Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Wade named Hall finalist
UM’s Larrañaga falls short
To say any of this involves clearing hurdles would be exaggeration, considering Dwyane Wade’s ascension to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame seemingly was inevitable from the moment he stepped on the court for the Miami Heat in 2003 as a first-round pick out of Marquette.
Friday, the second part of the process was the formality of Wade being named a finalist during All-Star Weekend in Utah for induction to the Hall in August.
The initial part of the process was Wade in December formally being nominated to the ballot. The final element will be Wade formally announced April 1 as a member of the Class of 2023 during the NCAA Final Four in Houston.
Induction in Springfield, Mass., will be Aug. 12.
“A young Dwyane Wade never thought that this moment would be here,” Wade said in Salt Lake City, where he is helping host All-Star Weekend as a Utah Jazz part owner. “You know, sometimes when you’re young and you have a dream, a lot of people don’t believe in your dream — it seems so far-fetched. But I’ve always been a dreamer. But I would be lying to you guys if I would say I didn’t want to quit at that dream many times. But I didn’t.
“And so to be here, I’ve had many nights throughout this journey where I have a vision of having that [Hall of Fame] orange jacket, and so I’m one step closer.”
Wade will become the eighth Hall of Famer with ties to playing or coaching tenures with the Heat, joining previous enshrinees Ray Allen, Chris Bosh, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, Pat Riley and Tim Hardaway, who was inducted earlier last year.
Wade, who was not highly recruited out of high school in
Chicago, was asked at Friday’s announcement to put his career into perspective.
“I would say that I felt I did it every day, and I did it in so many different ways,” he said. “Some people are lucky enough to go through their career and get the ball in their hand, and that’s how they can ride. My journey did not start that way and my journey did not end that way.
“And so to be able to find a way throughout the journey of basketball to become a complete basketball player, whether you’re the number-one guy on the team, or whether you’re the guy that just has to make sure you’re there before everybody gets there, to be prepared to get your team ready, as a scout player, I’ve done it all. So I felt that I gave the game everything that I had and I did it every day.”
He then took time to thank those who advanced his basketball journey.
“Along that journey there were so many people that helped me, that pushed me, that wouldn’t allow me to give up on myself, that wouldn’t allow me to give up on their dream. And so we all need that. We cannot do it alone. We all need so many individuals.”
Wade’s No. 3 was retired by the Heat in February 2020, 10 months after he closed out his NBA career with the Heat, putting him on the clock for this 2023 induction.
The Heat add a Hall of Fame designation to the retired-number banners of each of their players so honored at Miami-Dade Arena, as already has been the case with Mourning, O’Neal, Bosh and Hardaway.
Wade, the franchise’s all-time leader in points, assists, games and steals, won championships with the Heat in 2006, 2012 and ’13. He was a 13-time All-Star and eight-time selection for an All-NBA team.
In addition, he was the NBA’s leading scorer in 2009, was named MVP of both the 2006 NBA Finals and 2010 All-Star Game, and shared in a gold medal with the 2008 USA Basketball Olympic team in Beijing.
It is expected to be one of the most star-studded induction classes in years from the NBA, with Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich all advancing as finalists.
Others awaiting Friday’s word were University of Miami coach Jim Larrañaga, former University of Miami and current Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton and former Heat forward Shawn Marion. None of those three advanced to the final round of voting.
Despite missing the Heat’s final two games prior to the All-Star break due to a bruised left knee, guard Tyler Herro traveled to Utah and is expected to participate in the NBA’s 3-point contest during All-Star Saturday.
Herro is one of three Heat players in Salt Lake City for the league’s annual festivities. Center Bam Adebayo is an Eastern Conference representative for Sunday’s All-Star Game, with 42-year-old Heat captain Udonis Haslem taking in All-Star Weekend as part of his 20th and final season.
The Heat resume their schedule next Friday night with a road game against the Milwaukee Bucks, with 23 games remaining in their regular season.