At 28 years old and right smack dab in the middle of the prime of his career, Dwyane Wade is the closest player, achievement wise, to Kobe. He has one championship ring on his finger to go along with a Finals MVP trophy, which he took home in dominating fashion during the 2006 NBA Finals. The player dubbed “Flash” is easily among the top-five players in the NBA, which stems from him bearing one of the best all-around games in the NBA in terms of scoring, playmaking, rebounding and defending.
No matter what people say, he is the leader of the Super Friends. LeBron may be the better overall player, but it was Wade County before LeBron came to town, and as great as LeBron is, the people down in South Beach aren’t going to forget the title run Wade led in 2006. However, it is unlikely Wade will be in his prime long enough to achieve anything close to what Kobe finishes his career with.
He may have a Hollywood worthy cast surrounding him entering this season, but that may hurt his case more than help it, considering one of his new running mates is LeBron James, whose all-around numbers will undoubtedly be better than Wade’s.
Wade’s injury history and age don’t help his case either as he has missed 103 games over the course of his seven years in the league. Even if he does play until he’s 34 or 35 years old, how effective will he be? He’s a player whose athleticism is his biggest strength and once he starts to lose that, what will he be able to offer to his team?
It’s impossible to doubt him as a superstar player, but to say he’s going to fill Kobe’s shoes as the league’s greatest player is kind of a stretch. However, with LeBron and Chris Bosh providing him support for possibly the next five seasons, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish with three to five rings by the end of his career (however, I don’t expect him to finish with more than three).
Next: The “King”?