Miami Heat Player Countdown: 1. Dwyane Wade

USA TODAY Sports

Topping our offseason-long countdown, we have 16-time player of the week, nine-time all-star, eight-time all-NBA selection, six-time player of the month, three-time World Champion and the NBA's leading scorer in 2008-09, Dwyane Wade.

Dwyane Wade is a 6'4" shooting guard from Chicago, IL. Born on January 17th, 1982, he played college level basketball for two seasons for the Marquette Golden Eagles, averaging 20 points, 6.5 rebounds, and four assists per appearance. In 2003, the Heat selected him in the first round of the draft, with the fifth overall pick.

Wade made the all-rookie first-team in 2003-04, starting in 56 of his 61 appearances. He played 34.9 minutes per game, scoring 16.2 points (team third) on 46.5% shooting from the field. He also averaged four rebounds (team fifth), 4.5 helpers (team first), and 1.4 steals (team first) per game. On December 21st, in a 104-93 win against the Golden State Warriors, he put up 33 points with eight assists. He scored 27 points with 10 rebounds and five assists for his first career double double in a 111-98 victory over the Orlando Magic. In a 96-83 Heat triumph against the New Orleans Hornets on March 16th, he totaled 23 points with seven boards and six steals. The Heat went 34-27 with Wade in the lineup, and 8-13 without him. The Heat dropped the Hornets in seven to open the postseason before bowing out in six to the Indiana Pacers. Wade topped the 20 point mark in seven of Miami's 13 playoff games.

In 2004-05, Wade made his first all-star roster by scoring a team best 24.1 points with 5.2 rebounds (team third), 6.8 assists (team first), 1.6 steals (team first), and 1.1 blocks (team third) on 47.8% shooting in 38.6 minutes played per game. In 77 contests (all starts), he led Miami to a 56-21 record (they went 3-2 without him). He scored in double figures 75 times and earned 16 double doubles on the campaign. On December 6th, in a 118-106 win against the Wizards, he scored 37 points with 12 assists and eight rebounds. He scored 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting on December 30th, grabbing 10 boards with 10 helpers for his first career double double against the Detroit Pistons, 89-78. On April 14th, Wade scored a then-career high 48 points on 18-of-33 shooting, with 10 rebounds and six assists in a 126-119, overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami swept the New Jersey Nets and the Wizards in the first two playoff rounds before losing in seven to Detroit. Wade appeared in 14 of Miami's 15 postseason contests, averaging 27.4 points with 6.6 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per appearance.

2005-06 would see Wade earn his second all-star invitation and his first NBA Championship. He led Miami with 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.9 steals, with 5.7 rebounds (team third) in 38.6 minutes per game. He shot 49.5% from the field over his 75 starts, with the Heat posting a 48-27 record in those games. He racked up 16 double doubles and scored in double figures every night but one. On December 11th, he dropped 41 points on the Wizards on 15-of-27 shooting with 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals, as the Heat won, 104-101 in overtime. On January 13th, as the Heat defeated the Seattle SuperSonics, 117-104, Wade tabbed triple double with 15 points, 14 helpers and 10 rebounds. He scored 44 points with nine rebounds and eight assists on April Fools Day, as the Heat dropped one to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 106-99 (future teammate LBJ scored 47 points with 12 rebounds and nine assists). Miami finished up the season with a 52-30 mark, before defeating the Chicago Bulls in six, the New Jersey Nets in five, the Detroit Pistons in six, and the Dallas Mavericks in six. Wade scored 28.4 points with 5.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per appearance.

Wade was limited to 50 starts in 2006-07, coming off the bench once. He played 37.9 minutes per game, scoring a team high 27.4 points on 49.1% shooting with a team best 7.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds (team fourth), 2.1 steals (team first) and 1.2 blocks (team third). Miami went 27-24 in his appearances, and would see him total 15 double doubles. On November 24th, in a 107-104 Heat loss to the Magic, he scored 33 points with 15 assists, five rebounds, and three steals. He put up 41 points in a 98-90 decision over the Memphis Grizzlies on December 16th, also pitching in with seven assists, five steals, and five rebounds. On Christmas Day, he lit up the Los Angeles Lakers for 40, with 11 assists, four rebounds, four steals and four blocks. The Heat went 44-38, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Bulls, four games to zero. Wade averaged 23.5 points with 6.3 helpers, 4.8 boards and 1.3 steals per game.

In 2007-08, Wade led the 15-67 Heat in most categories, including 24.6 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.7 steals. He also pitched in with 4.2 rebounds and shot 46.9% from the field. Despite Miami's struggles, he made his fourth all-star game. On December 3rd, in a 110-101 Heat loss to the Utah Jazz, he scored 26 points with 10 assists and five steals. He dropped 41 on the Nets on December 20th, dishing out six assists with five rebounds, three blocks and three steals in a 107-103 overtime loss. Eight days later, in a 121-114 overtime loss to the Magic, he drained 16-of-21 shots for a season high 48 points with 11 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Miami went 10-41 with Wade, and 5-26 without him.

