For his one last dance, Dwyane Wade once again entertained and wowed the Miami crowd at AmericanAirlines Arena with 30 points in an unforgettable night as the Miami Heat cruised to victory 122-99 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
It was a bittersweet night in more than ways than one, with the Detroit Pistons coming back to win tonight to take the final East playoff spot and eliminating the Miami Heat from playoff contention. It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow night will indeed be the last game ever for #3.
But at least for one more night, Wade was absolutely special. He started the game, his first of his final season, and promptly got the Heat going with a dunk. The 76ers were shorthanded but the Heat played well from the start. True to his style, Wade wasn’t just looking for his own shot and was playing within the flow of the offense and knocking down tough shots.
Miami’s greatest superstar ever fed off the energy from the crowd throughout the night with as many highlights as there were tribute videos, where there were many smiles and tears before the game in a wonderful ceremony and after the game, where he jumped up on the scorer’s table one last time. Even the basketball gods were kind to Wade in the fourth quarter when the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt, helping to rattle in a pair of deep three-pointers that bounced off the glass.
Perhaps the best moment was when Wade checked into the game in the final quarter alongside his longtime friend and teammate, Udonis Haslem. The champion duo turned back the clock with a vintage tandem performance. Even UD got a charge in what will likely also be the final home game as well for Mr. 305.
It’s difficult to put into words saying goodbye to D-Wade, but his heartfelt message to the fans both before and after the game alongside his family, friends, and teammates really put everything into perspective. The energy from the crowd was relentless whenever he touched the ball and never wavered throughout the final minutes of the game. At that point, it almost didn’t matter that the team wasn’t heading to the playoffs when the night was to honor the man who led this franchise to championship glory three times and grew so much, in so many ways, since he was drafted 16 years ago.
Though it really hasn't even sunk in yet that he’s played his last game in Miami, his presence will always be felt — especially when #3 goes up to the rafters.
Thank you Dwyane Wade.