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Dwyane Wade - A Career Retrospective Chapter 5: The 2008 comeback following injury

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Dwyane Wade shocked the world returning from injury in 2008, and playing on the level he did. Like a flash of lightning Wade once again lit Miami's neon lights, earning his first scoring title and breaking numerous records along the way.


After two extremely disappointing seasons, both cut short by injury, Dwyane Wade was tired. Not in the sense of having fatigue however, moreover in a mental sense. Dwyane was tired of losing; he was tired of exerting himself on the court only to fall short of victory. He needed help, and the supporting cast that surrounded him just couldn’t match the level of talent that surrounded him two seasons prior. A healthy Dwyane Wade stood alone in Miami’s neon lights and wondered if he would ever taste the championship champagne ever again. He was focused. His Converse ad campaigns of the past represented this. "Fall down seven times, stand up eight" graced the inside cover of every SLAM magazine and very much embodied Wade’s mentality. While all hope seemed lost, Pat Riley - now the president of the Miami Heat - looked to make amends to the fans by making some changes. In order to accomplish such a task, Riley needed to place players around Dwyane that would propel him to success and he decided to approach that goal through the draft lottery, and potentially with a player widely considered to be the next superstar, Michael Beasley.

It was the summer of Kansas that off-season as Miami drafted three players who attended college in the wheat state. That season only two of those draftees would be part of the Heat roster, with one being Alaska’s sexiest man: Mario Chalmers, and the other a prospect to which many saw no ceiling in talent level, Michael Beasley. Once again, basketball enthusiasts regarded Miami’s roster with respect, and on some level fear after all as a freshman in 33 games played he averaged 12.4 rebounds, 26.2 points and sported a .532% field goal percentage as well as 77% free throw average. Standing at 6'-10", Beasley looked to dominate the league but his transition into the NBA wasn’t flawless. In summer league Beasley put on a clinic, averaging 28 points howbeit, he wasn’t exempt from the Miami Heat injury bug and suffered a cracked sternum in his first official Heat practice. Beasley quickly recuperated though and showed numerous signs of success. Beasley averaged stellar numbers in his freshman outings scoring 13.9 points, to go along with 5.4 rebounds per contest. Nevertheless, his fall from greatness wouldn’t come about until his second subsequent season with Miami, but this won't be discussed here as this article is about Wade.

Wade was at full throttle when the season commenced. Like a flash of lightning, Wade had the energy of a hurricane. It almost seemed as if his nagging injuries had simply vanished as he cut through defenders like water. Dwyane Wade was playing like he had something to prove, and in some respect he did. At that moment in time, Wade was widely considered a premiere player in the league and by some arguably the best the NBA had to offer.

Once again Dwyane Wade received all-star consideration and while Miami didn’t win a title that year, he had no trouble shattering records. Dwyane Wade became the first NBA player in history to gather 2,000 points, 100 steals, 500 assists and 100 blocks in one season. Actually he also became the first player under 6’5" to accumulate 100 blocks in one season.

Of course he wouldn’t stop there, while leading the league in scoring, Wade eventually overtook Alonzo Mourning as Miami’s all time leading scorer in March vs. the Utah Jazz. He was unstoppable and Miami would once again enter the post-season looking strong. Unfortunately, it was Atlanta who overtook Miami in the first round of the playoffs, but Wade looked anything but feeble as he brought the series to a game 7 where he would deliver an astonishing 31-point game performance. Despite the disheartening loss, Wade averaged 29.1 points, 5.3 assists, and 5 rebounds for the entire series. Wade would end his season with his first scoring title, but once again without a championship or MVP award. It can be said although disappointed, Wade could be considered content with his regular season, but nothing could ever fill the void left by his first championship and it was that hunger that fuelled his chase to experience those emotions once again.