2008-09 would see Wade make his fifth straight all-star team, leading the NBA with 30.2 points per game. He led the Heat with 7.5 assists and 2.2 steals per contest, shooting 49.1% from the field and grabbing five rebounds (team fourth) with 1.3 blocks (team third) per contest. He reached double figures in each of his 79 games, all starts, with 20 double doubles and 39 incidences of 30 or more points scored. On March 2nd, as the Heat lost to the Cavs 107-100, he scored 41 points with nine assists, seven rebounds and seven steals. A week later, in a 130-127 two overtime win against the Bulls, he scored 48 points with 12 assists, six rebounds, four steals and three blocks in 49 minutes. Five days after that, in a three-overtime, 140-129 win against the Jazz, he scored another then career high 50 points with 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals. On April 12th, he drained 19-of-30 field goals, including six three pointers for a career high 55 points with nine rebounds and four assists. After going 43-39, the Heat lost their first round appointment with the Atlanta Hawks in seven games. Wade averaged 29.1 points with 5.3 assists, five rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.

Wade started in each of his 77 appearances in 2009-10, making the all-star team for the sixth year in a row. He shot 47.6% from the floor for a team leading 26.6 points per game in 36.3 minutes. He also dished out a team best 6.5 assists, grabbed 4.8 rebounds (team fifth), made a team high 1.8 steals, and rejected 1.1 shots (team third) per game. The Heat went 45-32 with Wade and 2-3 without him. He had 17 double doubles on the season. On December 6th, in a 115-102 win over the Sacramento Kings, he scored 34 points with 10 assists, five rebounds and four blocks. In a 110-106 win over the Golden State Warriors on March 2nd, he sunk 15-of-23 shots for 35 points, with 12 assists, six boards and four steals. He scored 43 points with nine rebounds, six assists, three blocks and three steals as the Heat won a 105-96 overtime contest against the Pacers on April 2nd. The Heat faced the Celtics in the first round of the postseason, losing in five. Wade tried to win the series all by himself, tripling the next highest leading scorer with 33.2 points per game, along with 6.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks, but help was on the way.

2010-11 would see Chris Bosh and LeBron James join Wade in South Beach. He made another all-star team, starting all 76 games in which he appeared and playing 37.1 minutes per game. He scored 25.5 points (team second) with 6.4 rebounds (team fourth), 4.6 assists (team fourth), 1.5 steals (team second), and 1.1 blocks (team second) per game. He drained 50% of his shots, racking up 10 double doubles and helping the team go 54-22 in his games (they went 4-2 without him). On February 4th, in a 109-97 win against the Charlotte Bobcats, he scored 22 points with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He dropped 41 points with 12 boards on the Pacers, in a 110-103 win on February 15th. On March 25th, in a 111-99 win over the 76ers, he scored 39 points with 11 boards, eight assists, five blocks, and three steals. The Heat played 21 times in the postseason, defeating the 76ers, the Celtics, and the Bulls in five games each before losing to Dallas in six. Wade appeared in each game, leading the team with 24.5 points per game. He also made average game totals of 7.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.3 blocks.

In 2011-12, Wade totaled 49 games, all starts. He missed 16 along with everyone else due to the lockout, and another 17 due to an injury (or advanced age, naysayers would have you believe). He played 33.2 minutes per night, scoring 22.1 points (team second) on 49.7% shooting with 4.8 rebounds (team fourth), 4.6 assists (team second), 1.7 steals (team second), and a team leading 1.3 blocks per game. The Heat went 32-17 with the then eight-time all-star Wade, who earned four double doubles on the season, and 14-3 without him. On February 21st, as the Heat defeated the Kings, 120-108, he drained 11-of-16 field goal attempts for 30 points, with 10 assists, four rebounds, and three steals. In a 106-102 loss to the Bulls on March 14th, he finished with 36 points on 16-of-26 shooting with seven rebounds. He scored 30 points with six rebounds, six assists and three steals on March 30th, as the Heat downed the Toronto Raptors, 113-101. After earning the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat eliminated the Knicks in five, the Pacers in six, the Celtics in seven, then the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games for their and Wade's second World Championship. Wade appeared in each of Miami's 23 contests, averaging 22.8 points with 5.2 boards, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Wade made his ninth straight all-star game in a row in 2012-13, also helping the Heat earn their second straight title and third overall. He started 69 games, playing 34.7 minutes per contest and scoring 21.2 points (team second) per game on a career best 52.1% field goal success rate. He also helped Miami's bottom line with 5.1 assists (team second), five rebounds (team fourth), and a Heat best 1.9 steals per game. In a 114-108 win against the Houston Rockets on February 6th, he scored 31 points with eight assists, five boards, and four steals. On February 26th, in a 141-129, two overtime win against the Kings, he sunk 19-of-28 shots with eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Six days later, he finished with 32 points, 10 assists and seven boards as the Heat won a 97-81 decision over the Minnesota TimberWolves. The Heat went 66-16, earning home court throughout the playoffs. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in four, the Bulls in five, and the Pacers in seven before the San Antonio Spurs also extended them to seven games. Of course, Miami earned the title, and Wade made his mark with 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and one block per playoff game.

NBA UNDENIABLE THE RISE OF DWYANE WADE DVD FULL (via basketballtojesus2)

If Wade were to retire today, he'd be elected to the Hall of Fame in five years time, no question. However, he'll be entering into the seventh season of a nine-year, $150,796,743 contract.

All-Time HEATline: 10 seasons, 665 games, 36.9 minutes, 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.0 blocks, 25.1 PER, 118.5 win shares.

That's it. 68 articles, 199 players. I hope you had as much fun reading these career capsules as much as I've enjoyed writing them. It's time for more basketball, though. We'll do this again in five years, in the meantime, buckle in - we've got five championships to go.

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