At the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., it will mark the final time LeBron James gets to play with Dwyane Wade, who will retire at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Along with Dirk Nowitzki, Wade was added as special roster additions by commissioner Adam Silver and later selected by James in the All-Star Draft.
From first meeting at the 2003 NBA Draft Combine to now, James reflected on his journey with Wade and how he will cherish their time together during All-Star Weekend. “As much time as I can to get with him,” James said at Team LeBron media availability.
“I’m here. I’ve seen him already in the locker room. I’ve seen my nephew, Zaire. Every moment, every bit of time I get with him this weekend is going to be always cherished. It’s great. We’ve been together almost 17 years now, since we met at the Combine in Chicago in 2003. From that moment, we just knew we were going to be together for a long time, and it hasn’t stopped.”
Through their battles as competitors and winning two championships in four consecutive NBA Finals as teammates, James’ friendship with Wade is one that extends beyond basketball.
“For me being a competitor, for me being his teammate to being a competitor again, for us sharing father advice to sharing marriage advice to sharing son advice, it’s really bigger than just basketball when it comes to me and D-Wade,” James explained.
“We can actually look at each other and know what each other’s thinking and knowing how each other feels at times in our lives. To be here, for me to be able to choose him to be part of Team LeBron, for him to be here this weekend, it’s a bittersweet moment, obviously.
“The bitter part of it, that this is his last weekend being in All-Star Weekend and knowing that his journey is coming to an end as far as a basketball player. But the sweet moment is that we’ve got so much more life to live together, and we will continue that.”
While it is unclear how many minutes they will actually play together, Wade just wants to enjoy his final All-Star Game. “I’ve got to talk to my captain about that,” he said about possible playing time.
“I’ve got to talk to LeBron about that one. Not much, you know what I mean? I’m not here to do that. I’m just here to enjoy it. Whatever is called for me to do, I want to get out there and enjoy it. If it’s five minutes, cool. If it’s 20 minutes, cool. I just want to get out there and have a little fun.”
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