By LAUREN YELNER
For many, Dwyane Wade’s announcement that he was going to be leaving the NBA after his 2018-19 season did not come as a surprise, but still brought heartbreak. Wade has officially played for both the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, has touched more than just fans from these two cities.
His final season, which he refers to as his “last dance,” has been hard for fans of basketball everywhere. Wade’s last season in the league is being covered heavily by news outlets due to his extreme connections with fans.
On March 5, 2019, Duke University aired a tribute video to Wade during one of their basketball games, despite the fact that he was never a student at the university. The video was Blue Devil’s Coach K thanking Wade for all he did for basketball throughout his career. Krzyzewski highlights especially Wade leading team USA to a gold medal in the Olympics, and emphasizes how important Wade is to basketball in America.
Duke’s tribute is not the first tribute to Wade that has happened this season or that will happen. The NBA made sure the Wade’s final All-Star weekend was not one to forget, hosting a tribute dinner for him. Guests at this dinner were some of Wade’s best friends from within the league, as well as others that have helped him throughout his journey.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls have all honored Wade during their games against the Heat, making it clear how much of an impact he has had since being in fifth first-round pick in the 2003 NBA draft. Wade indicated that it was very hard for him to make the decision to leave the game he loves behind, but he knows that it is the right decision for himself and his family at the current moment.