It is well known throughout the NBA that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has a tight circle of friends in the league. James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul are all extremely close, often being seen on vacation and training together during the offseason.
Of course, the only two to play together were James and Wade, who teamed with Chris Bosh to bring the Miami Heat two championships in four seasons together. Wade announced that he will retire after this season, so with the Lakers and Heat set to meet for the final time this season, it marks the final time the two good friends will face off.
“To see it come to an end, as far as us playing either alongside one another or against each other, is definitely a lot of emotions,” James said at shootaround. “Our journey together, we both came into the league 16 years ago.
Without a doubt Wade is one of the greatest guards in NBA history. He has won three NBA championships and his Finals MVP performance in 2006 is viewed by many as one of the greatest individual showings.
The friendship between he and James is something that has grown throughout their careers as each was drafted during the acclaimed 2003 NBA Draft that is one of the best of all-time. As James noted, it is always great to be on the court with a close friend and that will bring out the best in him, but it’s tough knowing it won’t happen again.
Wade has taken to exchanging jerseys with players after a game, which he and James are expected to do. “It actually started out with just our brotherhood and then it took a life of its own,” James said of the tradition. “It’s pretty cool to see what he’s been doing throughout the season.”
Most important for both will be getting a win in this final contest, not only to keep up the strong play recently of each team, but to hold bragging rights over the other for the rest of their lives.