? No. 2nd best SG of his era? I can jive with this on the caveat that Iverson is a PG.
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